How can Propecia result in Prostate cancer?

How can Propecia result in Prostate cancer?

Propecia is a medical drug available to us under the generic name Finasteride which belongs to a class of medication called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. This medicine is used alone or as a combination with to treat enlarged prostate in men by shrinking them. It is also used to treat hair loss or pattern baldness in men. 

Working mechanism

Propecia belongs to a class of medication called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors that generally works by blocking the action of 5-alpha reductase enzyme. When testosterone is converted into another hormone, it causes the prostate to grow or hair loss in males. The increase in testosterone in the body will decrease prostate size and increase hair growth in the scalp. Since less testosterone is being converted, serum levels of testosterone do increase in patients taking Propecia.

How to use Propecia?

Propceia is available to us in a form of pill that must be taken by mouth with or without food as per your doctor’s prescription. It is usually taken once a day daily. Swallow the tablet whole rather than chewing or crushing it in your mouth. The dosage and length of the treatment is based on your medical condition, response to the treatment and other medicine that you may be taking for the same or different reason. Your doctor may start you with a low dose which will increase gradually.

Take the medicine daily at the same time to get the most benefits from it. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed as this may also increase the risk of side effects without any improvement in your condition. Also in case of withdrawal from this medicine, it must be gradually decreased rather than immediate withdrawal. Discuss all the other medicines that you might be taking along with Propecia for the same or different reasons. Follow the medical prescription carefully and inform your doctor in case of any exception or confusion. 

How long does Propecia take to work? 

Propecia is a kind of medicine that does not work instinctively. You may feel a noticeable improvement in your symptoms or condition in the initial days of medication. However, Propecia may take around 6 months to deliver its maximum benefits. Also for hair loss problems, it may take 3-6 months to show improvement.

Side effects of Propecia

Common side effects observed while medicating with Finasteride are decreased sexual desire, decreased sexual ability, decrease in amount of semen release during sex or hair growth may occur. Inform your doctor if these conditions persist or get worse.

There are some serious side effects which must be informed to the doctor right away if observed such as a lump in the breast, nipple discharge, breast enlargement/pain, inability to urinate, pain in testicles, etc. There are also some severe allergic reactions involved with these medications which require immediate medical attention if observed such as rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing, severe dizziness, etc.

As per several studies, propecia is not expected to increase risk of high grade prostate cancer. It increases the testosterone level in the body which increases hair growth in the scalp and decreases the enlarged prostate size.


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