[Finasteride: 10 years of clinical use. Systematic review of the literature]

Actas Urol Esp. 2003 Mar;27(3):202-15. doi: 10.1016/s0210-4806(03)72906-4.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: After ten years of clinical use of Finasteride in patients with BPH, we carried out a systematic review of the literature including the assessment of their quality and grading the level of evidence for clinical recommendations.

Methods: Using Medline, Embase, Healthstar and Cochrane Library from 1990 until 2002, we select all the studies referring patients between 50 to 85 with symptoms of BPH, metrics of flow, prostatic volume, postmictional residue, detrusor pressure, adverse effects, cost-effectiveness and quality of life.

Results: We found out 135 references, of which 36 accomplish the inclusion criteria. Of those, 3 have got level I of evidence, 12 level II, 6 level III and 10 level IV. Three are economic studies and two evaluate the quality of life.

Discussion: With a high level of evidence and after ten years of clinical use, Finasteride shows its effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of patients with prostate bigger than 40 ml and/or PSA of more than 1.4 ngr/ml, with scarce adverse effects with a clear improvement of quality of life. Therefore, it is recommended (grade A) for clinical use.

Conclusions: Finasteride, through prostate volume reduction, modify natural evolution of BPH, decreasing the risk of acute urine retention and surgery.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Finasteride / adverse effects
  • Finasteride / pharmacology
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / drug effects
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / drug therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Finasteride