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5 Alpha Reductase Inhibitor Cheat Sheet by

Used in treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy and pattern hair loss. Reduces risk of prostate cancer.

5 Alpha Reductase Inhibi­tors

Prototype Med
finast­eride (Propecia and Proscar)
Other Meds
dutast­eride (Avodart)
Action: Act by inhibiting the enzyme 5 alpha reductase which chages testos­terone into 5 alpha dihydr­ote­sto­sterone or DHT in the prostate gland.

Ther­apeutic Use

Treatment of benign prostatic hypert­rophy (also reduces the risk of prostate cancer)
Treatment of male pattern hair loss (Propecia)

Adverse Drug Reacti­ons

Reduced libido and ejaculate volume
Reduced prosta­te-­spe­cific antigen (PSA) levels
Gyneco­mastia (males)

Nursing Interv­ent­ions

Tell clients about the possib­ility of reductions in libido and ejaculate volume.
Obtain a baseline PSA level and monitor period­ically.
Expect PSA levels to decline with therapy.
Evaluate any increases in PSA level, as they may indicate prostate cancer or nonadh­erence to therapy.
Monitor for breast enlarg­ement.
Evaluate if there is concern for body image.


Take orally, with or without food.
Crush the tablets if needed.
Expect drug therapy to be lifelong.
Ensure that women do not handle the drug, especially if crushed, due to the possib­ility of transd­ermal absorp­tion.
Expect therap­eutic effects to take 6 to 12 months.

Patient Educat­ion

Expect decreases in libido and ejaculate volume.
Undergo regular prostate cancer screen­ings.
Report breast enlarg­ement.


Pregnancy (terat­ogenic)
Female, children


Liver impairment
Obstru­ctive uropathy


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