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.