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Finasteride for men’s problems
16 Sep. 2014

FinasterideEvery year, we are introduced to hundreds of new drugs. Some of them cure our ails, some relieve our discomfort, and some are purely preventative. However, one thing that unites them is a purpose.

When it comes to Finasteride, its purpose is treating some “men’s problems”, specifically male pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia. While the name finasteride is mostly unknown to the populace, you might just know it by a different name. This is because finasteride comes under several names like Proscar and Propecia, based on which condition is being treated and which company produces the drug.

The development of finasteride began in 1975, when a research chief at the Merck pharmaceutical company learned of a possible way to reduce the prostate’s size. He devoted himself to research and achieved success in 1992, when it was approved by the FDA for treating BPH. Finasteride belongs to a class of drugs known as steroid reductase inhibitors. Reductase inhibitors affect the enzymes in the body, inhibiting them from carrying out certain tasks. The most common enzymes that this drug is compatible with include testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, aldosterone, and several others.

As was mentioned before, finasteride is a popular choice for treating male pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia. The former, also known as androgenetic alopecia is essentially a progressing condition characterized by stable hair loss from the scalp and/or face. In most cases, this condition only affects men of middle age and older, usually starting at the temples and slowly receding further. The latter – benign prostatic hyperplasia, to put it simply, can be described as an enlarged prostate. The enlargement occurs when stromal and epithelial cells in the prostate undergo hyperplasia, swelling and forming into sizeable nodules which sometimes cause urinary tract obstruction. This can become the cause of urinary retention, urinary hesitancy, and urinary tract infections. Thankfully, finasteride can treat this condition and prevent all the symptoms listed above.

Finasteride comes in the form of tablets, which should be administered orally. Its mechanism of action is based on blocking the production of testosterone and its conversion to dihydrotestosterone, the enzyme responsible for the prostate swelling. Like most drugs, finasteride may cause side effects after administration. These may include decreased libido, impotence, anxiety and mood swings. Treatment with Finasteride is not speedy, taking up to six months, but its effectiveness has been proven time and time again.

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