Common Finasteride Side Effects

If you are thinking about starting or have already started a course of medication, you might want to consider the possible Finasteride side effects. Finasteride is an antiandrogen which means it affects the male hormones and can reduce hair growth by limiting testosterone production. In men, this can also mean the absence of hair on the prostate and scrotum. There are several potential Finasteride side effects, but most are not life-threatening. These include sexual dysfunction, heart disease, thinning hair loss in other areas, and mood swings. If these aren’t enough, there are some things that you should know.


sexual dysfunction symptoms

The most common finasteride side effects seen in men are usually seen in the early part of the treatment cycle, usually in the initial few weeks of treatment. The exact reasons for these sexual dysfunction symptoms are not clearly known, but a common cause is the short-term blocking of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. In a normal process, the 5-alpha reductase keeps testosterone from becoming a male hormone. The Finasteride drug, when taken during this interruption, may block the enzyme and result in sexual dysfunction.


decreased libido

Another of the common finasteride side effects is decreased libido. This can happen in either the male or the female. Usually, decreased libido is seen only in older men. This is believed to be caused by the inflammation and swelling of the male reproductive ducts. Soreness and pain related to this condition can also be seen. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor to see if you are experiencing sexual dysfunction.


erectile dysfunction

One of the more surprising sexual side effects is that there is a high incidence of erectile dysfunction in men taking finasteride. This is because the primary ingredient of this medication is known as an inhibitor of the enzyme that produces nitric oxide. Without the production of this oxide, erection is impaired. This can have a number of implications, ranging from impotence to decreased libido. Because the production of nitric oxide is responsible for erection, any reduction in its levels may lead to erectile dysfunction.


high-grade prostate cancer

Another of the frequently seen finasteride side effects is the formation of high-grade prostate cancer. It is believed that this development is caused primarily by the fact that the active ingredient of finasteride saw palmetto, has been shown in several clinical studies to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. Because prostate cancer develops slowly over time and is difficult to detect, it can be years before a diagnosis is made. For this reason, many men who take finasteride do not develop this disease.


low blood concentrations of the sex hormone testosterone

In some cases, adverse sexual dysfunction can occur after men have begun taking finasteride. One of the main reasons for this is that a small number of men may have abnormally low blood concentrations of the sex hormone testosterone. Because testosterone is necessary for erectile function, this deficiency can result in erectile dysfunction. Because this can often be rectified with testosterone replacement therapy, some of the men who begin seeing adverse sexual dysfunction symptoms after starting finasteride therapy may choose to wait until after these other factors are corrected to try finasteride.

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