Physicians sometimes prescribe finasteride for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), informally known as an enlarged prostate. Finasteride may improve the symptoms associated with BPH such as difficulty urinating, getting up during the night to urinate, hesitation at the start and end of urination, and decreased urinary flow. It provides less symptomatic relief than alpha-1 blockers such as tamsulosin and symptomatic relief is slower in onset (six months or more of treatment with finasteride may be required to determine the therapeutic results of treatment). Symptomatic benefits are mainly seen in those with prostate volume . In long-term studies finasteride but not alpha-1 inhibitors reduce the risk of acute urinary retention (−57% at 4 years) and the need for surgery (−54% at 4 years). If the drug is discontinued, any therapeutic benefits are reversed within about 6–8 months. A followup study of the Medicare claims of participants in a 10-year Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial suggests a significant reduction in prostate cancer risk is maintained even after discontinuation of treatment. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.
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