Where is Finasteride used?
Finasteride is used for the treatment of an enlarged prostate gland called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is in the class of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors that decrease the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body. DHT usually causes your prostate to develop larger. Low levels of DHT help prevent your prostate from developing larger.
This medication may also be used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. Finasteride blocks the body’s production of a male hormone in the scalp that stops the growth of the hair.
How does Finasteride work?
Finasteride works by blocking the action of an enzyme in the body called 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme is called DHT which is responsible for converting the male hormone testosterone into a more active form. Enlargement of the prostate gland is dependent upon testosterone being converted to DHT within the prostate gland. By blocking 5-alpha reductase, this medicine prevents the formation of DHT and this helps shrink the prostate.
How is Finasteride taken?
The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. This is to be taken by mouth usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. It may take 6 to 12 months to notice a benefit. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this medication. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day.
What are the possible side effects of Finasteride?
Common side effects:
- Runny nose
- Swelling in your hands or feet
What are the precautions in taking Finasteride?
- Before using Finasteride, tell your doctor if you have any medical history, especially prostate cancer, liver disease, urinary problems, or infections.
- This should not be used in children and women especially during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to Finasteride. This product may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. Tell as well if you have any allergies.
- Do not donate blood while having this medication or for at least four weeks after you stop taking it.
- This can cause a severe allergic reaction, call your doctor right away if your symptoms such as hives, trouble breathing, or swelling of the throat or tongue.
- 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.
- Do not share this medication with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
- You should not use this for the treatment of other conditions without the consent of your doctor.
- Call for medical help and stop taking the drug if there are any signs of an overdose.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.