Comparison of Saw Palmetto to Finasteride
The increased popularity of Saw Palmetto for the treatment of the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has brought about its comparison to another prescription drug called finasteride, which has also been known to treat BPH. Both products have had a reputation of beneficial efficacy for BPH treatment and have growingly competed in the market.
A comparison of Saw Palmetto to finasteride has shown that although both products function similarly in the treatment of BPH, through inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that causes enlargement of the prostate, Saw Palmetto has been reported to have lesser side effects, as well as less expensive. Let’s take a look at some comparison of Saw Palmetto to finasteride:
Saw Palmetto is a natural herb and its berries are the ones extracted to form the product, although it may come with different added components to give out a finished Saw Palmetto product sold in the market, it still is considered an herbal remedy for BPH; finasteride on the other hand, belongs to a medicine group called enzyme inhibitors, it is a synthetic four-azasteroid compound. Comparison of Saw Palmetto to finasteride in this category has revealed that Saw Palmetto is a “natural” way of treating the condition, which is more often preferred by patients.
Saw Palmetto works by inhibiting testosterone conversion to DHT and is believed to obstruct the production of progesterone and estrogen, which are hormones connected to the production of DHT; finasteride works by blocking a 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which is needed for testosterone conversion to DHT that can cause the prostate to grow, resulting to decreased prostate size.
Saw Palmetto has not been clinically proven to treat male-pattern syndrome, although a lot of assumptions and advertisements of the product for this use has been given; finasteride is however used to stimulate hair growth, and have shown to be effective, although results may be seen after the medicine has been taken for approximately three months and lasts only while the medicine is being used.
Saw Palmetto has been seen with mild side effects more commonly related to the stomach and intestines such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and bad breath; finasteride has also had common side effects such as breast enlargement and tenderness, swelling of lips, skin rash, as well as less common side effects which include abdominal pains, back pain, headache, dizziness, and impotence.
The comparison of Saw Palmetto to finasteride has conclusively shown that they are both effective in reducing symptoms of BPH, but Saw Palmetto has been seen to be more tolerable with lesser mild side effects than finasteride.