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How Much Does Finasteride Shrink The Prostate

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Is It Linked With Prostate Cancer

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The answer, according to the latest studies as of 2018, is no. In fact, finasteride reduces the risk of getting a low-grade prostate cancer. One study did show it may cause a more aggressive form of prostate cancer if you were to get it, but later studies have shown the numbers behind this are not statistically significant.

The authoritative source for this conclusion is the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial conducted in 1993 with follow up studies in 2013 and 2018. It was a randomized clinical trial designed to see whether the drug finasteride could prevent prostate cancer in men aged 55 and older. The participants were in good health and did not show any symptoms or signs of prostate cancer. The trial was placebo controlled. Participants who didnât get finasteride got a dummy pill. None of the patients knew whether they were taking real finasteride or a dummy pill.

Finasteride Vs Flomax: Comparison Of Effectiveness

As men age, they are more likely to suffer from medical conditions resulting from changing hormone levels in their bodies, including enlarged prostate. Also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia , the condition can cause a number of uncomfortable urinary symptoms that get worse with age.

Two popular medications that have shown significant improvements for the treatment of urinary BPH symptoms include finasteride and Flomax. If you are considering taking either medication, youll be interested to read the comparison of effectiveness between the two here.

Do Prostate Medicines Make Penis Shrink

Q. Taking Avodart triggered the onset of both erectile dysfunction and reduced ejaculate for me. I took it for two years my prostate did not shrink, but my penis did.

These sexual side effects linger. Five years later, I still have ED and low ejaculate. The symptom of frequent nightly urination, however, has ceased to be a problem. Will the sexual side effects ever go away?

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Supplements That Show Promise

Other supplements show hopeful signs of helping in studies so far, but thereâs less research on these than the more common options.

Pumpkin seeds: These and pumpkin seed oil extract seem to help with BPH symptoms and may shrink the size of the prostate. It may also be helpful when used along with other supplements such as saw palmetto.

Stinging nettle: This is a type of herb, and its root may help with urine flow and waking up a lot at night to pee. Itâs sometimes used along with other supplements to treat BPH symptoms.

Drugs For Prostate Enlargement:

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A. Medications that shrink the prostate include dutasteride and finasteride . These drugs are prescribed to treat symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. Lower dose finasteride is also prescribed for male pattern baldness.

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported persistent sexual side effects in men who took finasteride. These included reduced sexual arousal, lower ejaculate volume, erection difficulties and inability to reach orgasm. The study subjects also complained of smaller penis size and reduced sensation. It is not clear how long these complications may last.

Dutasteride is likely to have similar side effects . In fact, a study in rats demonstrated that dutasteride does affect the penis as well as the prostate . A meta-analysis revealed that many men treated for benign prostate enlargement with one of these medications frequently experience adverse sexual side effects .

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Some Side Effects Can Be Serious If You Experience Any Of These Symptoms Call Your Doctor Immediately:

  • changes in the breasts such as increased size, lumps, pain, or nipple discharge
  • rash
  • swelling of the lips and face
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing

Finasteride may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Taking finasteride may increase the risk that you will develop high-grade prostate cancer . Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking finasteride.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

Medications For Erectile Dysfunction

Three medications have been approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: sildenafil , tadalafil , and vardenafil . These medications are all PDE-5 inhibitors, which generate nitric oxide, a chemical that enables arteries to widen. The increased blood flow to the penis helps to produce an erection. The problem is that arteries elsewhere in the body widen as well, causing a slight drop in blood pressure.

If you are considering an erectile dysfunction medication, you dont have to worry if you are also on one of the 5alpha-reductase inhibitors for your BPH: The drugs can be taken together without adverse effects. However, if you are currently using, or considering, an alpha-1 blocker, you may want to take some precautions when adding one of the PDE-5 inhibitors.

Heres why: Because the PDE-5 inhibitors cause a system-wide drop in blood pressure, theoretically they can exacerbate the blood pressurelowering action of the nonselective alpha-1 blockers doxazosin and terazosin. This seems especially to be a problem when taking sildenafil and vardenafil tadalafil is a longer-acting PDE-5 inhibitor, and the risks are less clear.

