FINASTERIDE- finasteride tablet, film coated
Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc.


1.1 Monotherapy

Finasteride tablets are indicated for the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate to:
– Improve symptoms
– Reduce the risk of acute urinary retention- Reduce the risk of the need for surgery including transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and prostatectomy.

1.2 Combination with Alpha-Blocker

Finasteride tablets administered in combination with the alpha-blocker doxazosin is indicated to reduce the risk of symptomatic progression of BPH (a confirmed ≥4 point increase in American Urological Association (AUA) symptom score).

1.3 Limitations of Use

Finasteride tablets are not approved for the prevention of prostate cancer.


Finasteride tablets may be administered with or without meals.

2.1 Monotherapy

The recommended dose of finasteride tablet is one tablet (5 mg) taken once a day [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

2.2 Combination with Alpha-Blocker

The recommended dose of finasteride tablets is one tablet (5 mg) taken once a day in combination with the alpha-blocker doxazosin [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].


Finasteride tablets USP, 5 mg are blue film coated, round tablets debossed with ‘IG’ on one side ‘412’ on other side.


Finasteride tablets are contraindicated in the following:

  • Hypersensitivity to any component of this medication.
  • Pregnancy. Finasteride use is contraindicated in women when they are or may potentially be pregnant. Because of the ability of Type II 5α-reductase inhibitors to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), finasteride may cause abnormalities of the external genitalia of a male fetus of a pregnant woman who receives finasteride. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if pregnancy occurs while taking this drug, the pregnant woman should be apprised of the potential hazard to the male fetus. [See also Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.1), How Supplied/Storage and Handling (16) and Patient Counseling Information (17.2).] In female rats, low doses of finasteride administered during pregnancy have produced abnormalities of the external genitalia in male offspring.


5.1 Effects on Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and the Use of PSA in Prostate Cancer Detection

In clinical studies, finasteride reduced serum PSA concentration by approximately 50% within six months of treatment. This decrease is predictable over the entire range of PSA values in patients with symptomatic BPH, although it may vary in individuals.
For interpretation of serial PSAs in men taking finasteride, a new PSA baseline should be established at least six months after starting treatment and PSA monitored periodically thereafter. Any confirmed increase from the lowest PSA value while on finasteride may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if PSA levels are still within the normal range for men not taking a 5α-­reductase inhibitor. Non-compliance with finasteride therapy may also affect PSA test results. To interpret an isolated PSA value in patients treated with finasteride for six months or more, PSA values should be doubled for comparison with normal ranges in untreated men. These adjustments preserve the utility of PSA to detect prostate cancer in men treated with finasteride .
Finasteride may also cause decreases in serum PSA in the presence of prostate cancer.The ratio of free to total PSA (percent free PSA) remains constant even under the influence of finasteride. If clinicians elect to use percent free PSA as an aid in the detection of prostate cancer in men undergoing finasteride therapy, no adjustment to its value appears necessary.

5.2 Increased Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer

Men aged 55 and over with a normal digital rectal examination and PSA ≤3.0 ng/mL at baseline taking finasteride 5 mg/day in the 7-year Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) had an increased risk of Gleason score 8 to 10 prostate cancer (finasteride 1.8% vs placebo 1.1%). [See Indications and Usage (1.3) and Adverse Reactions (6.1).] Similar results were observed in a 4-year placebo-controlled clinical trial with another 5α-reductase inhibitor (dutasteride, AVODART) (1% dutasteride vs 0.5% placebo). 5α-reductase inhibitors may increase the risk of development of high-grade prostate cancer. Whether the effect of 5α-reductase inhibitors to reduce prostate volume, or study-related factors, impacted the results of these studies has not been established.

5.3 Exposure of Women — Risk to Male Fetus

Women should not handle crushed or broken finasteride tablets when they are pregnant or may potentially be pregnant because of the possibility of absorption of finasteride and the subsequent potential risk to a male fetus. Finasteride tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the active ingredient during normal handling, provided that the tablets have not been broken or crushed. [See Contraindications (4), Use in Specific Populations (8.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), How Supplied/Storage and Handling (16) and Patient Counseling Information (17.2).]

5.4 Pediatric Patients and Women

Finasteride is not indicated for use in pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] or women [see also Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), How Supplied/Storage and Handling (16) and Patient Counseling Information (17.2)].

5.5 Effect on Semen Characteristics

Treatment with finasteride for 24 weeks to evaluate semen parameters in healthy male volunteers revealed no clinically meaningful effects on sperm concentration, mobility, morphology, or pH. A 0.6 mL (22.1%) median decrease in ejaculate volume with a concomitant reduction in total sperm per ejaculate was observed. These parameters remained within the normal range and were reversible upon discontinuation of therapy with an average time to return to baseline of 84 weeks.

5.6 Consideration of Other Urological Conditions

Prior to initiating treatment with finasteride, consideration should be given to other urological conditions that may cause similar symptoms. In addition, prostate cancer and BPH may coexist.Patients with large residual urinary volume and/or severely diminished urinary flow should be carefully monitored for obstructive uropathy. These patients may not be candidates for finasteride therapy.


6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Finasteride are generally well tolerated; adverse reactions usually have been mild and transient.

4-Year Placebo-Controlled Study (A Long-Term Efficacy and Safety Study )
In a long-term efficacy and safety study, 1524 patients treated with finasteride and 1516 patients treated with placebo were evaluated for safety over a period of 4 years. The most frequently reported adverse reactions were related to sexual function. 3.7% (57 patients) treated with finasteride and 2.1% (32 patients) treated with placebo discontinued therapy as a result of adverse reactions related to sexual function, which are the most frequently reported adverse reactions.Table 1 presents the only clinical adverse reactions considered possibly, probably or definitely drug related by the investigator, for which the incidence on finasteride was ≥1% and greater than placebo over the 4 years of the study. In years 2 to 4 of the study, there was no significant difference between treatment groups in the incidences of impotence, decreased libido and ejaculation disorder.

