Q. I am suffering with side effects from finasteride to control prostate symptoms. I have erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and enlarged breasts. Does it make sense for me to take testosterone to overcome these side effects?
A. Finasteride is the active ingredient in two drugs: Proscar for benign prostate problems and Propecia for male pattern baldness.
The FDA recently added warnings to finasteride labels that some sexual side effects may continue even after the drug is stopped. We found no studies showing that testosterone counteracts the sexual side effects of finasteride, but it is also not clear that testosterone would interfere with the drug’s effectiveness.
Discuss your concerns with your physician and ask if there is another way to treat your enlarged prostate. The FDA recently approved the ED drug Cialis for prostate symptoms. A new analysis shows that this drug can ease prostate problems without triggering sexual side effects (European Urology, May, 2012). Not all insurance companies pay for this new use of Cialis, so your doctor may need to make a special request.

Join Over 55,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Conrad S.
    Reply

    My DR. suggested that I take a Prostate pill daily to avoid any future issues requiring surgery and prescribed Finasteride 5 mg. After reading the potential side affects, I wanted to check your web site for non prescription usage and glad to hear that Saw palmetto has worked well for other people and will try that.
    Thanks to the Peoples Pharmacy and your good service.

  2. condoline
    Reply

    After a TUR, my second husband used saw palmetto for enlarged prostate for twenty years until he died. My third husband, also with an enlarged prostate, has been on saw palmetto since we got married six years ago. My second husband never needed a second procedure, although two friends, both on prescription drugs for enlarged prostate, had to have second operations. My husband’s doctor is fine with saw palmetto.
    It is prescribed in Europe by nearly 90% of urologists for enlarged prostate with about 10% prescribing drugs; in the United States, the drug industry seems to have talked doctors into using their drugs instead of saw palmetto, which they don’t like because it can’t be patented and they can’t make money from it, so most doctors prescribe something for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).

  3. DLO
    Reply

    After a prostatectomy my oncologist prescribed daily use Cialis for me. He wrote a letter stating that the drug was medically necessary as part of my recovery. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina denied coverage. I was unemployed, on COBRA at the time so I could not afford the Cialis. As a a result I have lived a celibate life for 3.5 years and I’m only in my 50’s.

  4. CR
    Reply

    My prescription insurance company has arbitrarily been substituting generics for name brand medications that my physicians have prescribed. After successful treatment for Prostate Cancer with IMRT High Beam External Radiation & Casodex tablets before radiation & Zoladex injections (the Zoladex shots were every 3 months during the course of 40 radiations over 8 weeks & continuing until one year from the start of treatment).
    At that point during an office visit with my Urologist (Urinalysis, blood drawn for PSA test & examination & DRE by my Urologist)he told me that my Oncologist had recommended that he continue giving me the Zoladex injections for another year. My Urologist said in light of the severe side effects I was experiencing: a heart condition & Osteoporosis, with my permission, since my PSA had dropped from 56 to 0.5, he would stop the Zoladex shots & closely monitor me every 3 months.
    He now checks me every 6 months. He also emphasized that I continue to take the Flomax 0.4 mg capsule every night. About a year ago, my Urologist faxed in a prescription for the Flomax 0.4mg, 90 capsules, but he didn’t write DAW. The pharmacy filled the R/x with a generic: Tamsolosan 0.4mg 90 capsules. After taking 2 of these capsules a 1″ high rash appeared around my left ankle.
    My wife’s Dermatologist took a sample & sent it to a Pathologist in Miami. The report from the Pathologist: this person is allergic to a medication he is taking. I stopped taking the Tamsolosan, but when I reported this to my Urologist & he called in a new R/x to my local Walmart Pharmacy for the Flomax they informed me that they no longer filled Flomax, only the Generic, Tamsolosin. I then went to the local Walgreens Pharmacy & asked them to pull the R/x from Walmart & fill the Flomax R/x for 30 capsules.
    Walgreens Pharmacy then told me that my R/x insurance co. wouldn’t cover the R/x because I had just had it filled. Somehow the Walgreens Pharmacist managed to cancel the original R/x & refill the Flomax R/x.
    Recently my Cardiologist had to switch my R/x for Coreg CR 20mg capsules & Atacand 16mg. tablets to Carvedilol 6.25mg. tablets & Losartan 100mg. tablets. After reporting that I was experiencing tiredness & severe leg cramps he told me to cut the Losartan tablets in 1/2 & take 50mg. in a.m & 50mg. at night. He refused to change the Losartan & insisted that something else was causing the severe leg cramps. My Internist had recently had me have a Lower Extremities Tests (for veins & Potassium Blood Level Test done in her office, she told me that both tests showed that I was fine. These tests were sent to my Cardiologist.
    When I take Carvedilol, Losartan & Crestor (5mg. every other night) I take these with 1/2 glass of Diet Publix Tonic Water with Quinine. So far I have no more leg cramps.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.