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18-Year Study Finds Drug Cut Prostate Cancer Risk

Posted 14 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 – A drug used to treat enlarged prostate and male pattern baldness also reduces a man's risk of prostate cancer by nearly a third, according to a large new study. The findings on nearly 19,000 men also overturn earlier concerns that treatment with finasteride – the agent in the prostate drug Proscar and the hair-loss drug Propecia – might promote the development of more virulent prostate cancers in men who contract the disease, researchers said. Finasteride did not affect overall survival rates or survival rates after diagnosis with prostate cancer for men who did and did not receive the drug, said study lead author Dr. Ian Thompson, a urologist and professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center. "If indeed the more high-grade cancers in the men taking finasteride were real, we would expect to find a higher death rate," Thompson said. "The survival of ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia, Androgenetic Alopecia

Baldness Drug Propecia May Put Some Men Off Alcohol: Study

Posted 13 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 13 – Some men who use finasteride (Propecia) to help battle baldness may also be drinking less alcohol, a new study suggests. Among the potential side effects of the hair-restoring drug are a reduced sex drive, depression and suicidal thoughts. And it's men who have sexual side effects who also appear to want to drink less, the researchers report. "In men experiencing persistent sexual side effects despite stopping finasteride, two-thirds have noticed drinking less alcohol than before taking finasteride," said study author Dr. Michael Irwig, an assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Although it isn't clear why the medication might have this effect, Irwig thinks the drug may alter the brain's chemistry. "Finasteride interferes with the brain's ability to make certain hormones called ... Read more

Related support groups: Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Proscar Won't Boost Prostate Cancer Survival, Study Finds

Posted 15 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 – Men with prostate cancer taking the drug finasteride (Proscar) don't survive longer than similar men not taking the drug, a new study finds. Although Proscar is touted to reduce the odds of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, once diagnosed, men do not appear to gain a benefit from the drug, researchers say. However, they don't face lowered survival from the drug, a researcher added. "There is no evidence that finasteride is worse than placebo, in terms of overall survival," said lead author Phyllis Goodman, a biostatistician at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle. "If you are inclined to give finasteride to prevent cancer, survival shouldn't be a reason not to do it," she said. "You may not be improving survival in the long run, but you are avoiding having to deal with a diagnosis of prostate cancer." Based on the new finding, one expert doesn't ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia

Drug Used to Prevent Prostate Cancer Won't Lower Quality of Life

Posted 12 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 – Proscar (finasteride), a drug used to treat an enlarged prostate, does not reduce the quality of life of men who use it for a prolonged period of time, found a new study funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Published Sept. 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the research involved men aged 55 and older enrolled in a seven-year randomized clinical trial looking at the drug's possible use for prostate cancer prevention. Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, led by Carol Moinpour of the public health sciences division, examined three areas of patients' quality of life. Proscar did not significantly affect the men's physical functioning, mental health or vitality, according to a journal news release. Participants completed questionnaires three months before the study and six months after the study began. They ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia

FDA Adds New Side Effects to Finasteride Label

Posted 13 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

From Associated Press (April 12, 2012) NEW YORK – The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday expanded the warning label on the drug finasteride, which is used to treat enlarged prostate and male pattern baldness, saying some men who took the drug continued to have sexual side effects after they stopped taking it. Finasteride is the main ingredient in Merck & Co.’s prostate drug Proscar and its baldness treatment Propecia, and in generic equivalents. The drug has been linked to other sexual side effects, but the FDA said it was making further changes to the warning label because some side effects have been noted to continue after patients were no longer taking the drug. The revised warning label for Propecia says some men who took the drug experienced libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm disorders that persisted after they were no longer taking it. The label for Proscar ... Read more

Related support groups: Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia

Baldness Drug May Cause Sexual Side Effects: FDA

Posted 12 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 12 – Two Merck & Co. drugs – one to treat hair loss in men, the other to treat an enlarged prostate gland – will get revised labels warning of potential sexual side effects that can last even after patients stop taking the drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. The two drugs – Propecia to combat male pattern baldness, and Proscar, to treat enlarged prostates – share the same chemical compound, called finasteride. One dose of Propecia contains 1 milligram of finasteride; one dose of Proscar contains 5 milligrams. The new Propecia label will include a warning of "libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm disorders that continued after discontinuation of the drug," the FDA said in a news release. The Proscar label will include a warning about "decreased libido that continued after discontinuation of the drug," the agency said. The labels ... Read more

Related support groups: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia, Androgenetic Alopecia

Drugs to Make You Look Beautiful -- But at What Price?

