What is finasteride?
Finasteride prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Finasteride is used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate.
Finasteride may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before taking finasteride, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this medication, or to a similar medicine called dutasteride (Avodart). Also tell your doctor if you have:
- liver disease, or abnormal liver enzyme tests;
- prostate cancer;
- a bladder muscle disorder;
- stricture of your urethra; or
- if you are unable to urinate.
Finasteride should never be taken by a woman or a child. Finasteride can be absorbed through the skin, and women or children should not be permitted to handle finasteride tablets.
Although finasteride is not for use by women, this medication can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it during pregnancy. Finasteride tablets should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant.
If a woman accidentally comes into contact with this medication from a broken or crushed tablet, wash the area with soap and water right away.
Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using finasteride.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of finasteride is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you notice any breast lumps, pain, nipple discharge, or other breast changes. These may be signs of male breast cancer.
Less serious side effects may include:
- feeling like you might pass out;
- swelling in your hands or feet;
- pain in the testicles;
- impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm;
- abnormal ejaculation;
- swelling or tenderness in your breasts;
- dizziness, weakness;
- runny nose; or
- skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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There may be other drugs that can interact with finasteride. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Propecia, Proscar, and finasteride
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04