The Post-Finasteride Syndrome Foundation’s primary mission is to fund research on the characterization, underlying biologic mechanisms and treatments of post-finasteride syndrome (PFS). Other goals include generating public awareness of PFS and providing support for patients suffering from the condition.
Adverse drug reaction reports worldwide
PFS research studies published
Known suicides worldwide
Doctors & researchers speaking out
Nations warning of PFS
Men under the age of 40 who use finasteride for alopecia are at risk for suicide if they develop persistent sexual adverse effects and insomnia.
An important pattern of symptoms was common among all cases who committed suicide in the setting of finasteride use – insomnia and persistent sexual dysfunction after medication discontinuation. Insomnia and fatigue/tiredness were some of the most debilitating symptoms… Men under the age of 40 who use finasteride for alopecia are at risk for suicide if they develop persistent sexual adverse effects and insomnia.
—Finasteride and Suicide: A Postmarketing Case Series: Dermatology, January 14, 2020
[A]t least 17 countries…have warned…of the potential for depression, sexual side effects, or both.
Emerging post-marketing reports of persistent depression and sexual side effects have led to growing concerns about the safety of 5α-reductase inhibitors and prompted product labeling changes in many regulatory jurisdictions. Since 2008, at least 17 countries including the United Kingdom and the United States have warned prescribers of the potential for depression, sexual side effects, or both with finasteride.
Two subjects—eight percent—committed suicide during or after the study.
While the sexual side effects of 5ARIs are well known, there may be persistent genitourinary, physical, psycho-cognitive, anti-androgenic and penile vascular changes after 5ARI discontinuation. Use of 5ARIs for treatment of AGA may lead to persistent sexual, genitourinary, physical, psycho-cognitive, and anti-androgenic sequelae even after cessation of 5ARI therapy… Two subjects (8%) committed suicide during or after the study.
—Penile vascular abnormalities in young men with persistent side effects after finasteride use for the treatment of androgenic alopecia: Translational Andrology and Urology, April 2020
FDA is concerned that use of finasteride by pediatric patients may pose long-term safety risks.
Finasteride inhibits Type II 5(alpha)-reductase, which metabolizes testosterone to the potent androgen 5(alpha)-dihydrotestosterone. FDA is concerned that use of finasteride by pediatric patients may pose long-term safety risks regarding growth, development and sexual function.
—FDA response to Merck & Co.’s citizen petition requesting that finasteride be added to the List of Approved Drugs for Which Additional Pediatric Information May Produce Health Benefits in the Pediatric Population: May 2000
February 25, 2019 Dear Friends: PFS awareness is fanning out across Europe faster than a leaky dyke. The latest nation to take up our charge is the Netherlands, via its second-largest newspaper, De Volkskrant, which boasts a daily circulation of more than 250,000. In a 2,600-word story that ran last week, reporter Irene de Zwaan […]
February 10, 2019 Dear Friends: Vive la France! This time we call your attention to a PFS report last week on 66 Minutes, which models itself after the iconic American news magazine 60 Minutes and boasts a Sunday-evening audience of two million viewers. The 14-minute segment, titled Is This Hair-loss Drug Dangerous? (English-subtitled version here), […]
February 2, 2019 Dear Friends: Prompted by an increasing number of adverse drug-reaction reports to finasteride, France’s FDA-equivalent agency yesterday issued a letter to 100,000 health professionals reminding them that patients treated with the drug are at risk for developing psychiatric disorders and persistent sexual disorders. The Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament et des […]
February 1, 2019 Dear Friends: Looks like Switzerland’s not so neutral after all. At least when it comes to finasteride. In a SonntagsZeitung story headlined Finasteride was once considered a miracle cure for hair loss. But soon libido disorders and other serious side effects were discovered. Now it’s going to court (English translation here ), […]
January 25, 2019 Dear Friends: France is at it again. Doing the right thing, that is. Earlier this week, Le Monde—the nation’s second-largest newspaper, with a daily circulation of more than 300,000 copies—ran a story headlined When Fighting Hair Loss, Watch out for Finasteride. (English translation here.) The 1,170-word report, by Pascale Santi, begins: “Romain […]