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Long-Term Erectile Dysfunction Could Be Caused By Hair Loss Drug Propecia [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 13, 2017 11:52 PM EDT

It turns out that two drugs used for treating male pattern baldness are linked to sexual dysfunction that persists after discontinued use. A new research showed that men exposed to finasteride, sold as Propecia, and dutasteride have more risks of suffering from impotence marked by erectile dysfunction and low libido.

The effect of the hair loss drugs to 11,909 men was assessed and found that 1.4 percent had developed persistent sexual dysfunction that may last for over three and a half years after stopping. Published in the Peer J on March 9, the research further revealed that young men who had been taking finasteride for seven months had a 4.9-fold higher risk for new erectile dysfunction than men who had been on the drug for a shorter period.

Viagra did not seem to help alleviate the condition.

The team from Northwestern University claimed that men getting treatment for hair loss with finasteride are more likely to have sexual problems than when other factors such as age, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, depression and ethanol abuse were taken into account. Also, duration of using finasteride more accurately predicted sexual dysfunction than the amount of dose did.

Finasteride is the active ingredient of Propecia and Proscar; dutasteride is sold as Avodart.

Earlier studies generated conflicting information about the link between finasteride and dutasteride, and sexual problems. 

Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia, is characterized by receding hairline and hair thinning on the crown. According to the Medline Plus, it may be a hereditary condition. Male sex hormones play a part as well. It is also affected by Finasteride and dutasteride are prescribed for the treatment of hair loss. In the 1980s, FDA approved the sale of finasteride to improve symptoms of enlarged prostate. Men taking it reported seeing hair growth. Hence, it was marketed as a hair loss drug in 1992.

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