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Linking Patient Data To Gain New Insights

They matched participants with Medicare claims data and found 75 percent of the PCPT participants were in the Medicare system. The researchers, who included Dr. Ian Thompson Jr. of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital, Dr. Dawn Hershman of Columbia University Medical Center, and Drs. Scott Ramsey and Catherine Tangen of Fred Hutch, then created an algorithm to flag PCPT participants on Medicare whoâd been diagnosed with and/or treated for prostate cancer.

A total of 3,244 PCPT participants developed the disease in the 16 years since the initiation of the original trial: 1,805 of those received placebo and 1,439 had taken finasteride. Overall, researchers found men whoâd taken finasteride had a 21 percent decreased risk of getting prostate cancer over the course of 16 years compared to those who took placebo.

âThese findings raise the intriguing possibility that seven years of finasteride can reduce prostate cancer diagnoses over a much longer period than was previously shown,â Unger said. âItâs a low-cost generic drug, with minimal side effects, that can have a benefit that lasts long after men stop taking it.â

Side effects of finasteride include decreased libido, impotence, and decreased ejaculate volume. Potential side effects of prostate cancer treatment, according to Fred Hutchâs clinical care partner Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, include infertility, incontinence, reduced libido, decreased ejaculate volume, and impotence.

What Is The Dosage Of Dutaseride Vs Finasteride

Should Men Take Finasteride to Prevent Prostate Cancer?

Dutasteride dosage: The recommended dose of dutasteride is 0.5 mg once daily do not chew the medication and do not administer to pediatric patients.

Finasteride dosage: Finasteride is metabolized mainly by the liver, and caution should be used in patients with liver dysfunction. Finasteride may be taken with or without food.

Recommended Reading: Does An Enlarged Prostate Affect A Man Sexually

What If I Cant Have Surgery

Surgery isnt always an option you may not be fit or well enough for an operation, or you may not like the idea of it. If surgery isnt suitable for you and lifestyle changes and medicines havent worked, your doctor or nurse may suggest using a catheter. This is a thin, flexible tube used to drain urine from your bladder. The catheter may be permanent or temporary.

A permanent catheter is passed up into the bladder through your penis, or through a small cut in your abdomen. The catheter is usually attached to a drainage bag, which you strap on to your body under your clothing. Your doctor or nurse will usually change your catheter every 12 weeks.

A temporary catheter is where you put a catheter in yourself when you need to urinate, rather than leaving one in all the time. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to put the catheter in and tell you how often to use it. Some men can urinate quite well without a catheter and only use it once a day to make sure they empty their bladder regularly. Other men need to use a temporary catheter several times a day.

You can lower your chances of getting a urine infection by keeping your catheter and the area around it clean. You may find the following tips helpful.

Let your nurse know if your catheter isnt draining properly. If urine hasnt drained from your bladder for 2 to 3 hours, contact your GP or district nurse straight away.

Read Also: Would You Expect A Male With Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia To Have Difficulty With Ejaculation

How To Use Finasteride Oral

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking finasteride and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, usually once a day, or as directed by your doctor.

If the tablet is crushed or broken, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or by a woman who may become pregnant .

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

It may take 6-12 months to notice a benefit.

Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

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Finasteride Can Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk Long Term

A drug used to treat enlarged prostate or hair loss in men has been shown to have a long-term protective effect against prostate cancer.

The study, led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center biostatistician Dr. Joe Unger and recently published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, linked data from a large prostate cancer clinical trial conducted by the clinical trial network SWOG with Medicare claims data to determine that the steroid tablet finasteride could protect men from developing the cancer for up to 16 years.

The original NCI-funded study, known as the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, set out to determine if finasteride could prevent prostate cancer in men ages 55 and older. That study, which came to an end in 2003, found finasteride use for seven years reduced a manâs risk of developing prostate cancer by 25 percent and that the protective benefit lasted through that seven-year period, which is how long the study followed participants.

Unger and his colleagues went back to the PCPT cohort of nearly 19,000 healthy men to see if finasteride offered a longer-term benefit.

