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PROSCAR                             to order

Chemical; Finasteride, excipients include; docusate sodium BP, hydroxypropyl cellulose EP, hypromellose EP, indigo carmine, aluminum lake E132, lactose EP, magnesium sterate EP, microcrystalline cellulose E460, pregelatinised maize starch BP, sodium starch glycollate BP, talc EP, titanium dioxide E171, yellow iron oxide E172. 

How does it work? 
Proscar belongs to a group of medicines called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. It works by shrinking the enlarged prostate gland in men. 

Who makes it? 
Merck Sharp and Dohme. 

Why do you need to take Proscar? 
Your doctor has prescribed Proscar for you because you have a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Your prostate gland, which is near your bladder, has become bigger and is making it more difficult for you to pass water. Proscar helps shrink the enlarged prostate and relieves your symptoms. 

What is the prostate? 
The prostate is a walnut sized gland found only in men. It is located below the bladder and it surrounds the urethra, a tube that carried urine from the bladder out through the tip of the penis. The prostate's main function is to produce fluid for semen, the fluid that carries sperm. 

What is BPH? 
BPH is a benign enlargement of the prostate gland, which is common in men over 50 years of age. Because the prostate is close to the bladder and surrounds part of the urethra, its enlargement may affect your ability to urinate. You may experience symptoms such as a need to urinate often, especially at night, a feeling that you must urinate right away, difficulty in starting to urinate, a weak or interrupted urinary stream, or a feeling that you cannot empty your bladder completely. If left untreated, BPH can lead to serious problems, including urinary tract infection and the inability to pass urine at all. For this reason, a man with symptoms of BPH should see his doctor. 

Are there patients who should not take these tablets? 
Yes, do not take if you are allergic to the ingredients. The condition for which Proscar is prescribed occurs only in men. Women or children must not take the tablets. 

What else should you know before taking Proscar? 
BPH is not cancer and does not lead to cancer, but the two conditions can be present at the same time. Before starting on Proscar it is likely that your doctor will perform some simple tests to check whether you have prostate cancer. Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and their possible causes. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions. Proscar is for men only. However, it is very important that women who are already pregnant, or who could become pregnant should not be exposed to Proscar, either by handling broken or crushed tablets or through sexual contact with a man taking Proscar. Since the normal development of the sex organs of a male baby (exposed prior to birth) could be affected. Therefore, if your sexual partner is or may become pregnant, you must avoid exposing her to your semen, which could contain a tiny amount of the drug. For example, by using a condom during sexual activity. Whole Proscar tablets are coated to prevent contact. If you are unsure about this or if it will be a problem for you, talk to your doctor before taking the tablets. 

Can you take Proscar with other medicines? 
Proscar does not usually interfere with other medicines. However, you should always tell your doctor about all medicines you are taking or planning to take, including any obtained without a prescription. 

How should you take Proscar? 
You should take your tablets as your doctor has told you. The dose is 1 tablet containing 5mg finasteride to be taken by mouth once a day with or without food. In order to treat your symptoms and control your BPH effectively, it is important that you continue to take Proscar for as long as your doctor prescribes it, even if you do not feel an immediate benefit. Some patients show early improvement in symptoms, but you may need to take Proscar for at least six months to see if Proscar helps you. Proscar works best when taken long term. 

What if you forget to take a tablet or take too many? 
If you miss a dose, just carry on with the next one. Do not take an extra tablet to make up. If you take too many tablets by mistake, contact your doctor immediately. 

What unwanted effects could Proscar have? 
Like any medicine, Proscar may have unintended or unwanted effects. These are uncommon and do not affect most men. Some men may notice changes in their sex lives. For example, impotence (an inability to have an erection) or decreased sex drive. Some men may have a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex. This does not appear to interfere with normal sexual function. In some men, such side effects disappear with time, even if Proscar is continued. In rare cases, some men have reported breast swelling and/ or tenderness, or allergic reactions, such as lip swelling and rash. If you experience these or any other unusual symptoms, go and see your doctor promptly. It will help if you make a note of what you experienced when it started and how long it lasted. If symptoms persist, they usually resolve upon discontinuing Proscar. 

How should your tablets be kept? 
Keep your tablets out of the reach of children. Store them in a dry place below 30 degrees Celsius. Do not put the tablets into another container, they might get mixed up. If you have been given a calendar pack, do not remove the tablets from the blister until you are ready to take the medicine. Do not take the tablets past the expiry date, which is clearly marked on the pack. Remember that this medicine is for you, do not share it with anyone else, it may not suit him or her.

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