Aug 15, 2013
By Jane Brown
New U.S. research is easing concerns about the safety of a hormone blocking drug that can lower a man’s chances of developing prostate cancer. The drug is sold as Proscar by Merck and Company and in generic form as finasteride to treat urinary problems from enlarged prostates. It’s also sold in a lower dose as Propecia to treat hair loss.
Long term results from a major federal U.S. study found the drug cut prostate cancer risk by 30 percent without raising the risk of early death by an aggressive form of the disease, as earlier results hinted it might. The new work could prompt a renewed look at using the drug for cancer prevention. Experts say it could prevent tens of thousands of cases each year, saving many men from treatments with seriously unpleasant side effects. Proscar is approved for use in Canada.