Finasteride Side effects in Females and Male
Finasteride Side effects
Finasteride is an anti-androgen agent used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia and male pattern baldness. This medication works by inhibiting the 5 alpha reductase enzyme that converts the male sex hormone testosterone into its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
For finasteride side effects, the commonly reported side effects of finasteride include: impotence and decreased libido. Other side effects include: impotence and decreased libido. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
The side effects seen with this drug are therefore related to its anti-androgenic effects. Since both benign prostatic hyperplasia and male pattern baldness require long-term and continuous use of the drug, the risk of side effects is high.
One 12 month clinical trial of 5 mg finasteride versus placebo in 3000 patients showed that the side effects associated with finasteride include:
- Decreased labido (at 5% versus 3%)
- Erectile dysfunction (at 8% versus 3%)
- Ejaculation disorder (at 2.0% versus 0.6%)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Patients taking finasteride to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia may find that symptoms such as difficulty urinating, increased urination frequency and decreased urinary flow improve after around six months of treatment. These beneficial effects, however, are reversed and symptoms worsen when the medication is discontinued.
Male pattern baldness
Finasteride has also been shown to benefit men with mild to moderate hair loss. Again, the medication is only effective for as long as it is used, with the therapeutic effects being lost within 6 to 12 months after discontinuation of the therapy.
Finasteride causes defects of the sexual organs in the male fetus. Pregnant women or women who are likely to be pregnant should therefore be careful not to handle crushed finasteride tablets in order to avoid its absorption via the skin.
In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by finasteride. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.
Major Side Effects
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking finasteride:
- cold sweats
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
- Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- breast enlargement and tenderness
- hives or welts
- itchy skin
- rapid weight gain
- redness of the skin
- skin rash
- swelling of the lips and face
- tingling of the hands or feet
- unusual weight gain or loss
Incidence not known:
- Clear or bloody discharge from the nipple
- dimpling of the breast skin
- inverted nipple
- lump in the breast or under the arm
- persistent crusting or scaling of the nipple
- redness or swelling of the breast
- sore on the skin of the breast that does not heal
Minor Side Effects – finasteride side effects
Some of the side effects that can occur with finasteride may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:
- Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- inability to have or keep an erection
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- Less common:
- Runny nose
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stuffy nose
- Less common or rare:
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- back pain
- decreased amount of semen
Finasteride may cause a decrease in PSA levels in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as in patients with prostate cancer. In one study, mean PSA reductions of 50% were noted, regardless of baseline levels. There was no indication that PSA levels were further suppressed in patients with prostate cancer.
Hope this article as help you gain more knowledge about finasteride side effects.