What is Proscar?
Proscar is a medication for an enlarged prostate (medically referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). It’s a tablet that helps reduce the size of the prostate over a period of about six months. Proscar is a branded treatment. There is a generic version of Proscar, which just goes by the name of its active ingredient, Finasteride.
It’s usually older men that get BPH. Studies have shown that about 50% of men aged between 51 and 60 and 90% above 80 years old experience complications of an enlarged prostate. Needing to go to the toilet more often than usual, not being able to empty the bladder and low urine flow are all common symptoms and can be quite stressful to live with.
Proscar has proven to be an effective treatment for these symptoms and can stop them from interfering with your daily life.
How does Proscar work?
It’s not known exactly why BPH happens, but it occurs more in older men and is linked to the way the body deals with testosterone. In the body, the hormone testosterone naturally goes through a conversion into dihydrotestosterone. As men age, the rate of conversion from testosterone to dihydrotestosterone increases, and it’s this acceleration that causes the prostate to grow.
An enlarged prostate can make for uncomfortable symptoms. It’s possible to reduce these by making lifestyle changes, but sometimes treatment is needed.
Proscar works by reducing the size of your prostate gradually over time. The active ingredient, finasteride, blocks the activity of an enzyme, called 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme helps along the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. By stopping it, this hormone conversion slows, and eventually helps the prostate to shrink (relieving symptoms).
You’ll normally need to take it for six months for it to become fully effective, and carry on taking it long term.
What doses of Proscar are there?
Proscar tablets come in one dose: 5mg. You’ll take one tablet a day. You can get finasteride as a 1mg tablet called Propecia (or as a generic called Finasteride). It’s the same drug but at a lower dose, and is used to treat hair loss.
It takes around six months for Proscar to work at its best, but if you feel like it isn’t working, there are other treatment options available. Proscar is sometimes given in combination with another medication called tamsulosin, which helps to increase your urinary flow; so if Proscar alone doesn’t work, this may be an option.
If Proscar isn’t working for you, let us know, and we’ll discuss other options with you.