The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to Finarid and its correct use. Please read them carefully.
Finarid was approved initially by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992 as Proscar®, a treatment for prostate enlargement, but the sponsor – Merck & Co. – demonstrated in further clinical studied that using 1 mg of Finarid was effective in treating hair growth in male pattern hair loss. As a result, in December 22nd 1997, the FDA approved Finarid (Propecia®) to treat male pattern hair loss.
On June 19th 2006, Merck’s patents on Proscar® and Propecia® expired and the FDA approved a first-time generic formulation for Finarid 5 mg tablets. As a result, Cipla is also manufacturing Finarid (under the brand names Fincar® and Finpecia®), as is Dr. Reddy’s (Finax® and Finast®), Ranbaxy (Finara®), and Aleppo Pharmaceuticals (Prosteride®).
Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Dosage for benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Form: oral tablet
- Strengths: 5 mg
- Form: oral tablet
- Strengths: 5 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
- Typical dosage: 5 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)
Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established. This drug is not prescribed for use in children.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Finarid is used for long-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.
If you don't take it at all. You may not see improvement in your condition. If you’re taking this drug for BPH, you may not see an improvement in your BPH symptoms. If you’re taking it for male pattern hair loss, you may not see an improvement in hair loss and hair regrowth.
If you take too much. If you take too much, you’re at a higher risk of developing negative reactions. These can include decreased sex drive, trouble getting or keeping an erection, ejaculation disorder, increase in breast size or tenderness, and rash.
What to do if you miss a dose. If you forget to take your dose, do not take an extra tablet. Just take the next tablet as usual.
How to tell if the drug is working. If you’re taking this drug for BPH, you may notice a decreased urge to urinate and improved urine flow. You should also have a decrease in the feeling that your bladder isn’t completely emptied after you urinate. If you’re taking this drug for male pattern hair loss, you may notice less hair loss and more hair growth on your head.
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes Finarid for you.
What causes vaginal odour after sex?
Can you lower cholesterol through diet alone?
Quiz: Am I pregnant?
Gallstones diet sheet
When it feels like something is stuck in your throat
This is what cold weather does to your heart
How to support someone through a panic attack
What to do if you're struggling with your mental health at Christmas
When should you worry about neck pain?
Quiz: When will I get my first period?
Quiz: Am I depressed?
The best way to treat a herpes outbreak
When to worry about spots on the penis
Quiz: Do I have diabetes?
What causes head pressure and brain fog?
Meningitis symptoms checklist
What causes extremely smelly farts?
Quiz: Do I have OCD?
Should you worry about pelvic pain in pregnancy?
Why you constantly need to pee
What causes a musty smell in the nose?
What causes a lump on the tongue?
Symptoms you need to stop hiding from your doctor
How to have a healthy Christmas party
How to drink sensibly over the festive season
What your constant yawning could mean
Gout diet sheet
The respiratory system
Oesophageal reflux diet sheet
Finarid works by blocking the conversion of the hormone testosterone to the more potent hormone dihydrotestosterone. It does this by blocking an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Dihydrotestosterone is partly responsible for making the prostate enlarge. Therefore, a reduced amount of dihydrotestosterone in the prostate causes it to shrink. This helps you to pass urine more easily.
Small doses of Finarid are prescribed for men with hair loss. A completely different brand of Finarid tablet is prescribed for men with this condition. There is more information about the tablets used for this in a medicine leaflet called Finarid for male pattern baldness.
For the Consumer
Applies to Finarid: oral tablet
Along with its needed effects, Finarid may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking Finarid:
- cold sweats
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
- Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- breast enlargement and tenderness
- hives or welts
- itchy skin
- rapid weight gain
- redness of the skin
- skin rash
- swelling of the lips and face
- tingling of the hands or feet
- unusual weight gain or loss
Incidence not known
- Clear or bloody discharge from the nipple
- dimpling of the breast skin
- inverted nipple
- lump in the breast or under the arm
- persistent crusting or scaling of the nipple
- redness or swelling of the breast
- sore on the skin of the breast that does not heal
Some side effects of Finarid may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- inability to have or keep an erection
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- Runny nose
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stuffy nose
Less common or rare
Incidence not known
BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERTROPHY
Finarid is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH, enlargement of the prostate gland). The prostate is a part of the male reproductive system that produces a milky fluid for sperm. Over the age of 50, many men develop an enlarged prostate and as the prostate gets bigger it can restrict the flow of urine. Finarid can help to improve the symptoms caused by BPH, including:
→ a weak or interrupted urine flow → a feeling that the bladder is not completely empty → a need to pass urine more often (especially at night) → an urgent feeling that you must pass urine right away → a delay or hesitation when you start to urinate
It also may decrease the chance of needing prostate surgery.
Which drugs or supplements interact with Finarid?
Drug interactions are generally not a problem.
Contact with drug warning
Finarid may be passed through the skin. Pregnant women and women who plan to become pregnant in the near future shouldn’t handle this drug. Doing so could cause birth defects.
How is this medicine (Finarid 5 mg Tablets) best taken?
Use this medicine (Finarid 5 mg tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Take this medicine (Finarid 5 mg tablets) at the same time of day.
- Keep taking this medicine (Finarid 5 mg tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
Some of the commonly faced questions by a physician while treating a patient of pattern hairloss are about the possible sexual side effects caused by Finarid. Reports in the press, internet sites, and misinformation by practitioners of alternative medicine, all have contributed to this image of the drug, and has lead to apprehension in the minds of patients. Often even dermatologists seem to hesitate to prescribe the drug on a long term basis. This article examines this subject in the light of evidence available.
