Finasteride is a medication that can be prescribed to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition characterized by an enlarged prostate. By decreasing the amount of DHT levels in the body, the medicine can help relieve symptoms of an enlarged prostate, decrease the risk of acute urinary retention, and reduce the chances of requiring benign prostatic hyperplasia surgery. Finasteride, which comes as a 5 mg tablet, may cause certain sexual side effects, including: impotence, decreased libido, breast enlargement, or decreased ejaculate amount.
What Is Finasteride?
Finasteride (Proscar®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed as treatment for an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate is also known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH.
(Click Proscar Uses for more information on what finasteride is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes Finasteride?
Finasteride is manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. Generic finasteride is made by several manufacturers.
How Does Finasteride Work?
Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which decreases the amount of DHT in the body. Since DHT is important for enlargement of the prostate, using finasteride to decrease DHT levels can treat an enlarged prostate. In most men, finasteride can help shrink the enlarged prostate, helping to relieve their enlarged prostate symptoms.
There have been several studies looking at how well finasteride treats an enlarged prostate. In particular, there has been one very large study that studied several of the effects of finasteride for men with BPH, with the following results:
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed January 3, 2007.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click