Table 1: Drug-Related Adverse Experiences
Year 1(%) Years 2, 3 and 4*(%)
Finasteride Placebo Finasteride Placebo
*Combined Years 2 to 4 N = 1524 and 1516, finasteride vs placebo, respectively
Impotence 8.1 3.7 5.1 5.1
Decreased Libido 6.4 3.4 2.6 2.6
Decreased Volume of Ejaculate 3.7 0.8 1.5 0.5
Ejaculation Disorder 0.8 0.1 0.2 0.1
Breast Enlargement 0.5 0.1 1.8 1.1
Breast Tenderness 0.4 0.1 0.7 0.3
Rash 0.5 0.2 0.5 0.1

Phase III Studies and 5-Year Open Extensions
The adverse experience profile in the 1-year, placebo-controlled, Phase III studies, the 5-year open extensions, and a long-term efficacy and safety study were similar.

Medical Therapy of Prostatic Symptoms (MTOPS) Study
In the MTOPS study, 3047 men with symptomatic BPH were randomized to receive finasteride tablets USP, 5 mg/day (n=768), doxazosin 4 or 8 mg/day (n=756), the combination of finasteride 5 mg/day and doxazosin 4 or 8 mg/day (n=786), or placebo (n=737) for 4 to 6 years [See Clinical Studies (14.2)].
The incidence rates of drug-related adverse experiences reported by ≥2% of patients in any treatment group in the MTOPS Study are listed in Table 2.
The individual adverse effects which occurred more frequently in the combination group compared to either drug alone were: asthenia, postural hypotension, peripheral edema, dizziness, decreased libido, rhinitis, abnormal ejaculation, impotence and abnormal sexual function (see Table 2). Of these, the incidence of abnormal ejaculation in patients receiving combination therapy was comparable to the sum of the incidences of this adverse experience reported for the two monotherapies.
Combination therapy with finasteride and doxazosin was associated with no new clinical adverse experience.
Four patients in MTOPS reported the adverse experience breast cancer. Three of these patients were on finasteride only and one was on combination therapy [See Long-Term Data].The MTOPS Study was not specifically designed to make statistical comparisons between groups for reported adverse experiences. In addition, direct comparisons of safety data between the MTOPS study and previous studies of the single agents may not be appropriate based upon differences in patient population, dosage or dose regimen, and other procedural and study design elements.

Table 2: Incidence ≥2% in One or More Treatment Groups Drug-Related Clinical Adverse Experiences in MTOPS
Adverse Experience
Placebo Doxazosin 4 mg or 8 mg* Finasteride Combination
(N=737) (N=756) (N=768) (N=768)
(%) (%) (%) (%)
*Doxazosin dose was achieved by weekly titration (1 to 2 to 4 to 8 mg). The final tolerated dose (4 mg or 8 mg) was administered at end-Week 4. Only those patients tolerating at least 4 mg were kept on doxazosin. The majority of patients received the 8-mg dose over the duration of the study.
Body as a whole
Asthenia 7.1 15.7 5.3 16.8
Headache 2.3 4.1 2.0 2.3
Hypotension 0.7 3.4 1.2 1.5
Postural Hypotension 8.0 16.7 9.1 17.8
Metabolic and Nutritional
Peripheral Edema 0.9 2.6 1.3 3.3
Dizziness 8.1 17.7 7.4 23.2
Libido Decreased 5.7 7.0 10.0 11.6
Somnolence 1.5 3.7 1.7 3.1
Dyspnea 0.7 2.1 0.7 1.9
Rhinitis 0.5 1.3 1.0 2.4
Abnormal Ejaculation 2.3 4.5 7.2 14.1
Gynecomastia 0.7 1.1 2.2 1.5
Impotence 12.2 14.4 18.5 22.6
Sexual Function Abnormal 0.9 2.0 2.5 3.1

Long-Term Data
High-Grade Prostate Cancer
The PCPT trial was a 7-year randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that enrolled 18,882 men ≥55 years of age with a normal digital rectal examination and a PSA ≤3.0 ng/mL. Men received either finasteride 5 mg or placebo daily. Patients were evaluated annually with PSA and digital rectal exams. Biopsies were performed for elevated PSA, an abnormal digital rectal exam, or the end of study. The incidence of Gleason score 8 to 10 prostate cancer was higher in men treated with finasteride (1.8%) than in those treated with placebo (1.1%) [see Indications and Usage (1.3) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. In a 4-year placebo-controlled clinical trial with another 5α-reductase inhibitor (dutasteride, AVODART), similar results for Gleason score 8 to 10 prostate cancer were observed (1% dutasteride vs 0.5% placebo).
No clinical benefit has been demonstrated in patients with prostate cancer treated with finasteride.
Breast Cancer
During the 4- to 6-year placebo- and comparator-controlled MTOPS study that enrolled 3047 men, there were 4 cases of breast cancer in men treated with finasteride but no cases in men not treated with finasteride. During the 4-year, placebo-controlled long-term efficacy and safety study that enrolled 3040 men, there were 2 cases of breast cancer in placebo-treated men but no cases in men treated with finasteride. During the 7-­year placebo-controlled Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) that enrolled 18,882 men, there was 1 case of breast cancer in men treated with finasteride, and 1 case of breast cancer in men treated with placebo. The relationship between long-term use of finasteride and male breast neoplasia is currently unknown.
Sexual Function There is no evidence of increased sexual adverse experiences with increased duration of treatment with finasteride. New reports of drug-related sexual adverse experiences decreased with duration of therapy.

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