is a hormone that increases the size of the prostate gland. Finasteride belongs
to a class of drugs called 5 alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARI). Though incompletely
understood, 5ARI reduce the size of prostate partly by blocking the body's
ability to make dihydrotestosterone.
study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of finasteride and the results
were published in The Cochrane Library
. Long-term use of finasteride
improves urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia,
and reduces disease progression
. The benefits include reduced risk for
acute urinary retention and the need for surgical intervention.
efficacy of finasteride was found to be higher when used in combination with
doxazosin, an alpha blocker. Men with large prostates who use the drugs for at
least 1 year reap more benefits from finasteride compared to those with small
adverse effects are uncommon and include slightly increased risk for impotence,
erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and ejaculation disorder.
The new findings
about finasteride are significant since the worldwide incidence of BPH is on
the rise. Prostate enlargement is common in old age and causes urinary
difficulty. The current evidence is of immense public health importance.