Are you concerned that taking finasteride to prevent hair loss may have negative effects on your sex life?

If like many men, the thought of taking finasteride troubles you, you can take heart in the findings of a major clinical study which shows there is no evidence to support claims that use of 5 alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARI), such as finasteride for alopecia and dutasteride for Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH), will lead to erectile dysfunction.

The observational study by the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program at Boston University School of Public Health, finds that in patients taking less than 1 mg of finasteride there are no side effects unless there is some co morbidity such as obesity, diabetes, stress, depression or high cholesterol.

Quoting the study’s Katrina Wilcox Hagberg, a Reuters Health article says the findings show that 5ARI therapy does not increase the risk of erectile dysfunction regardless of the use of the medication.

The Reuters article, which was published in New York, says the study finds that regardless of exposure to medication, the risk of erectile dysfunction increases for men with the length of time that they have BPH.

The analysis used a large, validated, longitudinal primary case database known for high accuracy of diagnoses and completeness of drug prescribing data.

“We found known risk factors to be independently associated with risk for erectile dysfunction (eg, increased body mass index, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes), providing confidence in the quality of the data and its ability to detect associations between benign prostatic hyperplasia treatments and risk of erectile dysfunction.”

Acclaimed hair transplant surgeon, Dr Jennifer Martinick says she hopes the study’s findings will reassure the many men concerned about the safety of finasteride and debunk the myths circulated on the internet.

The findings also confirm her long held view regarding the nocebo effect, a term relating to the power of negative suggestion on health.

“It is such a pity to see that so many young men who could benefit from taking finasteride don’t take it because they have been influenced by some of the myths circulated on the internet.

“As a consequence they continue losing their hair and feel miserable.”

To read more about the methodology and findings of the scientific study by the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program click on the link here.

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