Proscar side effects can cause some problems for men who take this medication for male pattern baldness or symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise known as an enlarged prostate. Proscar (finasteride) is also sold under the brand name Propecia. It is in a class of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
Proscar and Propecia work by inhibiting an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which is a hormone that stops hair growth and also leads to prostate enlargement. Some men who take these medications have found that the Propecia and Proscar side effects cause other health problems that affect their quality of life.
Men who take these drugs may experience adverse reactions that affect their sexual health as well as other aspects of their health. These sexual side effects can be very troubling to men and may last several months to several years after men stop taking the medication.
Propecia and Proscar side effects may include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Reduced sexual arousal
- Difficulties with orgasm
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Testicular pain
- Risk of high-grade prostate cancer
- Swelling of hands or feet
- Skin rash
- Runny nose
- Feeling faint
- Swelling or tenderness in the breast
Other safety warnings
In 2011, the FDA issued a safety warning regarding an increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer associated with the use of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, including Proscar and Propecia, as well as Avodart and Jalyn. All of these drugs now have a warning box on their labels indicating this increased risk.
Propecia and Proscar side effects can have a significant impact on the lives of men who use this drug. Before starting this or any medication, be sure to discuss the benefits and risks with your healthcare provider. Make sure your doctor and pharmacist have a complete list of all the medications you take to avoid drug interactions.
Read more in our BPH Health Center.