Proscar beats surgery

Published: Wednesday 15 April 1998

the drug proscar has been shown to reduce the need for surgery to treat enlarged prostrate glands. In a new study, the men who took the drug required prostrate-reduction surgery only half as often as did those on dummy pills. Proscar, known generically as finasteride, is already one of the most widely-prescribed prostrate drugs.

While it has been shown to reduce prostrate symptoms, such as troubled urinating, the latest study is the first clear evidence that this drug actually lessens the likelihood of surgery.

The study was directed by John D McConnell of the University of Texas, usa , and was commissioned by Merck, the company that manufactures the wonderdrug. The study was conducted on 3,040 men with prostrate enlargement, a condition doctors call benign prostatic hyperplasia -- an extremely common, non-cancerous ailment among older men. All patients had significantly enlarged prostrates and urinating trouble. All these men were randomly assigned to get either proscar or placebos for several years. After a four-year follow-up, five per cent of men taking proscar required surgery, while from the other group, 10 per cent had to go in for prostrate surgery.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.