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Finasteride (Proscar) is used alone or in combination with another medication to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH, enlargement of the prostate gland). Finasteride is used to treat symptoms of BPH such as frequent and difficult urination and may reduce the chance of acute urinary retention (sudden inability to urinate). It also may decrease the chance that prostate surgery will be needed. Finasteride is in a class of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. Finasteride treats BPH by blocking the body's production of a male hormone that causes the prostate to enlarge.
Finasteride comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take finasteride at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take finasteride exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking finasteride to treat BPH, you should know that finasteride may control your condition, but will not cure it. It may take at least 6 months before your symptoms improve. Continue to take finasteride even if you feel well. Do not stop taking finasteride without talking to your doctor.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Before taking finasteride:
Finasteride may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Finasteride may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Taking finasteride may increase the risk that you will develop high-grade prostate cancer (a type of prostate cancer that spreads and grows more quickly than other types of prostate cancer). Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking finasteride.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Proscar?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Is Proscar safe for pregnant women to take?
Finasteride is only for use in men. Women, especially those who are or may become pregnant should not touch broken or crushed finasteride tablets. Touching broken or crushed finasteride tablets may harm the fetus. If a woman who is pregnant or who could become pregnant touches broken or crushed finasteride tablets, she should wash the area with soap and water immediately and call her doctor.
Can you take Proscar with food?
Proscar is usually taken once a day with or without food.