FINASTERIDE = PEYRONIES
WHAT DOES THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE SHOW?
For those men who believe that Propecia (finasteride) causes
permanent adverse sexual side effects no research effort has
been quoted more than the study published in the Journal of
Sexual Medicine 2011 with the title Persistent Sexual Side
Effects of Finasteride for Male Pattern Hair Loss. This research
topic is key. If adverse reactions are caused by the drug
and persisted even after subjects stopped taking the
medication, then Merck and other drug companies would likely
be liable for significant damages. But, if symptoms went away
after men stopped using the drug, the harm experienced would
be much less.
On other websites men comment that reports such as the one
in The Journal of Sexual Medicine on persistent side effects add
credence to their allegations of damage done to them by their
taking Propecia. These individuals have only looked at a brief
abstract of this medical study. What makes my website and
analysis unique is that I have gone to the trouble and expense
of obtaining the full report.
The researchers for this Journal of Sexual Medicine study
conducted interviews with 71 otherwise healthy men, ages
21-46 years who reported a new onset of adverse sexual side
effects associated with the use of finasteride in which the
symptoms persisted for at least 3 months after use was
discontinued. Subjects were recruited from the researchers
clinical practice, word of mouth and the Internet site
Propeciahelp.com, an Internet forum about finasteride side
These men reported a host of persistent sexual side effects
including diminished sex drive, difficulty with arousal, erection
dysfunction and problems with ejaculation. The report in this
Journal stated the number of men who experienced side effects
and range of months these side effects persisted after cessation
of finasteride. Instead of a range of months, I took the average
of months within the range. So, If men reported persistent side
effects for a range of 3-6 months I averaged it out to 4.5
months. It just seemed easier to understand.
Note the total should read 71
The researchers writing this report make some very important
and interesting observations:
- Subjects with a history of psychiatric disorders or previous
history of use of psychiatric medication were excluded from the
- Most sexual dysfunction began when the subjects were taking
finasteride, but some reported that their problems started after
they stopped taking the drug.
- The mean duration of finasteride use was 28 months and mean
duration of persistent side effects was 40 months from cessation
of taking the drug to initial interview.
- Men who reported side effects usually reported a combination
of adverse side effects.
- Finasteride is among the minority of drugs that passes the blood-
- This study has a number of important limitations:
- A selection bias because the men experiencing significant side
effects would be likely to participate in the study.
- Another problem is recall bias as men may have not accurately
- The most critical question is for all the subjects is whether their
normal sexual function will ever recover?
I hope my readers have paid careful attention to this report
because it is often cited by attorneys suing Merck.
Something is missing! The researchers never asked if any of
the men had Peyronies Disease. I guess it was not
considered. I contacted the physician who conducted the
study and he confirmed that patients were not asked if
they had Peyronies Disease. He did however tell me that
some participants did volunteer the fact that they had
Peyronies. He did not supply any further information,
numbers or if they had this disease before or after taking
finasteride. The evidence linking finasteride + Peyronies is
simply not there in the report.
Does This Study Show A Link Between Finasteride and
Peyronies Disease? I give it a letter grade of D