Two drugs used to treat both hair loss and prostate problems could carry another risk that men might want to know about: long-term sexual problems. It’s a low risk— overall, just 1.4 percent of men who took the drugs suffered long-term erectile dysfunction. But it lasted a very long time: more than 3 ½ years after they stopped taking the drugs, the team at Northwestern University found. The younger the men, the bigger the risk, they reported in the journal Peer J. The drugs are sold under the brand names Propecia, Proscar and Avodart and are known generically as finasteride and dutasteride. One dose treats the effects that can trouble men as they grow older and the prostate enlarges, from trouble urinating to discomfort. A lower dose can be used to stop hair loss.“Our study shows men who take finasteride or dutasteride can get persistent erectile dysfunction, in which they will not be able to have normal erections for months or years after stopping finasteride or dutasteride,” Dr. Physicians sometimes prescribe finasteride for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), informally known as an enlarged prostate. Finasteride may improve the symptoms associated with BPH such as difficulty urinating, getting up during the night to urinate, hesitation at the start and end of urination, and decreased urinary flow. It provides less symptomatic relief than alpha-1 blockers such as tamsulosin and symptomatic relief is slower in onset (six months or more of treatment with finasteride may be required to determine the therapeutic results of treatment). Symptomatic benefits are mainly seen in those with prostate volume . In long-term studies finasteride but not alpha-1 inhibitors reduce the risk of acute urinary retention (−57% at 4 years) and the need for surgery (−54% at 4 years). If the drug is discontinued, any therapeutic benefits are reversed within about 6–8 months. A followup study of the Medicare claims of participants in a 10-year Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial suggests a significant reduction in prostate cancer risk is maintained even after discontinuation of treatment.
Propecia prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. Propecia is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss on the vertex and the anterior mid-scalp area. Male pattern hair loss is a common condition in which men experience thinning of the hair on the scalp. Often, this results in a receding hairline and/or balding on the top of the head. Propecia is for use by men only and should not be used by women or children. Propecia may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide. Propecia should never be taken by a woman or a child. In the past few years, medicine has made tremendous strides in the treatment of men's hair loss. With the advent of 5-alpha-reductace inhibitors such as Propecia and the evolution of surgical hair restoration, living with noticeable hair loss is no longer inevitable. For the first time in the history it is now possible to stop or slow the progression of hair loss and to replace lost hair through surgery with completely natural results. However, with that said, the vast majority of hair loss treatments being marketed today are still nothing but "snake oils." You may have seen the ads in the back of men's magazines, you've heard the commercials on the radio, and you've seen the infomercials promoting miracle treatments for hair loss. The bottom line is that most advertised "treatments" do not work for the prevention and treatment of hair loss. If a hair loss treatment is not approved by the FDA or recommended by the American Hair Loss Association, chances are you are wasting your time and money. Remember that successful treatment of hair loss is greatly dependent on early intervention.
Finasteride is the generic form of the brand-name drug Propecia, used to prevent hair loss and promote the growth of new hair in men with male pattern baldness. The drug is a popular pill for male-pattern hair loss that blocks formation of a hormone that makes hair fall out.