Does Finasteride Affect PSA Test Levels?

I recently received a question from a patient about the connection between a PSA test and finasteride/Propecia. The patient was curious if finasteride/Propecia can actually alter the readings and final results of a PSA test.

This is a very interesting and important question when it comes to the health of male patients. In case you don’t know, a PSA test screens for prostate enlargement or cancer by measuring the levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. It should be noted that there is still some controversy when it comes to the connection between finasteride/Propecia and PSA tests. For many years, many doctors felt that finasteride kept patients from knowing that they had prostate cancer.  However, as recently as 2014, a study by the National Cancer Institute showed that patients who were randomly chosen to take the product for seven years had a 30% chance of being less likely to have a prostate cancer diagnosis.

As far as the use of finasteride before undergoing a PSA, I usually recommend that all men over the age of 50 keep an eye on their changing PSA levels as this is a vital issue when it comes to the health of male patients. They should also let their family doctor know that they are taking finasteride so it will be in their permanent medical record.  Finasteride does lower the levels of PSA. However, the new lower level will be considered the new standard and your doctor should look for changes from that level moving forward.