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PROSCAR(R) NOW AVAILABLE IN U.S. PHARMACIES; NEW DRUG TREATS COMMON PROSTATE PROBLEM IN OLDER MEN

 PROSCAR(R) NOW AVAILABLE IN U.S. PHARMACIES;
 NEW DRUG TREATS COMMON PROSTATE PROBLEM IN OLDER MEN
 WEST POINT, Pa., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Proscar (finasteride), Merck's new drug that acts on a major underlying cause of benign prostate enlargement, is now available in pharmacies throughout the country, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), announced today.
 The drug is available to treat symptomatic benign prostate enlargement, a condition affecting only men.
 Benign prostate enlargement may be associated with some urinary problems in about 10 million men over 50 in the United States. Symptoms include difficulty in urinating and a frequent and urgent need to urinate.
 Proscar lowers levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the key hormone that contributes to prostate enlargement in aging men, leading to shrinkage of the enlarged gland in most patients. Some patients additionally experience increases in urine flow and an improvement in symptoms. In 12-month controlled clinical trials, patients treated with Proscar had progressive decrease in prostate size, increasing urine flow rates and improvement in symptoms, suggesting an arrest in the disease process. While controlled clinical data beyond 12 months are not available, these improvements have persisted in 300 patients who have completed two years on Proscar.
 Long-term effects of Proscar on the incidence of surgery and on acute urinary obstruction or other complications of benign prostate enlargement are yet to be determined in ongoing clinical studies. Digital rectal examinations, as well as other evaluations for prostate cancer, should be performed on patients with benign prostate enlargement prior to initiating therapy with Proscar and periodically from then on.
 Merck is a worldwide, research-intensive health products company that discovers, develops, produces and markets human and animal health products and specialty chemicals.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/27/92
 /Editors: Proscar is the Merck registered trademark for finasteride. Prescribing information for Proscar was transmitted with a June 22 press release. Call PR Newswire (215-568-6300) for a list of databases containing the information or to obtain a copy./
 /CONTACT: Jan D. Weiner or Gary M. Bruell of Merck, 215-661-6681/
 (MRK) CO: Merck & Co., Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU: PDT


MK -- PH026 -- 4018 08/27/92 14:42 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 27, 1992
Words:354
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