finasteride
Pronunciation: fin AS ter ide
Brand: Propecia, Proscar


What is the most important information I should know about finasteride?
Propecia is for use BY MEN ONLY and should not be used by women or children. Women who are or who may potentially be pregnant must not use Propecia and should not handle finasteride tablets particularly if crushed or damaged. The medication could be absorbed through the skin. Finasteride may cause abnormalities in a male baby.


What is finasteride?
Finasteride prevents the breakdown of testosterone in the body. The breakdown of testosterone produces a number of substances, one of which can lead to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Finasteride is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). Finasteride is also used to reduce hair loss due to male pattern baldness.
Finasteride may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


Who should not take finasteride?
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have liver disease. You may not be able to take finasteride, or you may need a lower dose or special monitoring during therapy.
Do not take or handle this medication if you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy. Finasteride is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that it will cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Women who are or who may become pregnant must not take finasteride and must not handle crushed finasteride tablets. The medication could be absorbed through the skin and cause birth defects in a male fetus.
It is not known whether finasteride passes into breast milk. Finasteride is not intended for use by women. Do not take this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.


How should I take finasteride?
Take finasteride exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with a full glass of water.
Finasteride can be taken with or without food.
Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.


What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose unless otherwise directed.


What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of a finasteride overdose are not known.


What should I avoid while taking finasteride?
There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities during treatment with finasteride unless otherwise directed by your doctor.


What are the possible side effects of finasteride?
Stop taking finasteride and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives).
Other, less serious side effects have been reported but usually resolve with continued treatment. Continue to take finasteride and notify your doctor if you experience
     · decreased libido,
     · decreased volume of ejaculate,
     · impotence, or
     · breast tenderness or enlargement.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.


What other drugs will affect finasteride?
No drugs are known to interact with finasteride. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.


Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist has additional information about finasteride written for health professionals that you may read.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

The information in this leaflet is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
© Multum Information Services 1998. Version: 1.010. Revision date: 12/9/98.