Finasteride is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in men. This enlargement of the prostate gland is called Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH).
The enlarged prostate gland may cause problems when you pass urine. This medicine helps to shrink the prostate so as to improve symptoms such as difficulty in passing urine, slow or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination, and dribbling after passing urine.
Finasteride is also used to treat early stages of male pattern hair loss or baldness.
Take Finasteride exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
Finasteride must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Finasteride is not indicated for use in women and children.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- prostate cancer
- urinary problems e.g. difficulty passing urine or decreased urine output
- liver disease
Finasteride can be absorbed through the skin. Pregnant women or women who may be pregnant must not handle and should avoid any contact with a broken or crushed tablet of this medicine. If accidental contact occurs, wash the affected area immediately with soap and water.
As Finasteride may be excreted in semen, you must use a condom or other effective birth control methods to prevent your partner from getting exposed to this medicine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to Finasteride regularly. You may also need to have routine blood tests (e.g. prostate-specific antigen test). Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Finasteride may cause any of the following side effects: decreased libido, inability to have or maintain an erection, ejaculation problems, and breast enlargement or tenderness.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
- changes in your breasts such as lumps, pain, or nipple discharge
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.