Blood In Urine/bladder Stones

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A number of factors associated with enlarged prostate can cause blood in the urine: Enlarged veins in the prostate can rupture, or if youre forcing hard to urinate, that can also rupture veins. Blood in the urine can also be a sign of a UTI. Urine retention in your bladder can also cause bladder stones. These occur when urine becomes concentrated and crystallizes. They can be very painful and can further block the flow of urine. However, its unlikely that bladder stones would be the first noticeable symptom of an enlarged prostate, Dr. Linehan says.

Recommended Reading: Prostate Cancer Spread To Bone Marrow

What To Do In Case You Take Too Much Finasteride Oral Tablet

If you think youve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get finasteride oral tablets from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The of the Food and Drug Administration is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Finasteride Oral Tablet Precautions

Before taking finasteride oral tablets, talk with your doctor about your health history. Finasteride oral tablets may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

* For more information about this side effect, see Does finasteride treat, prevent, or cause prostate cancer? in the Common questions about finasteride oral tablet section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of finasteride oral tablet, see the Finasteride oral tablet side effects section above.

Do not use more finasteride oral tablets than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

Recommended Reading: Does An Enlarged Prostate Affect A Man Sexually

Does Finasteride Alleviate Symptoms

Just after it was approved by the FDA, a large-scale study was conducted examining the efficacy of Finasteride.

Eight hundred ninety-five subjects with BPH were randomized to receive a placebo or 1 or 5 mg of Finasteride over one year .

The primary outcome measures consisted of a symptom score and a peak flow rate, although measurements of prostate size were also recorded.

The symptom score measures the total scores of nine symptoms:

The group taking the normal 5 mg oral dose of Finasteride per day showed a statistical improvement in symptoms compared with the placebo group .

Another group taking a lower dose of finasteride saw no statistical improvement in symptoms over the placebo group.

Further studies have demonstrated that this response is associated with prostate size at the beginning of the treatment.

Boyle et al, 1996, undertook a meta-analysis of six randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials to provide a more thorough consensus.

The conclusion was that men with smaller prostate saw little-to-no symptomatic relief when compared to men with larger prostates.

Approximately 80% of the variation in treatment effect between studies was attributed to differences in mean prostate size. The beneficial effects are most pronounced in men with enlarged prostates .

In general, Finasteride seems to cause a modest improvement to BPH symptoms after being taken for a 12-month period.

Mtops Study And Reanalysis

BPH Treatment: How Proscar, Avodart and Flomax Work

McConnell JD, Roehrborn CG, Bautista OM, et al. The Long-Term Effect of Doxazosin, Finasteride, and Combination Therapy on the Clinical Progression of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. New England Journal of Medicine 2003 349:238798. PMID: 14681504.

Marberger M. The MTOPS Study: New Findings, New Insights, and Clinical Implications for the Management of BPH. European Urology Supplements 2006 5:62833.

Some men with large prostates try combination therapy to get fast relief for their symptoms from the alpha-1 blockers. In six months or so, when the 5alpha-reductase inhibitors begin taking effect, these men may stop taking the alpha-1 blockers.

However, you should consider two additional pieces of information when contemplating whether to start combination therapy: cost and side effects. First, taking two pills is more expensive. If you have to pay for medications on your own, or if your insurance company requires some type of co-pay, you may want to figure cost into the equation. Second, although the MTOPS study found that side effects were similar whether men took one drug or the combination, many experts feel differently, based on the patients they see.

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Finasteride Oral Tablet Side Effects

Finasteride oral tablets can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking this drug. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of finasteride oral tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect youve had with finasteride oral tablets, you can do so through MedWatch.

What Are The Uses For Dutaseride Vs Finasteride

Dutasteride is used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. It improves symptoms of enlarged prostate, reduces retaining of urine, and reduces the risk of the need for prostate surgery.

Finasteride is prescribed for the treatment of enlarged prostate under the brand name “Proscar.” Finasteride also is prescribed to treat male pattern baldness in androgenetic alopecia in males only, under the brand name Propecia.

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How To Take Finasteride

  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about finasteride and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take finasteride exactly as your doctor tells you to. Take one 5 mg tablet each day.
  • You can take the tablet either before or after a meal, but try to take it at the same time of day each day. This will help you to remember to take your doses regularly.
  • If you forget to take a dose on time, take it when you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

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