The effects in the brain of finasteride…have been poorly explored. Therefore, the effects of a subchronic treatment of finasteride…and the consequences of its withdrawal on neuroactive steroid levels in plasma, cerebrospinal fluid and some brain regions…have been evaluated in male rats. After subchronic treatment…the following effects were detected: (i) depending on the compartment considered, alteration in the levels of neuroactive steroids, not only in 5alpha-reduced metabolites but also in its precursors and in neuroactive steroids from other steroidogenic pathways and (ii) upregulation of androgen receptor in the cerebral cortex and beta3 subunit of GABA-A receptor in the cerebellum. One month after the last treatment (i.e., withdrawal period), some of these effects persisted…Moreover, other changes in neuroactive steroid levels, steroid receptors…and GABA-A receptor subunits…were detected. These findings suggest that finasteride treatment may have broad consequences for brain function.
Giatti S, Foglio B, Romano S, Pesaresi M, Panzica G, Garcia-Segura LM, Caruso D, Melcangi RC, et al. Effects of Subchronic Finasteride Treatment and Withdrawal on Neuroactive Steroid Levels and Their Receptors in the Male Rat Brain. Neuroendocrinology. 2016;103(6):746-57. doi: 10.1159/000442982. Epub 2015 Dec 9. [PubMed]