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Finasteride and Erectile Dysfunction


Finasteride is an FDA-approved drug that is used topically to treat baldness and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

Finasteride is available as two different brand-name drugs called Proscar and Propecia. Proscar is a stronger formula (5-milligram finasteride), and is used to treat BHP. Propecia (1-milligram finasteride) is used to treat male pattern hair loss.

Numerous clinical studies1 2 have linked finasteride to sexual dysfunction, including:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease libido
  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Low sperm count

These side effects are infrequent. For example, studies have reported rates of erectile dysfunction among finasteride users of 2.1% to 3.8%. (These rates reflect newly reported problems, or problems in excess of men using a placebo.)

Patients who experienced problems due to finasteride recovered sexual function when they stopped using the drug.

In general, the risks of sexual side-effects are low, and can be remedied by discontinuing use.

Related Reading

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  1. Mysore, Venkataram. “Finasteride and sexual side effects.” Indian Dermatology Online Journal. Jan-Apr 2012; 3(1): 62–65.
  2. Irwig, Michael S; Kolukula, Swapna. “Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride for Male Pattern Hair Loss.” Wiley Online Library. March 2011.

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