Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Finasteride
Why is this drug prescribed: Proscar is prescribed to help shrink an enlarged prostate. The prostate, a chestnut-shaped gland present in males, produces a liquid that forms part of the semen. This gland completely encloses the upper part of the urethra, the tube through which urine flows out of the bladder. Many men over age 50 suffer from a benign (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate. The enlarged gland squeezes the urethra, obstructing the normal flow of urine. Resulting problems may include difficulty in starting urination, weak flow of urine, and the need to urinate urgently or frequently. Sometimes surgical removal of the prostate is necessary. By shrinking the enlarged prostate, Proscar may alleviate the various associated urinary problems, making surgery unnecessary. Some doctors are also prescribing Proscar for baldness and as a preventive measure against prostate cancer.
Most important fact about this drug: Different men have different responses to Proscar: You may experience early relief from your urinary problems. You may need to take the drug for 6 months or even a year before noticing any improvement. Or you may find that, even after a year of treatment, Proscar simply has not helped you.
How should you take this medication: You may take Proscar either with a meal or between meals. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container. Protect from light.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Proscar. Side effects may include: Decreased amount of semen per ejaculation, decreased sex drive, impotence
Why should this drug not be prescribed: Proscar should never be taken by a woman or a child. Do not take Proscar if you are sensitive to it or have ever had an allergic reaction to it.
Special warnings about this medication: Benign enlargement of the prostate is not the only condition that can cause male urinary inefficiency and discomfort. Other possibilities include infection, obstruction, cancer of the prostate, and bladder disorders. Before prescribing Proscar, your doctor will want to do various tests to determine the cause of your urinary problems. Even if Proscar does relieve your urinary symptoms, periodic checkups are necessary to test for possible development of cancer of the prostate. Proscar is not an effective treatment for prostate cancer. Check the patient information that comes in the Proscar package for new information every time you renew your prescription.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: No significant drug interactions have been reported.
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: If accidentally absorbed by a pregnant woman who is carrying a male fetus, Proscar may cause abnormal development of the unborn baby's genital organs. Any woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant should therefore never even touch a crushed Proscar tablet.
Recommended dosage: The recommended dosage, for men only, is one 5-milligram tablet per day.
Overdosage: Although no specific information is available, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Proscar, seek medical attention immediately.