Proscar Warnings and Precautions
There are many important Proscar warnings and precautions to be aware of before starting the medication, including serious side effects that may occur. Proscar can potentially cause side effects, including: breast changes; lowered prostate specific antigen levels; or sexual problems such as decreased libido, impotence, or decreased ejaculate amount. You should not take Proscar if you are or may be pregnant or are allergic to any components of the medicine.
- Liver disease or liver failure, including cirrhosis
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
It's also important to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may currently be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some precautions and warnings to be aware of include:
- Proscar is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that Proscar is very dangerous for use during pregnancy. Pregnant women (and women who may be pregnant) should not take Proscar and should not come in contact with broken or crushed Proscar tablets (see Proscar and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is not known whether Proscar is passed through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.
- Before you start Proscar, your healthcare provider should make sure your enlarged prostate symptoms are not caused by another condition, such as prostate cancer or bladder problems.
- Men with severely decreased urine flow or men who can only empty very little of their bladder at a time should be closely monitored by their healthcare providers. For these men, Proscar may not be the best option.
- Proscar does not prevent prostate cancer. Men can have both BPH and prostate cancer at the same time.
- Propecia can lower your PSA levels. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test is a common way to screen for prostate cancer (see Prostate Cancer Screening). Your healthcare provider will need to adjust your PSA test result (by doubling it) if you are taking Proscar. Your healthcare provider can also use a slightly different blood test (the "percent free PSA" test) that does not need to be adjusted. Any increase in PSA while taking Proscar (even if still within the normal range) should be further evaluated, as this may be a possible sign of prostate cancer.
- Studies have shown that Proscar may increase the risk of a serious type of prostate cancer. You should discuss this risk with your healthcare provider, especially if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Interestingly, this medication appears to decrease the risk of less serious prostate cancers.
- People with liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis, should talk to their healthcare provider before taking Proscar. The liver helps to clear Proscar from the body, and Proscar could build up in people with liver problems.
- Proscar can cause sexual side effects, including decreased libido (sex drive), erectile dysfunction (ED or impotence), and decreased ejaculate amount. Usually, decreased ejaculate amount does not interfere with sexual function (see Proscar Sexual Side Effects for more information).
- Report any breast changes to your healthcare provider right away. Proscar has been reported to cause breast changes (such as breast enlargement, breast tenderness, or tumors).