Jan. 22, 2022
A new documentary examining three young men’s reactions to rapidly thinning locks—shaving, transplanting and finasteride—features an interview with eminent PFS researcher Roberto Cosimo Melcangi, PhD.
In it, Prof. Melcangi, who heads Neuroendocrinology Unit of the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Milano, notes of his numerous studies on rats:
“We can say with certainty that the animals were healthy before finasteride treatment. After treatment, we observed some negative side effects, many of which persisted after quitting the drug. Just like the PFS patients, the rats developed depression, erectile dysfunction, and there are also changes in their intestinal flora,” he says.
Over the past decade, Prof. Melcangi and his team have published a groundbreaking series of PFS studies, including:
- Three-Dimensional Proteome-Wide Scale Screening for the 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitor Finasteride: Identification of a Novel Off-Target (April 2021)
- Alterations of gut microbiota composition in post-finasteride patients: a pilot study (September 2020)
- Altered methylation pattern of the SRD5A2 gene in the cerebrospinal fluid of post-finasteride patients: a pilot study (August 2019)
- Post-finasteride syndrome and post-SSRI sexual dysfunction: two sides of the same coin? (August 2018)
- Neuroactive steroid levels and psychiatric and andrological features in post-finasteride patients (July 2017)
“The attentiveness of doctors today is certainly much greater. They are more cautious than in the past,” adds Mencangli, whose work has no doubt played a major role in such awareness.
Featured as well in the film is Simon Breidert, a psychiatrist from Berlin who has suffered from PFS since 2017 and currently chairs the PFS Research Association.
“In the month I discontinued the drug, I died inside. It is still possible to laugh again after a while, but it's like looking through a window, as if it wasn’t me,” says Breidert.
“I worked in the psychiatric field myself. I thought most patients were just hypochondriacs. I was very wrong. A friend of mine also took finasteride and he is no longer alive. He developed a very bad sleeping disorder. He couldn't calm himself down anymore. He ended up jumping out the window.”
Suddenly Bald marks the third German-language PFS report on network TV in less then a year. The previous two are: Tricks of the Beauty Industry (WDR, Germany) and The Side Effects of Finasteride Are Underestimated (NDR, Germany).
Anyone living in the US who suffers from PFS should report his symptoms to the US Food and Drug Administration. Anyone living outside the US who suffers from PFS should report his/her symptoms to the US Food and Drug Administration and to his/her national drug-regulatory agency, as directed on our Report Your Side Effects page.
Finally, if you or a loved one are suffering from PFS, and feeling depressed or unstable, please don’t hesitate to contact the PFS Foundation as soon as possible via our Patient Support hotline: firstname.lastname@example.org