Persistent Sexual Side Effects Related to Finasteride (Popecia) Use for Male Hair Loss

Finasteride (Propecia) has been associated with reversible adverse sexual side effects in multiple trials for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (MPHL).

This study included 71 otherwise healthy men aged 21–46 years who reported new onset of sexual side effects associated with the temporal use of finasteride, and in which the symptoms persisted for 3 months despite the discontinuation of finasteride.

Patients reported the following new-onset persistent sexual dysfunction associated with the use of finasteride:

- 94% developed low libido
- 92% developed erectile dysfunction
- 92% developed decreased arousal
- 69% developed problems with orgasm

The mean duration of finasteride use was 28 months and the mean duration of persistent sexual side effects was 40 months from the time of finasteride cessation to the interview date.

Physicians treating MPHL should discuss the potential risk of persistent sexual side effects associated with finasteride

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Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride for Male Pattern Hair Loss. Michael S. Irwig MD, Swapna Kolukula. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2011.

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