Posted 4 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 4 – Skimpy eyelashes, balding pates and wrinkles aren't diseases, but they may as well be in a society that "medicalizes" normal conditions by producing drugs not to cure or heal, but to enhance, some health experts contend. So the news that a cosmetic company is developing a pill to prevent hair from graying will offer Americans more options than ever to not only turn back the clock, but – as experts note – to eliminate common differences that make individuals distinct. The booming worldwide "lifestyle" drug market – which was estimated to surpass $29 billion in 2007 – pits problems of a social or cosmetic nature against conditions threatening physical health or well-being. But all drugs in the United States must undergo the same rigorous approval process whether they are designated for disease prevention or treatment or to alter people's looks or behavior. This ... Read more

Related support groups: Botox, Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia, Latisse, Botox Cosmetic, Onabotulinumtoxina

FDA Approves Redesigned Labels for Some Merck Drugs

Posted 13 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

    Changes developed under Merck's Label Standardization Project SILVER SPRING, Md., June 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today is announcing the approval of Merck's redesigned drug container labels that include a new standardized format to improve readability and provide better information on product and strength differentiation. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090824/FDALOGO) Merck's Label Standardization Project includes the revision of 34 container labels for 16 solid oral drug products regulated by the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). Drugs affected by the revisions include: Cozaar, Crixivan, Hyzaar, Isentress, Janumet, Januvia, Mevacor, Noroxin, Prinivil, Prinzide, Propecia, Proscar, Singulair, Zocor, and Zolinza. "We commend Merck for their efforts," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of CDER. "This was n ... Read more

Related support groups: Singulair, Januvia, Cozaar, Zocor, Janumet, Hyzaar, Propecia, Proscar, Prinivil, Prinzide, Isentress, Noroxin, Mevacor, Zolinza, Crixivan

Drugs for Enlarged Prostate May Raise Risk of Aggressive Cancer

Posted 9 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 9 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is calling for new warning labels on a class of drugs used primarily to treat enlarged prostates, because the medications may raise the risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer. In a statement released Thursday, the agency said the drugs involved include popular medications sold under the brand names Proscar and Propecia (sold by Merck & Co.) and Avodart and Jalyn (sold by GlaxoSmithKline). According to the FDA, almost 5 million men were prescribed one of these medications between 2002 and 2009. Of these, nearly 3 million men were between the ages of 50 and 79. The agency is advising doctors not to start patients on these drugs until prostate cancer – which can mimic the symptoms of an enlarged prostate – and other urological conditions have been ruled out. According to the agency, this new warning is based on ... Read more

Related support groups: Avodart, Finasteride, Jalyn, Propecia, Proscar, Dutasteride, Dutasteride/tamsulosin

FDA Medwatch Alert: 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs): Label Change - Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer

Posted 9 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

Drugs in the 5-ARI class include finasteride and dutasteride. These drugs are marketed under the brand-names Proscar, Propecia, Avodart, and Jalyn ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Warnings and Precautions section of the labels for the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) class of drugs has been revised to include new safety information about the increased risk of being diagnosed with a more serious form of prostate cancer (high-grade prostate cancer). BACKGROUND: The new safety information is based on FDA’s review of two large, randomized controlled trials––the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) and the Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events (REDUCE) trial. Proscar, Avodart, and Jalyn are approved to improve symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Proscar and Avodart are also approved to reduce the risk of urina ... Read more

Related support groups: Avodart, Finasteride, Jalyn, Propecia, Proscar, Dutasteride, Dutasteride/tamsulosin

