Basic Drug Info
Manufacturer: Cipla Ltd.
Active Substance: Finasteride
Drug Form: Film-coated tablets
Available Doses: 5mg
- What is Proscar?
- How Does Proscar work?
- What is the dosage for Proscar?
- Recommendations for use
- Proscar vs Flomax
- Propecia vs Proscar
- Propecia vs Avodart
- Side effects
- Proscar analogs
What is Proscar?
Proscar (finasteride) is an oral drug approved for the use in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), a condition with a complex symptomatic picture that dramatically affects patient’s quality of life. BPH is related to age and is caused by testosterone conversion to DHT.
Proscar should be taken during an extended period of time to help achieve significant health outcomes.
How Does Proscar work?
Propecia falls into the class of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. Drugs from this class work best if you have a moderate to significantly enlarged prostate. Here’s how 5-alpha reductase inhibitors work: the prostate gland needs the hormone dihydrotestosterone to be able to function and grow. In the prostate, the male sex hormone, testosterone, is converted to dihydrotestosterone using the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. The drugs block 5-alpha reductase. Then the formation of dihydrotestosterone is slowed down and the size of the prostate gland decreases gradually.
One can notice symptom improvement after a couple of months and full effect comes after six months. The discomfort may recur if you stop using the drug because the gland then often grows again.
About eight out of a hundred men using Proscar may have reduced sexual desire or difficulty getting and maintaining the stall. Sometimes the mammary glands become enlarged or sore. If so, you should contact your doctor.
What is the dosage for Proscar?
When you receive a prescription drug, the dose is appropriate for you. Therefore, follow the instructions that appear on the label on the pharmaceutical packaging or the one that has been indicated for you by the prescriber. In benign prostatic hyperplasia the dose is one tablet of 5 milligrams a day.
If you usually take the drug in the morning but forget to take it, it’s good to take it later in the day. If you have forgotten to take the medicine one day, take the next dose as usual the next day. Do not compensate for a missed dose by taking a double dose the next day.
Recommendations for use
Proscar is indicated in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia or benign age-related enlargement of the prostate gland (≥ 30 ml). The condition is caused by testosterone imbalance. There is a link to the metabolic syndrome (hyperinsulinemia, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperuricaemia). Incidence increasing with age.
The symptoms include dense micturition during the day and / or night, heavy congestion, incontinence. Emptying / obstructive symptoms can also be observed: difficulty to initiate urination, weak or interrupted urine stream, dripping, feeling of incomplete emptying.
Finasteride, the active component in Proscar, is used to treat male-pattern hair loss (alopecia); smaller doses (finasteride 1mg) are administered in patients with hair loss. The substance is marketed under the name of Propecia, among others, for this purpose.
The drug should be taken for a period of time of 6 to 12 months in order to provide measurable health results.
Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, whose results were published a few years ago, is the basis for believing that Proscar can help prevent prostate cancer. The study, which showed that men treated with finasteride reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 25 percent, has been discussed for several years. Among other things, it was assumed that that treatment instead increased the risk of an aggressive form of prostate cancer. But the two expert organizations now believe that the overall picture shows that there is a point in using finastride for preventative purposes.
But the treatment should be discussed individually, according to the experts, as the patient must weigh the benefits against risks. One common side effect of finasteride is, among other things, decreased sex drive.
As always with preventive treatment, there is also the question of how health economically it is to treat large groups of healthy people. In the case of finasteride, 71 men need to be treated for seven years to prevent a case of prostate cancer.
Proscar vs Flomax
Flomax (tamsulosin), like Proscar, is approved for the treatment of symptomatic BPH. Flomax side effects on blood pressure and fatigue may be less than for other BPH drugs. Flomax is only recommended for a short term use, and its effects in long-term use have not yet been covered by scientific literature.
There are currently four approved alpha-blockers against BPH: prazosin, alfuzosin, terazosin and doxazosin. But the most commonly used drug for enlarged prostate is still Proscar. It inhibits the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, thereby counteracting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. The effect is that the volume of the enlarged prostate decreases. Thus, the flow inhibition decreases and the patient’s urination is facilitated.
Propecia vs Proscar
Propecia (finasteride 1mg) is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss; it is a drug based on the same active substance as in Proscar, which is finasteride, but the latter contains the active substance in larger quantity – 5mg.
Propecia vs Avodart
Avodart (dutsateride) is an oral drug used in treatment of BPH. Unlike dutasteride, the quantity of finasteride excreted with sperm is very low. For this reason, the treatment can be continued even if the partner is pregnant.
No relevant drug interactions have been reported with finasteride. There is therefore no risk of continuing treatment even if you are taking other medicines.
Some scientific studies seem to have shown that topical use of finasteride is ineffective; the slight results associated with this application, found in some cases, seem to depend on systemic absorption by the body. This explains why a finasteride lotion has not yet been developed.
Finasteride absolutely must not be used by women of childbearing age and, above all, during pregnancy, as it would negatively affect the process of development of the genital organs in the male fetus (for which DHT is necessary). In fact, the intake of finasteride during pregnancy can cause malformations of the child’s reproductive system.
As with other drugs, finasteride is contraindicated in subjects with hypersensitivity to the active ingredient or to one of the excipients.
Since Proscar is a hormonal therapy, the occurrence of side effects concerning the sexual sphere is possible, such as the decrease in libido and erectile dysfunction, which tend, however, to disappear at the end of the treatment. These manifestations associated with the use of finasteride are however quite rare (they appear in a percentage of about 4% of cases).
Furthermore, it must be remembered that these side effects, if present, are completely reversible: the suspension of the drug re-establishes the DHT values present before the treatment. To counteract a possible decrease in libido it may be useful to take arginine or, better, citrulline.
Other side effects that may occur are notoriously due to the increase in estrogen due to the passage of a portion of testosterone to estradiol. These excess hormones can easily lead to problems such as gynecomastia, water retention and the formation of fatty deposits. To reduce these side effects, it is possible to resort to natural substances that act by regulating estrogens, such as some bioflavonoids (such as oligomeric proanthocyanidins, OPC), or that allow the symptoms to be controlled directly, for example, reducing water retention and swelling (such as Pineapple and Birch extracts).
- Fincar – Cipla Ltd.
- Finast – Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.