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Proscar is a treatment used to relieve BPH, or an enlarged prostate, and is manufactured by Merck Sharp and Dohme.

This medication is not available to buy on our site.

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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

15 February 2021
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 15 February 2021
Product information

Proscar is a tablet treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. It contains an agent with works by inhibiting the function of an enzyme in the body. This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a process which can cause the prostate gland to swell.

  1. One a day tablet
  2. Issued widely for BPH
  3. Effective at relieving symptoms

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also referred to as an enlarged prostate, and is not a serious condition in most cases. The prostate gland plays a vital part in the male body’s production of semen. It generates a white, thick substance, which ultimately becomes mixed with sperm, produced by the testicles. This fluid acts as a vehicle for sperm, allowing it to travel through the womb after ejaculation.

Over time, particularly in men who are aged 50 and over, this gland can grow in size. Its situation, between the penis and the bladder, means that when it does increase in size, it puts pressure on the urethra. This can result in the decreased flow of urine out of the body, causing the person experiencing the condition to strain when going to the toilet. It may also result in increased urinary frequency or urgency, discomfort, and in rarer cases the appearance of blood in the urine.

In any case, the presence of blood is something you should seek advice from your doctor about, as it may be indicative of a more serious problem. Your practitioner should be notified if you experience any problems when urinating, particularly if they persist, as they will need to rule out the presence of more serious conditions.

Why BPH occurs is not yet completely known. The reason why it is thought to happen predominantly in older men is linked to the way the body deals with testosterone. In middle-aged men, the rate of conversion from testosterone to dihydrotestosterone is higher, and it is this which facilitates the growth of the prostate gland.

Medications for BPH work by inhibiting this conversion. In the case of Proscar, which contains an active constituent called finasteride, the treatment stems the activity of an enzyme, called 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme is integral in the hormonal transformation, and by hindering its function, Proscar reduces its effects on the prostate and relieves symptoms.

Please note that Proscar is not sold through our site. Contact your GP to renew your prescription for this item, or if you develop any symptoms associated with BPH mentioned above. They will be able to examine your case, and refer you for tests where required.

Page last reviewed:  15/02/2021


It is crucial to adhere to the directions your prescriber issues you with prior to use, and to read the patient information leaflet carefully. Doing so will help to eliminate the risk of side effects and maximise the efficacy of the treatment.

  1. Take the tablets as directed by your prescriber.
  2. In the majority of cases, this will be one tablet per day.
  3. Please note that beneficial effects may take up to six months to become present, although you may experience improvements at an earlier stage.
  4. The course is a long-term one.
  5. Never take more than the amount specified by your doctor.
  6. Do not make up for a missed dose with a double dose. If you forget to take it, simply take your next administration at the scheduled time.

The above does not constitute a detailed list of the directions you will need to follow when using this item. More comprehensive instructions can be located in the leaflet supplied with the product.

Download PDF

Page last reviewed:  15/02/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Proscar 5mg

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

Despite the fact that not everyone will experience them, it is still important to be aware of the side effects this product may induce, as some of them may require medical attention.

Go to your nearest doctor or hospital as a matter of urgency if you notice anything indicating an allergic reaction. This may be a skin rash, itching, or hives, or swelling of the lips, tongue, throat and face.

Other side effects (frequency not stated):

Erection problems, loss of interest in sex, or ejaculation difficulties (these three side effects may continue after stopping treatment), breast swelling or tenderness, palpitations, reduced liver function, testicular pain, or depression.

Let your doctor know immediately if you notice any discharge from the breasts, or changes to breast tissue consistency.

The above does not constitute a complete list of the side effects associated with this treatment. Further detailed information can be located in the safety leaflet.

Taking it with other medicines

Inform your prescriber when filling in our medical questionnaire of any other treatments you are currently using or have recently used.

Conditions to look out for

The tablets are not suitable for those about to undergo a blood test called a PSA, as they may distort the outcome.

Notify your prescriber of any conditions you have during completion of our health questionnaire.

Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility

Please also note that this medication cannot be taken by women, and may harm the development of a baby during pregnancy. As such, it is important when taking this treatment to use a condom during sex, as semen may contain traces of it. It is also important that no-one besides the user handles the tablets, as finasteride can be absorbed through the skin.

If any woman who is pregnant or able to become pregnant comes into contact with this medicine, they should see a doctor immediately.

Driving and using machinery

Your driving and capacity to use machines is not likely to be inhibited by this medication.

Lactose intolerance

Tell your prescriber during consultation if you have any sugar intolerances, as Proscar contains lactose.

Page last reviewed:  15/02/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Proscar 5mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

Yes. Alcohol is not thought to affect the function of this product.

Will I still be able to drive?

Yes. It is not likely that your capacity to drive will be inhibited. But, if you notice anything which may impair your judgment or coordination, do not drive and let your doctor know as soon as possible.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

It is not suitable for women. During use, men should use a condom during sex, as it may establish a presence in semen and prove harmful to the user’s partner.

How should I store it?

Keep your tablets in a safe place below 30°C.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

These tablets contain the following: finasteride, docusate sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose E463, hypromellose E464, indigo carmine aluminium lake E132, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate E572, microcrystalline cellulose E460, pregelatinised maize starch, sodium starch glycollate type A, talc, titanium dioxide E171, and yellow iron oxide E172.

Do not take them if you are allergic to any of the above substances.

Is it available over-the-counter?

You will require a prescription before you are able to buy Proscar from any UK pharmacy. Our simple repeat prescription service makes it easy to get access to the medication you need.

Is it right for me?

Your GP or specialist will help you find the right medication, and monitor how well it is working during your regular prostate review.

It’s never been more simple to have your prescription renewed online. Just fill in our health assessment and one of our GMC-registered doctors will check your order to make sure it is safe for you. Once confirmed, a prescription will be generated and sent electronically to our dispensing pharmacy, based in the UK. Special courier services are used to ship all orders, so that you can start using your item the very next working day.


Page last reviewed:  15/02/2021
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