Finasteride is used to shrink an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) in adult men. It may be used alone or taken in combination with other medications to reduce symptoms of BPH and may also reduce the need for surgery.
Finasteride may improve symptoms of BPH and provide benefits such as decreased urge to urinate, better urine flow with less straining, less of a feeling that the bladder is not completely emptied, and decreased nighttime urination. This medication works by decreasing the amount of a natural body hormone (DHT) that causes growth of the prostate.
Finasteride is not approved for prevention of prostate cancer. It may slightly increase the risk of developing a very serious form of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks. Women and children should not use this medication.
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How to take:
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking finasteride and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, usually once a day, or as directed by your doctor.
If the tablet is crushed or broken, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or by a woman who may become pregnant (see also Precautions section).
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
It may take 6-12 months to notice a benefit.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Before taking finasteride, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, prostate cancer, infections and urinary problems.
Finasteride should not be used in children.
The drug can be absorbed through the skin. If the film coating of the tablet has been broken or the tablet crushed, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Exposing a developing male infant to finasteride can result in abnormalities of the genitals.
Finasteride should not be used in women, especially during pregnancy or breast-feeding. It may harm an unborn or breast-feeding baby. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about this medication.
Decreased sexual ability/desire may occur. In some men, this medication can decrease the amount of semen released during sex. This is harmless, but has continued in some men even after stopping treatment. Finasteride may also increase hair growth. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: lump in the breast, nipple discharge, breast enlargement/tenderness/pain, pain in the testicles, inability to urinate.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seeks immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
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