Finasteride: The First 5α-Reductase Inhibitor

    July 1993 in “ Pharmacotherapy
    S. Lynn Sudduth, Michael J. Koronkowski
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    TLDR Finasteride treats enlarged prostate and baldness, but may cause limited urinary improvement and sex-related side effects.
    Finasteride is a drug that inhibits the enzyme 5α-reductase, which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness. Studies have shown that it can effectively reduce DHT levels and prostate volume in patients with BPH, but its efficacy in improving urinary symptoms is limited. Finasteride may also reduce the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which can interfere with diagnostic screening for prostate cancer. The drug has low adverse events, but may cause sex-related side effects. Its potential use in treating other DHT-mediated disorders remains investigational.
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