The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It lies on top of the tube, which connects the urethra to the bladder. Enlargement of the gland might happen due to a number of reasons. The enlargement leads to increased pressure on the bladder ad urethra. This will result to symptoms associated with infections in the urinary canal. 

Enlargement of the prostate is mainly seen in elderly men. It is dependent on conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

Proscar mode of action

In treatment of the condition, drugs can be used. Proscar is the drug of choice in such a case. It contains finasteride as the active ingredient. It is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. 5-alpha reductase enzyme converts testosterone in to dihydrotestosterone. Through this reduction, testosterone is not activated. When this is the case, the enlargement will be reduced. 

The drug should be taken once a day. It can be taken with or without food. In case you have missed a dose, you should not panic. You should continue with the next dose as scheduled. Double doses should not be taken in covering for the missed one. 

Improvement in the symptoms might be experienced a short while after starting the medication. However, this is not always the case because of individual characteristics. Some men will start noticing positive effects 6 months after starting to take the medication.

Effects on other body systems

The drug has been noted to decrease the semen quality in healthy people. Therefore, you might have difficulties fathering a child. It is crucial to discuss the issue of fertility with your physician before you start on the medication.

While on this medication, condom should be worn during sex. In case conception occurs, the drug will be passed unto the unborn child. The fetus can develop several congenital malformation which might induce miscarriage. Even if the pregnancy is carried to term, the baby is likely to have abnormalities.

Effect on blood donation and pregnancy

Men who are taking Proscar are not allowed to donate blood. This is the case even after discontinuation of the medication for at least 4 weeks. If the blood is administered to pregnant women it will cause harm to the developing fetus.

Pregnant women should not touch broken or crushed tablets of Proscar because it is also absorbed though the skin to reach the fetus. Whole tablets are coated and the drug will not be absorbed.

Proscar and breast cancer

Breast cancer is experienced in a higher percentage of the patients using Proscar. Routine screening is important. You should contact your doctor in case you note nipple discharges, pain or lumps. The drug costs around one dollar per tablet.