Post-finasteride syndrome: a surmountable challenge for clinicians

It is not surprising that almost all studies published to date do report increased sexual adverse effects. However, even when such sexual adverse events were reported, many argued that the numbers of subjects afflicted are small and propagated the falsehood that the adverse effects do resolve with continued treatment. This is unfortunately a willful blindness and a deceptive method to continue to prescribe these drugs to unsuspecting young men. The number of subjects experiencing adverse events is neither small nor irrelevant, given the persistent nature of adverse events in susceptible individuals. For those individuals afflicted, this constitutes a life sentence of sexual dysfunction, depression and/or anxiety. To put this in perspective, approximately 30 million young men, worldwide, would be prescribed finasteride or dutasteride to treat male pattern hair loss. Even if the incidence of persistent sexual adverse events is 3% to 5%, which may be viewed as a small number, approximately 900,000 to 1.5 million men would suffer persistent sexual and psychiatric adverse events. By no means this would be considered a small number and should not be dismissed or ignored. By no means this can be considered a small number and should not be dismissed or ignored.

Traish, AM: Fertil Steril. 2020 Jan;113(1):21-50. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2019.11.030. [Fertility and Sterility]