PROPECIAHELP: Persistent Finasteride Propecia Proscar side effects info & forum

Info and forum for men with PERSISTENT sexual, mental and physical side effects which CONTINUE DESPITE QUITTING hair loss & prostate drug Finasteride Propecia, Proscar

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Post Finasteride Syndrome - Medical & media awareness of permanent side effects

Media Awareness



2007: News story on permanent Propecia side effects

Swedish TV (equivalent to the BBC) interviews a fellow Post-Finasteride sufferer, Merck, and research scientists about the damaging effects of Propecia and possibility of permanent sexual side effects.

2009: The Post-Finasteride Syndrome

Dr. John Crisler, DO speaking out at a recent 2009 medical symposium on the dangers of Finasteride, it's dangerous effects on the endocrine system and possibility of permanent sexual, mental and physical side effects.



2009: Permanent erectile dysfunction now official in Europe

August 2009 followup to the original 2007 Swedish TV news segment, confirming permanent erectile dysfunction as a possible outcome from Finasteride use, and the manufacturer's requirements to add this side effect to their labelling in Europe.

2010: Undisclosed Mechanisms, Potential Dangers & Permanent Side Effects

Overview of some of Finasteride's undisclosed mechanisms, potential dangers, and introduction to the Post-Finasteride Syndrome. Video created by a fellow Post-Finasteride Syndrome sufferer.


2010: BBC Radio1 News Report: Baldness drug Propecia 'risking men's sexual health'

" Young men could be risking their sexual health by taking a commonly used anti-baldness drug, claim some doctors. They say finasteride, sold in the UK as Propecia, can cause serious side effects and isn't adequately labelled"

2011: Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride (Propecia) for Male Pattern Hair Loss

2011: CBS Chicago -- Hair Loss Drug ‘Under Fire’ For Sexual Side-Effects

"It’s a drug that promises to reverse hair loss for men, but is it worth the risk? As CBS 2′s Pam Zekman reports, some men say they have been devastated by a side effect of the baldness drug Propecia."

2011: FOX 9 News -- Hair Today, What's Gone Tomorrow?

"The FOX 9 Investigators delve into concerns abut a popular hair-loss prevention drug that may have permanent sexual side effects for men who use it. Watch the video for the full investigation."

2011: CBS Philadelphia -- Health Watch: Popular Drug Warning (suicide)

" A grieving mother's warning about a popular medication, taken by millions, that can cause devastating and long term side effects."

2012: France TF1 -- News Report on Persistent Propecia side effects

French news story about persistent Propecia side effects, dangers of the drug, medical and health regulatory agency opinions, and interviews with men suffering from Post-Finasteride Syndrome -- persistent sexual, physical & neurological side effects that did not resolve after stopping Finasteride.



July 2012 - Media Awareness about Dr. Irwig's new 2012 study: Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride: Could They Be Permanent?

2010 - BBC Radio1 News Report: Baldness drug Propecia 'risking men's sexual health'


"Young men could be risking their sexual health by taking the world's best selling anti-baldness drug, claim some doctors. They say finasteride - sold in this country as Propecia - can cause serious side effects and that the drug's labelling is inadequate.

... He'd stopped taking the drug after noticing he had less interest in sex - but he says things soon got worse. "After about three weeks all hell broke loose. I more or less became completely impotent."

... He went to see a specialist a few months later. "He put me on testosterone therapy, which is a lifelong commitment", says James. "Unfortunately that didn't work either. I went back to him six months later and he offered me the chance of a penile implant."

... There are doctors in Ireland and the US who claim cases like James's aren't unusual and that the drug's labelling is inadequate.

... Merck say they continually monitor its safety and have recently changed the labelling after reports of sexual side effects continuing after people had stopped taking the drug. They also claim those cases are extremely rare and could be caused by something other than Propecia itself.

... "Every day I wish could turn back the clock. It did work well for my hair, but the cost is ridiculous - losing my sex-life. It's happening to lots and lots of men- and it's about time people woke up to it.""


2011 - Hair loss treatment may wreck your sex life

A new study announced on January 12 reports that men using the hair loss treatment Propecia may experience some seriously bad side effects: loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and growth of man breasts.

In addition to Propecia (finasteride), the study cites drugs such as Avodart (dutasteride) as having similar side effects. The new study, currently published online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, examined drugs belonging to a group called 5a-reductase inhibitors (5a-RIs), which have been approved to treat lower urinary tract symptoms due to enlarged prostate, and may also prevent hair loss. Propecia is one of the drugs approved to treat hair loss examined in the study.

Yet US researchers issue "extreme caution" for those taking these drugs for either hair loss or urinary tract infections, due to side effects such as sexual dysfunction, the development of breast tissue in men, and depression brought by on by these side effects, researchers claim.

"Honest and open discussion with patients to educate them on these serious issues must be pursued prior to commencing therapy," urged study researcher Abdulmaged M. Traish of Boston University Medical Center in a statement. "In some patients, these adverse effects are persistent and may be prolonged and patients do not recover well after discontinuation from drug use."


