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Finasteride Oral tablet [Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia]

It is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men

Generic Name: finasteride

Brand Names: Propecia, Proscar

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 06/09/2011] ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Warnings and Precautions section of the labels for the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) class of drugs has been revised to include new safety information about the increased risk of being diagnosed with a more serious form of prostate cancer (high-grade prostate cancer).

BACKGROUND: The new safety information is based on FDA’s review of two large, randomized controlled trials––the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) and the Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events (REDUCE) trial. Finasteride (Proscar), dutasteride (Avodart), and dutasteride in combination with tamsulosin (marketed combination product as Jalyn) are approved to improve symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Proscar and Avodart are also approved to reduce the risk of urinary retention or surgery related to an enlarged prostate. Finasteride (Propecia) is approved to treat male pattern hair loss.

RECOMMENDATION: Prior to initiating therapy with 5-ARIs, perform appropriate evaluation to rule out other urological conditions, including prostate cancer, that might mimic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). See Drug Safety Communication for a Data Summary and additional information. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

What is this medicine?

FINASTERIDE (fi NAS teer ide) is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men. This is a condition that causes you to have an enlarged prostate. This medicine helps to control your symptoms, decrease urinary retention, and reduces your risk of needing surgery. When used in combination with certain other medicines, this drug can slow down the progression of your disease.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to finasteride, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medicine with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • male hormones like testosterone

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Do not donate blood while you are taking this medicine. This will prevent giving this medicine to a pregnant female through a blood transfusion. Ask your doctor or health care professional when it is safe to donate blood after you stop taking this medicine.

Women who are pregnant or may get pregnant must not handle broken or crushed finasteride tablets. The active ingredient could harm the unborn baby. If a pregnant woman comes into contact with broken or crushed tablets she should check with her doctor or health care professional. Exposure to whole tablets is not expected to cause harm as long as they are not swallowed.

Contact your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better. You may need to take this medicine for 6 to 12 months to get the best results.

This medicine can interfere with PSA laboratory tests for prostate cancer. If you are scheduled to have a lab test for prostate cancer, tell your doctor or health care professional that you are taking this medicine.

This medicine may increase your risk of getting some cancers, like breast cancer. Talk with your doctor.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • any signs of an allergic reaction like rash, itching, hives or swelling of the lips or face
  • changes in breast like lumps, pain or fluids leaking from the nipple
  • pain in the testicles

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • sexual difficulties like decreased sexual desire or ability to get an erection
  • small amount of semen released during sex

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Last Updated: October 13, 2010
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