Proscar is a hormonal drug. It belongs to the class of medicines known as the inhibitors of 5-alpha reductase (which converts testosterone into a more potent form of the male sex hormone called dihydrotestosterone) and has anti-androgenic properties. Proscar is widely used in the treatment of male pattern baldness (alopecia) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate adenoma).
Proscar blocks male hormone testosterone from transforming into dihydrotestosterone. This modified testosterone is produced in target organ cells and may cause many unpleasant symptoms:
- excessive sebum production;
- acne and comedones;
- unwanted male pattern hair growth in women.
Moreover, dihydrotestosterone promotes proliferation of prostate cancer and may lead to prostate gland hypertrophy (enlargement) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (increased glandular proliferation), testicular disruption and exocrine tumors.
However, it also helps to increase sexual desire and potency. Thus, testosterone levels decrease due to inhibition of the biological catalyst.
The drug can be used for the treatment of:
- glandular proliferation of different origins;
- dysuria; and
- to prevent acute urinary retention;
- to avoid hair loss.
Proscar is well tolerated in patients with kidney diseases and chronic renal failure. The half-life of the drug is prolonged in elderly and senile patients, but this doesn’t affect the efficiency of therapy and the patients’ health.
By reducing testosterone levels, Proscarа may cause the following side effects:
- low libido;
- pain in the scrotum;
- low sperm count and quality, as well as poor sperm motility;
- excessive subcutaneous fat in the mammary glands;
- reduction of prostate-specific antigen;
- allergic reactions;
- development or exacerbation of arrhythmia or atrial flutter;
- high liver enzymes (ALT and AST);
- itching and dermatitis;
- asthenic syndrome: malaise, reduced stress resistance, irritability and depression.
Contraindications to the use of Proscar include:
- allergy to any of the drug components;
- women and children under 18 years of age (because the main ingredient of the drug deeply penetrates the skin, causing hormonal imbalance and reproductive disorders). In case of contact with skin, rinse the affected area completely;
- acute bacterial prostatitis;
- loss of bladder tone and impaired bladder control;
- malign neoplasms; in this case, you need to undergo a full physical examination;
- drivers and persons whose work requires an increased concentration, should take this drug with caution;
- urinary tract obstruction of any origin (to avoid ureteral obstruction and acute renal failure);
- hepatic impairment.
The main benefit of the drug is that it is compatible with many different drug groups (including hypotensive drugs, antiplatelet agents, cardiac glycosides, cytostatics, antibiotics, antimicrobials, hypolipidemic drugs and GI stimulants).
Proscar is incompatible with sorbents (because they absorb the active substance of the drug) and alcohol (as it can increase the risk of poorly differentiated prostate cancers that are difficult to treat). No cases of Proscar overdose have been observed.
Andrologists and trichologists often use the combination of minoxidil and Proscar to prevent hair loss and destruction of hair follicles, as well as to promote hair growth.