2011 - Hair loss drug leads to loss of libido

"... After a review of the literature the researchers found that in a subset of men, prolonged adverse effects on sexual function such as erectile dysfunction and diminished libido were reported, raising the possibility of a causal relationship.

According to the researchers, the adverse side effects of 5a-RIs on sexual function, gynecomastia and the impact on the overall health have received minimal attention.

However, in some patients, these side effects are persistent with regard to sexual function and with an emotional toll including decreased quality of life.

"The potential widespread use of 5a-RIs for treatment of BPH, prostate cancer and male pattern hair loss may produce undesirable adverse side effects on overall health and in particular, vascular health and sexual function in a subgroup of susceptible patients," said lead author Abdulmaged M. Traish, a professor of biochemistry and professor of Urology at BUSM.

"Furthermore, treatment of hair loss, a benign condition with 5a-RIs may produce persistent side effects in a number of young patients.

"Honest and open discussion with patients to educate them on these serious issues must be pursued prior to commencing therapy because, in some patients, these adverse effects are persistent and may be prolonged and patients do not recover well after discontinuation from drug use," cautioned Traish.

The researchers believe additional clinical and preclinical studies are warranted to determine the reason for why some of these adverse effects persist in some individuals.


2011 - Why Merck’s Hair Loss Drug Could Make Its Income Statement Go, Um, Limp

"Merck (MRK) is experiencing some rough PR issues on its hair-loss drug Propecia following a study that suggests up to 15 percent of men taking the drug might experience some form of sexual dysfunction. For years, the warning label on Propecia has said that only 2 percent of men might experience erectile dysfunction while using the drug, and if users stop taking the pills everything returns to normal

"... the new study, in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, suggests the rate of dysfunction is a lot higher and that in some cases men are permanently hobbled by erectile dysfunction or loss of libido even after stopping the drug. The study dovetails with a recent BBC report on one 26-year-old man who claims the drug ruined his life.

He’s not the only one. A quick search of hair-loss comment boards shows that plenty of men have had the same experience: They grew hair but lost their sex lives..."

"... in Sweden, health authorities require Propecia to carry a warning that sexual side effects of the drug may be irreversible. That’s a much more serious warning than the one the drug carries in the U.S."



Medical Awareness


Adverse Side Effects of 5α-Reductase Inhibitors Therapy: Persistent Diminished Libido and Erectile Dysfunction and Depression in a Subset of Patients

Abdulmaged M. Traish PhD, John Hassani MA, Andre T. Guay MD, Michael Zitzmann D, PhD, Michael L. Hansen MD


2010 - MERCK USA adds "DEPRESSION" to list of Finasteride side effects reported in post-marketing use:


    Pg. 2 - What are the possible side effects of PROPECIA?
    "In general use, the following have been reported: breast tenderness and enlargement;
    depression; allergic reactions including rash, itching, hives and swelling of the lips and face; problems with ejaculation; testicular pain; and, in rare cases, male breast cancer. You should promptly report to your doctor any changes in your breasts such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge. Tell your doctor promptly about these or any other unusual side effects.





2010 - Dr. Michael S. Irwig, MD: CLINICAL STUDY ON PERSISTENT PROPECIA SIDE EFFECTS @ George Washington University
On March 17, 2010, Dr. Michael Irwig posted on that he is conducting a clinical study on persistent Finasteride side effects, and is actively requesting participants worldwide.  

Dr. Irwig is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at George Washington University - School of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology. He is also the Medical Faculty Associates Director, Center for Andrology.


2010 - Dr. Alan Jacobs, MD - Confirmation of persistent side effects, Post-Finasteride Syndrome, potential treatments & causes

Dr. Alan Jacobs MD (neuroendocrinologist) confirms persistent Finasteride side effects, clinical evaluation of the Post-Finasteride Syndrome, some treatment options and possible causes for the condition.


Selected excerpts:

  • I have recently seen an increasing number of men who have developed significant degrees of clinical hypogonadism - low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, reduced sexual sensations and listlessness, fatigue and/or "brain fog" - while either taking finasteride or after stopping the medication, even long after stopping it.
  • A considerable number of men have intolerable and sometimes persistent side effects from the medicine. The occurrence of these symptoms in the setting of being on, or even after stopping, the medicine presents a compelling neuroendocrine problem
  • It is reasonable to assume that not all men suffer from the exact same cause
  • The investigation of this problem begins with measuring blood levels of the testicular hormone testosterone, DHT and luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • If testosterone is low and LH and FSH are low or even normal, then the problem is "upstairs" either in the pituitary gland or in higher brain centers that control hormones
  • If high normal levels of testosterone, combined with low estrogen levels, does not relieve the hypogonadal symptoms, then the possibility that the man has some resistance to testosterone must be considered
  • Other brain hormones can be effected by finasteride. These are called neurosteroids and their decline can bring anxiety and depression. These neurosteroids cannot yet be measured commercially with blood tests
  • A systematic neuroendocrine approach to this problem should shed light on the cause in a majority of cases and bring relief 
  • I had previously written about whether the propensity of finasteride to cause lasting hypogonadism could be due to the development of partial androgen resistance and whether this relates to the number of CAG repeats in exon 1 of their androgen receptor genes.
  • It may be the case with finasteride that a common epigenetic effect interacts with a less common variant in the androgen receptor gene CAG repeat profile to cause its syndrome of crippling persistent post-finasteride hypogonadism.



