Why is this medication prescribed?
Finasteride is used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). BPH commonly occurs in men over 55 years of age and causes the prostate gland to enlarge. Enlarged prostate glands can cause urinary problems such as frequent and difficult urination, especially at night. Finasteride shrinks the prostate and relieves these symptoms.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Finasteride comes as a tablet. Finasteride usually is taken once a day. It may be taken with or without food. 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.
Continue to take finasteride even if you feel well. Do not stop taking finasteride without talking to your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking finasteride,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to finasteride or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially cold and allergy medicine, diet aids, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, or urinary problems or infection.
- pregnant women should avoid contact with finasteride. Touching the contents of crushed or broken tablets may harm the fetus.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking finasteride.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from finasteride are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- impotence (inability to have or maintain an erection)
- decreased libido (interest in sex)
- decreased volume of ejaculate (amount of semen)
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
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). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to finasteride.
Do not expose your female sexual partner to your semen. Use condoms or stop taking this drug (after talking to your doctor) if your partner is or plans to become pregnant.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.