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Finasteride (enlarged prostate)


Finasteride is a drug used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, and works by reducing testosterone conversion in the body.

We do not provide BPH treatments through our site. If you are looking to renew your prescription for this item, we recommend you contact your GP.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

10 March 2022
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 10 March 2022
Product information

Finasteride is a medicine which treats BPH, also known as an enlarged prostate. It is a generic version of the treatment otherwise sold as Propecia; although it is not used for the same purpose as it contains a different concentration of the active ingredient. A long-term course, Finasteride, which is a tablet marketed in the UK by Milpharm, is taken once daily. It works by interfering with the enzymatic conversion of testosterone in the body.

  1. Simple course, one tablet a day
  2. Helps to combat BPH symptoms 
  3. Widely-used treatment

Enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is a condition which can cause difficulty during urination. It can also increase the frequency with which the person experiencing symptoms needs to pass urine and can also interrupt consistent urinary flow.

The presence of blood when passing urine is one which you address with your doctor as soon as possible.

BPH is often not serious, and can be easily treated. However, the condition is not one that should be ignored. Possible complications include infection of the bladder or urinary tract, which may eventually require surgery. An enlarged prostate can also be an indicator of cancer of the gland, so it is important to seek medical advice if problems with urination occur.

The prostate gland is responsible for the production of a thick white fluid, which when combined with sperm made by the testicles, eventually becomes semen. BPH occurs when the prostate, which is situated between the penis and the bladder, swells and causes an obstruction by exerting pressure on the urethra.

Why BPH happens is not yet fully understood. The condition generally affects men who are aged 50 or over, and is thought to be the result of increased testosterone conversion in the body, into dihydrotestosterone. Medications such as finasteride work by inhibiting this process. They do this by limiting the activity of the enzyme, 5-alpha reductase, which is responsible for this conversion.

This medication is not available to buy from our site. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of BPH, we recommend you speak to your doctor in person. They will be able to discuss your symptoms with you, and refer you for tests where required.

Page last reviewed:  10/03/2022


Make sure you use this item as directed by your prescriber, and that you read the instructions provided in the patient information leaflet fully prior to first use. This will help you to optimise the function of the treatment and limit the risk of side effects.

  1. Take as directed.
  2. For the majority of users, this will be one tablet taken daily.
  3. Some people may notice positive effects after a short period of use. However, it may take around six months for improvements to be seen in a large number of cases. The treatment is a long-term one.
  4. Do not exceed the amount prescribed.
  5. If you forget to take it, do not compensate with a double dose. Simply take your next administration as scheduled.

This is not a detailed account of the instructions you will need to follow when using this item. For more, please refer to the leaflet supplied.


Page last reviewed:  10/03/2022
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Finasteride 5mg

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

This medication may cause side effects in some users. It is important to be aware of these prior to use, as some of them may require further attention from a doctor. Seek immediate medical advice if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching, hives or swelling; or any changes in the consistency of breast tissue.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):

Impotence, loss of libido, or ejaculation problems.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Swollen breasts or tenderness.

Frequency unknown:

Palpitations, decreased liver function, or testicular pain.

This is not a complete account of the side effects associated with this treatment. More detailed information can be found in the provided leaflet.

Taking it with other medicines

Inform your prescriber when undergoing consultation if you are taking any other medications.

Conditions to look out for

Let your prescriber know during consultation if you have any medical conditions, past or present, as some may inhibit your ability to use this treatment safely. Those who are unable to tolerate certain sugars, such as lactose, may not be suited to this treatment. It may also not be safe for those who have excess residual urine or decreased flow.

The drug is not suitable for women, and as it can be absorbed through the skin, should not be handled by anyone other than the user. Please note that the drug can be present in semen, so it is important to use a condom during sex, particularly if your partner is pregnant.

Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility

This medicine must not be taken by women.

Women who are pregnant or able to become pregnant should not handle finasteride tablets or capsules.

Finasteride can be present in the semen of men using this treatment. If your partner is pregnant or able to become pregnant, it is crucial to take appropriate precautions during intercourse, such as using a condom, to avoid exposing your partner to the drug.

Driving and using machinery

This drug is not likely to inhibit your capacity to use machines or drive.

Lactose intolerance

Finasteride film-coated tablets contain lactose. Let your prescriber know if you are intolerant to any sugars.

Page last reviewed:  10/03/2022
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Finasteride 5mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

Yes. It is not thought that alcohol will affect how this item works.

Will I still be able to drive?

Yes. Your capacity to drive should not be hindered by the use of this medication. However, you should refrain from driving and let your doctor know if you experience any side effects which may make driving dangerous.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

It is not suitable for women.

Those men using this treatment should make sure they use a condom during sex with their partner, as the drug can establish a presence in the semen.

How should I store it?

Keep the drug at room temperature, out of the reach of children.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Finasteride tablets consist of the following ingredients: finasteride, lactose monohydrate, cellulose microcrystalline, sodium starch glycolate (type A), starch pregelatinised (maize), docusate sodium, magnesium stearate, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, talc, titanium dioxide, indigo carmine aluminium lake (E132), iron oxide yellow (E172).

Do not take this drug if you are allergic to any of the above.

Is it available over-the-counter?

To buy Finasteride from any UK pharmacy, you will first need to consult with a doctor. The nature and symptoms of BPH require that you undergo certain checks prior to medication being issued.

Is it right for me?

Your GP or specialist will determine the most suitable treatment for you during your regular prostate review, and initiate a prescription.

To renew your prescription for Finasteride, get in touch with your GP.


Page last reviewed:  10/03/2022
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