The People's Perspective on Medicine

Is There Help for Lasting Sexual Side Effects?

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.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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guys !!! Don’t take drugs to grow hair–get your teeth fixed (beautiful smile) get fit-workout-dress nice-talk intelligently–believe me the ladies will beat a path to your door-hair or no hair-eat healthy!!

I’ve been taking Finasteride for about 5 months now. I do have some of the side effects. I hope they don’t last.

Amen to his experience with Finasteride. I have all of those symptoms plus it is now crooked.

Why take any drug for balding? Many bald men are very sexy–and still very good looking!!

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