Proscar is a unique compound that counters some of the negative effects of
testosterone in the body.
It blocks an enzyme that converts testosterone
to a more potent hormone called 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT for short).
This testosterone derivative is apparently responsible in most cases for
the gradual enlargement of the prostate gland that occurs as a man ages.
It may also have a role to play in male-pattern baldness.
Proscar is prescribed to treat the symptoms of benign prostatic
hypertrophy (BPH–noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland).
Although prostate tissue actually shrinks in most men who take Proscar,
only about half or possibly fewer will get good relief from symptoms such as
A man must take Proscar for 6 months before the
benefits of the medicine can be assessed.
Side Effects and Interactions
Proscar is usually very well tolerated and side
effects are uncommon.
A few men have experienced impotence, lower sex
drive or less ejaculate. Report any symptoms to your physician.
significant drug interactions have shown up in the medical literature. As
doctors and patients acquire more experience with Proscar, however, that may
Common sense would suggest that men taking Proscar, which acts
in a similar manner to saw
palmetto berry extract, should avoid the herbal product except under a
physician’s recommendation and monitoring.
Check with your doctor and
pharmacist to make sure Proscar is safe in combination with any other drugs you
DHT is crucial for the normal development of a male fetus and is important in early male sexual development. Proscar should never be administered to children or women for this reason.
The manufacturer warns that pregnant women should not handle crushed Proscar tablets nor be exposed to the semen of a patient on Proscar to avoid possible harm to a male infant.
Because Proscar is relatively new, the long-term experience with it is limited. Periodic physical examination of the prostate is recommended for men on Proscar.
Taking the Medicine
Proscar is taken once a day with or without meals.
It should be stored at temperatures
below 86 degrees F in a tightly closed container.