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Prostate Drug Had Lasting Effects on Sex Life

Drugs for an enlarged prostate gland, dutasteride and finasteride, can have long-lasting negative consequences for a man's sex life.
Prostate Drug Had Lasting Effects on Sex Life
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People don’t always ask about potential side effects when they accept a prescription from the physician. They should, of course.

Most men would probably want to know if the medicine they take for their enlarged prostate would interfere with their sex life. Finding out that the side effect could last a long time after stopping the pill might make some guys think twice about starting it. That is all we recommend: that people be aware of the risks as well as the benefits of any drugs they take. That way they can decide if the medication is worthwhile for them.

Finasteride Had Damaging Effect on Sex Life:

Q. I was prescribed finasteride because I had to get up many times each night to urinate.

Finasteride was effective for the nocturia caused by my enlarged prostate gland.

Unfortunately, I had side effects that diminished my sex life. Hoping to recover my sex drive and erectile function, I started cutting the tablets in half. I took that half dose for about six months with no abatement of the side effects.

I’ve now been off finasteride for three months but I still have sexual problems. At this point, I would trade a little nocturia for a better sexual experience.

Problems with Sex Life May Be Long-Lasting:

A. Research published in the journal PeerJ (March 9, 2017) reports that sexual side effects are a risk with drugs like dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Proscar). The longer men take such drugs, the greater the chance of persistent erectile dysfunction.

Even after discontinuing these prostate medications, some men continue to have difficulty with libido and erections.  A few report that sex is no longer pleasurable.

The FDA issued a warning about persistent sexual difficulties in 2012.  Doctors should be sure to let men know about this potential problem when they write the prescription.

Tom in Palm Bay, FL, offered this comment:

“I started taking Avodart at age 53, continuing until age 58 when I was switched to finasteride. I took that for about 8 years, and am now on Flomax. There is No Sex Life after any of the above.”

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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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