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Entadfi (Generic Finasteride)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Finasteride is commonly prescribed for two main reasons:

  • Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): Finasteride is FDA-approved for the treatment of BPH, a condition characterized by an enlarged prostate gland. By inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, finasteride reduces the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which helps to shrink the prostate gland, relieving symptoms such as difficulty urinating, frequent urination, and incomplete bladder emptying.
  • Treatment of Male Pattern Baldness (Androgenetic Alopecia): Finasteride is also prescribed for androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male pattern baldness. It works similarly by inhibiting DHT production, which is known to shrink hair follicles in genetically predisposed individuals. By reducing DHT levels, finasteride can slow down or even reverse hair loss in some men, promoting hair regrowth and preventing further hair thinning.

How should this medicine be used?

Finasteride is typically taken orally in the form of a tablet. The recommended dosage for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is usually 5 milligrams (mg) once a day, while for male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), the dosage is typically 1 mg once a day.

Here are some general guidelines for using Finasteride:

  • Follow Doctor’s Instructions: Always take Finasteride exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed.
  • Take with or without Food: Finasteride can be taken with or without food. However, it’s important to maintain consistency in how you take it.
  • Regular Use: It’s essential to take Finasteride regularly to see its full benefits. It may take several months of regular use before you notice any improvement in symptoms, particularly for male pattern baldness.
  • Do Not Crush or Chew: Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet before swallowing it.
  • Keep Track of Dosage: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
  • Be Patient: It may take some time to notice improvements in symptoms, especially for conditions like male pattern baldness. Stick to the prescribed regimen and be patient.
  • Regular Check-ups: Your doctor may schedule regular check-ups to monitor your progress and assess any side effects. Be sure to attend these appointments and inform your doctor of any concerns or changes in your condition.
  • Pregnancy Warning: If you’re a woman who may become pregnant, you should not handle crushed or broken Finasteride tablets, as it can be absorbed through the skin and may cause harm to a male fetus.

Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about how to use Finasteride properly.

Other uses for this medicine

In addition to its primary uses for male pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia, Finasteride may also be prescribed off-label for other conditions such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth in women), prostate cancer, and transgender hormone therapy to suppress testosterone levels.

What special precautions should I follow?

Here are some special precautions to consider when using Finasteride:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: As mentioned earlier, Finasteride should not be handled by pregnant women or women who may become pregnant, as it can cause harm to a developing male fetus. It is also not recommended for use during breastfeeding.
  • Prostate cancer screening: Finasteride may decrease levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood, which can interfere with the detection of prostate cancer. If you are undergoing prostate cancer screening, make sure to inform your healthcare provider that you are taking Finasteride.
  • Liver function: Finasteride is metabolized in the liver, so individuals with liver impairment should use it with caution. Dosage adjustments may be necessary in these cases.
  • Sexual side effects: Some users of Finasteride may experience sexual side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and decreased ejaculate volume. These side effects may persist even after discontinuing the medication in some cases. If you experience any of these side effects, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
  • Mental health: There have been reports of depression and suicidal ideation in individuals taking Finasteride. If you experience changes in mood or mental health while taking Finasteride, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly.
  • Interactions: Finasteride may interact with other medications, including certain alpha-blockers used to treat high blood pressure or prostate conditions. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal remedies you are taking before starting Finasteride.
  • Regular monitoring: Your healthcare provider may recommend regular monitoring of your prostate health and other relevant parameters while taking Finasteride to ensure its effectiveness and safety.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and advice regarding the use of Finasteride, and do not hesitate to raise any concerns or questions you may have about its use.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary instructions associated with taking Finasteride. However, maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can support overall health, which may indirectly benefit your condition.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Finasteride, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Finasteride, like any medication, can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects associated with Finasteride use include:

  • Sexual side effects: These may include decreased libido (sex drive), erectile dysfunction (difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection), and decreased ejaculate volume.
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement: Some individuals may experience breast tenderness, swelling, or enlargement (gynecomastia) while taking Finasteride.
  • Skin rash or itching: Occasionally, Finasteride may cause skin reactions such as rash or itching.
  • Testicular pain: Some individuals may experience discomfort or pain in the testicles while taking Finasteride.
  • Depression and mood changes: There have been reports of depression and changes in mood, including anxiety and suicidal thoughts, in individuals taking Finasteride.
  • Allergic reactions: In rare cases, Finasteride can cause allergic reactions, which may manifest as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, or hives.

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may tolerate Finasteride well without any adverse effects. Additionally, side effects may vary in severity from person to person.

If you experience any concerning side effects while taking Finasteride, it’s essential to inform your healthcare provider promptly. They can evaluate your symptoms and determine whether any adjustments to your treatment plan are necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal:

  • Storage: Store Finasteride tablets at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the medication in its original packaging and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of expired or unused Finasteride tablets properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so. Instead, consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal authority for safe disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of an emergency or overdose situation involving Finasteride, contact your local poison control center (in the United States, you can call 1-800-222-1222) or seek emergency medical assistance immediately. Symptoms of an overdose may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)

What other information should I know?

  • Follow-up appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider while taking Finasteride, especially if you are being treated for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer.
  • Laboratory tests: Your healthcare provider may order periodic laboratory tests, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, to monitor your response to Finasteride therapy and evaluate your prostate health.
  • Interaction with healthcare providers: Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care, including doctors, dentists, and pharmacists, that you are taking Finasteride. This is important for proper coordination of your healthcare and to prevent potential drug interactions.
  • Regular use: Take Finasteride regularly as prescribed by your healthcare provider to achieve the best results. It may take several months of consistent use before you notice improvements in your condition.
  • Patient information leaflet: Read the patient information leaflet provided with your medication for detailed instructions on proper use, potential side effects, and other important information.
  • Avoiding sharing: Do not share Finasteride tablets with others, even if they have similar symptoms or conditions, as it may not be appropriate or safe for them.

By following these guidelines and staying informed about the proper use, storage, disposal, and potential risks of Finasteride, you can use the medication safely and effectively under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

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