2010 - Dr. Andrew Rynne Warns Against Finasteride Use In Young Men

Selected excerpts:

"Please listen to me. Do NOT under any circumstances even for one minute consider taking the testosterone-suppressing drug Proscar or Propecia or Finasteride to give it its chemical name for male pattern balding.."

"... for 2% of men on Proscar to experience serious side effects like erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and reduced volume of semen this is actually a very high and significant figure."

Remember you are dealing here with a naturally occurring normal male phenomenon called ‘Male Pattern Baldness’. This is not an illness or a disease. This is a healthy normal occurrence. If in an attempt to “cure” it, you are getting a 2% rate of serious side effects, then that quite frankly is unacceptable."

"... here is the real lie that Merck is giving you in its Patient’s Leaflet. Do you see that bit there about “went away in men who stopped taking Propecia – ” That is simply not true and Merck know full well that it is not true. They know it is not true because I and hundreds of other doctors and thousands of patients have told them that these side effects do not always go away when you stop taking Propecia. We continue to be ignored of course. Merck in a multi-billion multinational company."

... "In some cases men who have taken Proscar, even for a few months, have unwittingly condemned themselves to a lifetime of Sexual Anhedonia, the most horrible and cruel or all sexual dysfunctions. I have spoken to several young men in my clinic in Kildare who continue to suffer from sexual anaesthesia and for whom all sexual pleasure and feelings have been obliterated for all time. I have felt their suffering and shared their devastation."

... "Taking Propecia for balding can have utterly disastrous consequences."


2008 - Permanent erectile dysfunction now official in Europe

In December 2008, the Swedish Medical Products agency concluded it's safety investigation of Propecia (click to view Google English translation). The Agency's updated safety information now lists difficulty in obtaining an erection that persists even after discontinuing Propecia as a possible side-effect



2009 - Permanent erectile dysfunction now official in UK

The MHRA in the UK (equivalent to FDA in the USA) has now added the possibility of persistent erectile dysfunction after discontinuing Finasteride 1mg as a side-effect.

Under Undesirable Side Effects, pg. 7, section 4.8:
  • "Persistence of erectile dysfunction after discontinuation of treatment with PROPECIA has been reported in post-marketing use."


2009 - Male breast cancer now official side effect in Europe & UK

The MHRA in the UK and the Swedish Medical Products agency have both added male breast cancer as a side-effect and possible outcome from Finasteride use.

"... In contrast, a Propecia study (which used a more sensitive assay than the original 5 mg finasteride studies) demonstrated a significant increase in serum oestradiol levels from baseline in the finasteride group when compared to placebo (p=0·027). Importantly, recent studies have shown that 5 mg finasteride increases oestradiol levels both in males (Vaughan et al., 2007) and females (Bayram et al., 2002) and that this effect is cumulative with time (section 3.4.1). Although there is no observed change in the testosterone:oestradiol ratio, the changes in hormone levels could have implications for potentially increasing the risk of breast cancer."

"... Cases of male breast cancer have been reported for finasteride, and the review suggested that an increased risk of male breast cancer associated with finasteride use cannot be excluded. Patients using finasteride products should be advised to promptly report to their doctor any changes in their breast tissue such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge because these may be signs of a serious condition, such as breast cancer.

On the basis of the review, it was recommended that a warning on the risk of breast cancer should be included in the product information for all medicines containing finasteride."



2009 Swedish Medical Agency - Updated Male Breast Cancer warning for Finasteride 1mg and 5mg  


Breast cancer has been reported in men taking finasteride 1 mg during the post-marketing period. Physicians should instruct their patients to promptly report any changes in their breast tissue such as lumps, pain, gynecomastia or nipple discharge.

In addition, the following have been reported in postmarketing use:
persistence of erectile dysfunction after discontinuation of treatment with Propecia; male breast cancer (see section 4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use). has been reported in post-marketing use.

PIL for Propecia

You should promptly report to your doctor any changes in your breast tissue such as lumps, pain, enlargement of the breast tissue or nipple discharge as these may be signs of a serious condition, such as breast cancer.




2010 - Sweden/Europe - Permanent ED, Breast Cancer, Fertility issues

Under "Special Warnings and Precautions for Use ", pg. 2, section 4.4:

  • "Long-term data on fertility in humans are lacking, and specific studies in subfertile men have not been conducted. The male patients who were planning to father a child were initially excluded from clinical trials. Although, animal studies did not show relevant negative effects on fertility, spontaneous reports of infertility and /or poor seminal quality were received post-marketing..."
  • Breast cancer has been reported in men taking finasteride 1 mg during the post-marketing period.

Under "Undesirable Side Effects", pg. 3, section 4.8:

  • persistence of erectile dysfunction after discontinuation of treatment with PROPECIA
  • male breast cancer
Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012 06:25  

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