FDA Medwatch Alert: Citalopram And Finasteride by Greenstone: Recall - Possible Mislabeling

Posted 16 Apr 2011 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: Greenstone LLC announced a recall of medicines with lot number FI0510058-A on the label. Bottles labeled as Citalopram (used to treat depression) may contain Finasteride (used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia). Women who are, or may become pregnant, should not take or handle Finasteride due to the possible risk of side effects which may cause abnormalities to the external genitalia of a developing male fetus. Citalopram is contraindicated in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or pimozide; it is also contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to Citalopram or any of the inactive ingredients in the tablet. Patients who discontinue Citalopram abruptly by inadvertently taking the mislabeled product may experience discontinuation symptoms and/or worsening of depression. BACKGROUND: This includes Citalopram 10mg Tablets (100-count bottle) and ... Read more

Related support groups: Celexa, Citalopram, Finasteride, Propecia, Proscar

Sexual Side Effects From Propecia, Avodart May Be Irreversible

Posted 10 Mar 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 10 – Drugs frequently prescribed to treat hair loss or an enlarged prostate may contribute to irreversible sexual dysfunction in men, new research finds. Use of dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Proscar and Propecia) were linked to erectile dysfunction, depression and loss of libido in a review of existing studies. In a small percentage of cases, symptoms persisted even after the medication was stopped. For those men, "it's a life sentence," said lead researcher Abdulmaged M. Traish, a professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine. "No sex. No desire. Potential depression," Traish added. Almost everyone who takes these drugs experiences some of these side effects, Traish said. "But, some experience it more drastically than others," he added. The drugs – prescribed to treat a common urological condition called benign prostatic ... Read more

Related support groups: Avodart, Finasteride, Propecia, Proscar, Dutasteride

Docs Shying Away From Drug That May Prevent Prostate Cancer

Posted 12 Aug 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 12 – Even though a major study found that the drug finasteride could reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 25 percent, it is still not being widely prescribed for that purpose, Veterans Administration researchers report. Under the name Proscar, finasteride is commonly prescribed to treat the non-cancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as enlarged prostate. Finasteride is also sold under the brand name Propecia, to help treat male pattern baldness. In 2003, the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), involving more than 18,000 patients, found that finasteride cut the incidence of prostate cancer by 25 percent – the first drug to do so. But a much-publicized follow-up analysis undercut that good news when it suggested that the drug might actually boost the odds of particularly aggressive prostate tumors. At the time, "there was a concern that ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia

Study Revives Debate on Prostate Drug

Posted 2 Apr 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 31 – A new study to determine whether a drug prescribed to fight the problems of an enlarged prostate gland can also reduce the risk of prostate cancer promises to prolong a debate that started with an earlier study of a similar drug. The renewed debate plays out in the April 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, which carries not only a report saying that the drug dutasteride (Avodart) may reduce the risk for prostate cancer but also an editorial that counters the upbeat conclusions of the study point by point. The results of the four-year study of the effect of Avodart on prostate – financed by Glaxo, which markets the drug – seem to mirror those of a 19,000-participant study in 2003 of finasteride (Propecia), which found a 25 percent lower incidence of prostate cancer among men who took that drug than among those who took a placebo. But that study has ... Read more

Related support groups: Avodart, Finasteride, Propecia, Proscar, Dutasteride

Prostate Drug Appears Safer Than Thought

Posted 8 Jul 2009 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 8 – Doctors don't have to be so cautious in prescribing the drug finasteride to men at risk for prostate cancer, a new study suggests. Physicians face a dilemma when trying to decide whether to use the drug, which has been shown to prevent prostate cancer in about one in five men who take it. However, findings from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial published in 2003 concluded that men who developed prostate cancer while taking finasteride were 25 percent more likely to develop an aggressive form of the disease. But a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that the drug does not increase the risk for aggressive prostate cancer but simply makes it easier to diagnose. The study appears in the July 7 issue of Clinical Cancer Research. The Stanford team suspected a flaw in the analysis of data in the 2003 study, rather than a problem with the ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Propecia

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