Can hair growth drugs kill sex drive in men? Yes, says study

  • IANS, New York
  • Updated: Aug 26, 2015 18:53 IST
Stress, pollution, poor nutrition and disrupted sleep patterns are key reasons behind premature baldness, which is a problem plaguing people as early as in their twenties. A noteworthy solution, an expert says, lies in hair restoration -- a market growing at a rapid pace. (Shutterstock Photo)

Did you know that hair growth drugs have serious side effects? In fact, they have sexual side effects like erectile dysfunction, a new study has warned.

Certain common drugs prescribed for those suffering from male pattern hair loss - known as alopecia - and benign prostate enlargement (BPH) may lead to adverse sexual side effects such as loss of libido or erectile dysfunction, says the study.

Twenty-five percent of men currently taking Finasteride or Dutasteride, popularly known as Proscar and Avodart, for the treatment of BPH, appear not to benefit from taking these medications.

Those prescribed Propecia or Avodart for male pattern hair loss are also at risk for adverse events elicited by these drugs, the findings showed.

In some patients, side effects such as libido loss and erectile dysfunction can remain even after stopping therapy.

Finasteride and Dutasteride are in the family of drugs known as 5alpha-reductase inhibitors (5A-RIs).

The researchers believe that besides sexual side effects, the drugs could also have cardiovascular side effects.

"Inhibition of 5A-R activity may potentiate insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, vascular disease and osteoporosis, but studies have not been definitive,” said lead researcher Abdulmaged Traish, professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) in Massachusetts, US.

"The investigation into psychiatric side effects of 5A-RIs has been limited, but some case series describe increased depression and anxiety symptoms among patients on the medication," he pointed out.

The findings appeared online in the journal Endocrine Reviews and Metabolic Disorders.

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