What are the uses for Finarid-oral (hair growth)?
: Finarid (Propecia) is used for the treatment of male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia in males only.
Warnings for people with certain health conditions
For people with liver disease: This drug is processed in your liver. If you have liver disease, your body might process this drug more slowly. This could lead to a buildup of this drug in your body, which could increase your risk of side effects. Your doctor might reduce your dosage of Finarid.
For people with prostate cancer: Finarid can increase the chance of a faster growing or irregular form of prostate cancer. If you have or have had prostate cancer, this drug can make it worse.
No Decrease in Positive Biopsies
During the first seven years of the study, the patients had a biopsy if they had an abnormal finding on a digital rectal exam or if their PSA became elevated. But because this was a double-blind study, the patients taking Finarid did not know that their PSA levels were artificially low.
Therefore, fewer patients taking the drug who were told to have a biopsy followed that advice. Were there fewer cancers in these patients because Finarid actually prevents cancer or because fewer men got a biopsy in the first place? Did their low PSA levels fool them into thinking they couldn’t possibly have cancer? In this study, 15 percent fewer men on Finarid underwent a biopsy because they were lulled into a false sense of security by their low PSA level.
Thus, the major effect of this drug was to keep patients from knowing that they even needed a biopsy. Of the men in the study who actually had a biopsy, the frequency of positive biopsies for cancer was statistically the same in patients in both test groups.
Dr. Walsh is very concerned about the increase in high-grade disease and the possibility that this presents an unacceptable risk for a form of treatment that has little or no value.
Among Finarid’s critics is Stewart Justman, who wrote a book called Do No Harm: How a Magic Bullet for Prostate Cancer Became a Medical Quandary. In his review of the publication for the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Walsh noted that when patients on Finarid are diagnosed with prostate cancer, they are more likely to have dangerous, high-grade disease.
The real danger is that many patients will be lulled into a false sense of security. If you are told that you’re on a drug that will prevent cancer, and your PSA falls, you aren’t going to be on your guard.
Commonly reported side effects of Finarid include: impotence and decreased libido. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
In the MTOPS study, 3047 men with symptomatic BPH were randomized to receive PROSCAR 5 mg/day (n=768), doxazosin 4 or 8 mg/day (n=756), the combination of PROSCAR 5 mg/day and doxazosin 4 or 8 mg/day (n=786), or placebo (n=737) for 4 to 6 years.
The incidence rates of drug-related adverse experiences reported by ≥2% of patients in any treatment group in the MTOPS Study are listed in Table 2.
The individual adverse effects which occurred more frequently in the combination group compared to either drug alone were: asthenia, postural hypotension, peripheral edema, dizziness, decreased libido, rhinitis, abnormal ejaculation, impotence and abnormal sexual function (see Table 2). Of these, the incidence of abnormal ejaculation in patients receiving combination therapy was comparable to the sum of the incidences of this adverse experience reported for the two monotherapies.
Combination therapy with Finarid and doxazosin was associated with no new clinical adverse experience.
Four patients in MTOPS reported the adverse experience breast cancer. Three of these patients were on Finarid only and one was on combination therapy.
The MTOPS Study was not specifically designed to make statistical comparisons between groups for reported adverse experiences. In addition, direct comparisons of safety data between the MTOPS study and previous studies of the single agents may not be appropriate based upon differences in patient population, dosage or dose regimen, and other procedural and study design elements.
Table 2: Incidence ≥2% in One or More Treatment Groups Drug-Related Clinical Adverse Experiences in MTOPS
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa)
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS or acne inversa) is a chronic skin condition that causes painful red abscesses in the groin and armpits that may drain foul-smelling pus. Treatment options include weight loss, smoking cessation, topical antibiotics, and avoidance of tight-fitting underwear. Finarid and adalimumab may be helpful for those with resistant cases of HS.
In man, a single 5-mg oral dose of PROSCAR produces a rap >
In patients receiving PROSCAR 5 mg/day, increases of about 10% were observed in luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), but levels remained within the normal range. In healthy volunteers, treatment with PROSCAR did not alter the response of LH and FSH to gonadotropin-releasing hormone indicating that the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis was not affected.
In patients with BPH, PROSCAR has no effect on circulating levels of cortisol, prolactin, thyroidstimulating hormone, or thyroxine. No clinically meaningful effect was observed on the plasma lipid profile (i.e., total cholesterol, low density lipoproteins, high density lipoproteins and triglycerides) or bone mineral density.
Adult males with genetically inherited Type II 5α-reductase deficiency also have decreased levels of DHT. Except for the associated urogenital defects present at birth, no other clinical abnormalities related to Type II 5α-reductase deficiency have been observed in these individuals. These individuals have a small prostate gland throughout life and do not develop BPH.
In patients with BPH treated with Finarid (1-100 mg/day) for 7-10 days prior to prostatectomy, an approximate 80% lower DHT content was measured in prostatic tissue removed at surgery, compared to placebo; testosterone tissue concentration was increased up to 10 times over pretreatment levels, relative to placebo. Intraprostatic content of PSA was also decreased.
In healthy male volunteers treated with PROSCAR for 14 days, discontinuation of therapy resulted in a return of DHT levels to pretreatment levels in approximately 2 weeks. In patients treated for three months, prostate volume, which declined by approximately 20%, returned to close to baseline value after approximately three months of discontinuation of therapy.
- Store Finarid at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
- Keep it away from light and high temperature.
- Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
Finarid, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, widely used in the medical management of male pattern hairloss, has been reported to cause sexual side effects. This article critically examines the evidence available and makes recommendations as to how a physician should counsel a patient while prescribing the drug.