Q. Now that I’m nearing divorce court (in large part due to sexual difficulties), I was dismayed by the response to a person inquiring about finasteride (Proscar). I have every single side effect in your answer.
I have not taken Proscar for some time. I was very distressed to read that the sexual side effects may last for years.
I have zero libido and zero erections. How long might these effects last? Can they be reversed with over-the-counter treatments or am I history sexually? I am only 60.
A. No one knows how long sexual side effects such as lowered libido, erectile problems, reduced penis size and diminished sensation or pleasure during orgasm may last after finasteride is stopped.
The finding that such effects may persist after the drug is discontinued is relatively recent (Journal of Sexual Medicine, Nov. 2012). The men in this study were followed for up to 16 months after they stopped the drug and many were still having problems.
Finasteride is used to treat male pattern baldness and symptoms of enlarged prostate. As far as we know, there is no OTC treatment to reverse the sexual side effects. Please discuss your symptoms with a urologist to see if there are any other treatment options.