Symptoms of BPH
The men in this study were asked to rate the following symptoms of BPH:
- Decreased size and force of urine stream
- Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying when urinating
- Delayed or interrupted urination
- Having to get up to urinate frequently during the night
- Having to urinate frequently during the day
- Needing to strain or push the flow of urine.
The men who took Proscar had significant improvement in their BPH symptoms, compared to the men who did not take it. While some saw improvement right away, in general, it took about six months to see the improvement for most men. This improvement lasted throughout the entire study period (four years).
Acute Urinary Retention
This study also looked at how many men had acute urinary retention. If an enlarged prostate is severe, a man may not be able to urinate at all. This is known medically as acute urinary retention and usually requires catheterization (inserting a small tube through the penis into the bladder in order to empty the urine). Of the men who took Proscar, 2.8 percent experienced acute urinary retention that required catheterization, compared to 6.6 percent of men who did not take it.
In this study, 4.6 percent of men who took Proscar needed to have BPH surgery, while 10.1 percent of men who did not take it needed to have surgery.
Men who took Proscar also had an improvement in the rate of urine flow. This increased flow rate was seen as early as the fourth month after starting the drug and continued throughout the entire study.
Some general considerations for when and how to take Proscar include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth once daily.
- It may take as long as six months before results can be seen.
- Proscar can be taken with or without food.
- Your dose should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For Proscar to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.