Certain common drugs that are prescribed to treat male pattern hair loss and benign prostate enlargement may lead to adverse sexual side effects such as loss of libido or erectile dysfunction, according to a study.
Finasteride and Dutasteride belong to the family of drugs known as 5alpha-reductase inhibitors (5A-RIs). These are commonly called as Proscar and Avodart and 25% of men are currently taking these for the treatment of BPH. The researchers found that these prescribed drugs for male pattern hair loss are also at risk for adverse events elicited by these drugs. In some patients, side effects such as libido loss and erectile dysfunction can remain even after stopping therapy. The researchers suggest that sexual side effects appear early in the first six months of therapy and then return to baseline is inaccurate.
“The mechanism of dysfunction is likely multifactorial, related both to the direct decrease in 5a-DHT and direct influence on central and peripheral nerves,” said Traish.
"Inhibition of 5A-R activity may potentiate insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, vascular disease and osteoporosis, but studies have not been definitive," said lead researcher Abdulmaged Traish, professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) in Massachusetts, US.
The findings appeared online in the journal Endocrine Reviews and Metabolic Disorders.