What are the uses for Finaster?
Finaster is prescribed for the treatment of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) under the brand name "Proscar." Finaster also is prescribed to treat male pattern baldness in androgenetic alopecia in males only, under the brand name Propecia.
More common side effects
The more common side effects that can occur with Finaster include:
- decreased sex drive
- trouble getting or keeping an erection
- ejaculation disorder
- increase in breast size and tenderness
- skin rash
If these effects are mild, they may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t disappear, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Michael Stewart, Reviewed by Sid Dajani | Last edited 3 Apr 2018 | Certified by The Information Standard
Finaster is for men only. It must not be taken by women, children or adolescents.
Take one tablet each day.
Your symptoms may start to improve within a few weeks, although it can take up to six months for you to notice the full benefit.
Finaster tablets (Propecia) is a drug used to treat male pattern baldness. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
How should this medicine be used?
Finaster comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take Finaster 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 Finaster 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 Finaster to treat BPH, you should know that Finaster may control your condition, but will not cure it. It may take at least 6 months before your symptoms improve. Continue to take Finaster even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Finaster without talking to your doctor.
If you are taking Finaster to treat male pattern hair loss, it may take at least 3 months before you see any improvement because hair loss and growth happen slowly over time. However, you should expect to see improvement during the first 12 months of your treatment. If you have taken Finaster for 12 months and have not noticed any improvement, further treatment probably will not help. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue your treatment.
Finaster will only slow hair loss while you are taking the medication. Continue to take Finaster even if you have already noticed an improvement. Do not stop taking Finaster without talking to your doctor. You will probably lose any hair that grew back while you were taking Finaster during the first 12 months after you stop taking the medication..
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to Finaster and its correct use. Please read them carefully.
Finaster 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 Finaster was effective in treating hair growth in male pattern hair loss. As a result, in December 22nd 1997, the FDA approved Finaster (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 Finaster 5 mg tablets. As a result, Cipla is also manufacturing Finaster (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?
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. Finaster and adalimumab may be helpful for those with resistant cases of HS.
Which drugs or supplements interact with Finaster-oral (hair growth)?
Carbamazepine, rifampin, and St. John's wort may reduce blood levels of Finaster by increasing its breakdown in the liver. Itraconazole, erythromycin and similar drugs increase blood levels of Finaster.
S >A number of studies have looked at the problem of side effects caused by Finaster. These studies which are discussed below reveal that sexual adverse effects occur at the rates of 2.1% to 3.8%, erectile dysfunction (ED) being the commonest followed by ejaculatory dysfunction and loss of libido. These effects occurred early in the therapy and returned to normal on stopping or over a time on continuous use of the drug. The only causal relation between Finaster and sexual adverse effects is decreased ejaculatory volume because of predominant action of DHT on prostate.
A comprehensive review of a total of 73 papers on medical therapies for BPH was conducted, with a focus on the effects of different pharmacological agents on sexual function. The review revealed that Finaster is infrequently associated with problems of ejaculation (2.1-7.7%), erection (4.9-15.8%), and libido (3.1-5.4%).
The role of nocebo effect in the causation of ED due to Finaster has been investigated. Nocebo effect refers to an adverse effect that results from the psychological awareness of the possibility of the side effects, but is not a direct result of the specific pharmacological action of the drug. In this study, the group informed about the sexual adverse effects of Finaster reported increased incidence of ED, when compared to the group without information. The side effects were completely reversible in 5 days when the medicine was discontinued, confirming that nocebo effect has an influence in causation of side effects and suggesting the role of psychological factors.
Two studies in 1998 and 1999 showed that the incidence of these side effects with Finaster therapy was generally comparable to that observed with the treatment with placebo, and there was no evidence of dose dependency or increased incidence with longer therapy out to 12 months. In addition, the side effects ceased in patients even when they continued to receive Finaster.
A long term study showed that drug-related sexual side effects such as decreased libido, ED, and ejaculatory disorders occurred in Stough D, Stenn K, Haber R, Parsley WM, Vogel JE, Whiting DA, et al. Psychological effect, pathophysiology and management of androgenetic alopecia in men. Mayo Clin Proc. 2005; 80 :1316–22.
Exposure Of Women — Risk To Male Fetus
Women should not handle crushed or broken PROSCAR tablets when they are pregnant or may potentially be pregnant because of the possibility of absorption of Finaster and the subsequent potential risk to a male fetus. PROSCAR tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the active ingredient during normal handling, provided that the tablets have not been broken or crushed.