What is Finasteride (Proscar, Propecia)?
Finasteride 1mg may be used to combat male pattern hair loss. It is a synthetic 4-azasteroid compound that inhibits the activity of Type II 5alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT prevents hair follicles from receiving essential nutrients. This causes the hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop growing altogether.
To fight male pattern hair loss, take 1 tablet daily, with or without food. For best efficacy, swallow the tablets whole without crushing or breaking them. You must take this medication consistently for at least 3 months before noticeable prevention of hair loss and/or increased hair growth may be observed. If you stop taking Finasteride medication, you may experience the reversal of results within 12 months. Please note that if you miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember to. If it is already time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your usual dosing schedule.
As a hormone-inhibiting drug, you should not take Finasteride drug if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. This medication should not be taken by women or children. This drug can cause harm to unborn or breastfeeding babies. As well, exposing a male fetus to finasteride can result in the baby developing abnormalities of the genitalia.
Finasteride Side Effects
The most commonly reported side effects include:
- Reduced semen release;
- Hair growth.
Rarer side effects that have been documented include:
- Breast tenderness;
- Breast enlargement;
- Testicular pain;
- Skin rash;
- And allergic responses, including pruritus, urticaria, and swelling.
Contact your doctor if you develop any rare side effects. These may not be all of the reported side effects.
Please note that Finasteride reduces the serum prostate-specific antigen (S-PSA) level by approximately 50% within the first 6 months of treatment. If you are a male patient with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or liver function abnormalities, please consult your doctor before using this drug. This medication may affect blood test results for prostate cancer.
Finasteride does not appear to interact poorly with other compounds such as warfarin, digoxin, propranolol, and theophylline. In addition, the drug has been known to be administered concomitantly with ACE-inhibitors, acetylsalicylic acid, alpha-blockers, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, cardiac nitrates, diuretics, H2 -antagonists, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paracetamol, and quinolones without any significant interactions. Furthermore, cytochrome P450- (a drug metabolizing enzyme system) remains unaffected by this hormone inhibiting medication. Be sure to inform your doctor of all medications and supplements you are taking.
Pregnancy & Lactation
This drug is contraindicated in women, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women. Taking it may result in abnormalities to the external male fetus genitalia.
If you take too much of your medication, contact your doctor. Finasteride should not be given to others. It may take up to a year to notice any improvements, so be sure to continue taking your medication as directed. If you experience trouble breathing or any lumps in the breast or testicle area, contact your doctor.
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