Active Substance: Finasteride
Product name: Finasteride, Proscar
Finastelad 1 mg (Finasteride) (Chemical Formula is C₂₃H₃₆N₂O₂) is a medication commonly used to treat hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia in men. It has also been used off-label to treat other medical issues and by bodybuilders and athletes for its performance-enhancing properties.
In 1975, Dr. Vagelos successfully created a drug that could treat older men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia based on a study of the same condition found in a group of intersex children in the Caribbean who appeared to be sexually ambiguous at birth. It was then first synthesized in the late 1970s by Merck & Co. as a potential prostate cancer treatment. Early clinical trials found that Finasteride did not reduce the risk of prostate cancer but reduced the size of enlarged prostates. In 1992, the FDA approved Finasteride for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In 1997, the FDA approved Finasteride for treating male pattern baldness under the brand name Propecia. Propecia was the first FDA-approved pill to treat male pattern baldness. It was tagged as the 86th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States in 2017, with over nine million prescriptions issued.
Drug Identification/ Chemistry and Pharmacology
Finasteride is categorized as a synthetic 4-azasteroid compound; it thus binds and inhibits steroid type II 5-alpha-reductase in the prostate gland, liver, and skin, which causes to hinder the alteration of enzymatic conversion of testosterone to 5-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and in turn reducing serum DHT levels. Said reduction in serum DHT levels results in reduced stimulation of androgen receptors in the nuclei of prostate cells and, therefore, weakens prostate cell propagation. It has a molecular weight of 372.5 g/mol.
Finasteride has been used off-label by bodybuilders and athletes for its performance-enhancing properties. Finasteride is believed to increase levels of free testosterone in the body, which can lead to increased muscle mass and strength. It also has a mild diuretic effect, which can reduce water retention and help bodybuilders achieve a leaner physique.
In addition, Finasteride has been used to reduce the risk of gynecomastia, a condition caused by an imbalance of hormones that can lead to the growth of male breast tissue. By blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, Finasteride can reduce the risk of gynecomastia.
The most common side effects of Finasteride are:
Other side effects may include:
Rare side effects include:
Talking to your doctor before taking Finasteride to discuss any potential side effects is essential.
Finasteride is usually taken orally once a day, with or without food. It is crucial to take Finasteride precisely as prescribed by your doctor. You should only take what is prescribed and not take it more or less often than directed. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.
Precautions Before Taking Finasteride And Its Handling
Tell your doctor or health care provider about your medical history and other medications that are previously taken so they can guide you or prevent you from allergic reactions to the said drug because Finasteride may interact with other substances you have administered. Always disclose other prescription and non-prescription drugs you have, whether vitamins, supplements, or other herbal supplements that may have contraindications.
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