Home > Online Clinic News > Biased Propecia Study Reveals Links to Sexual Dysfunction

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by Robert MacKay, Wednesday, March 23, 2011 | Categories: Propecia

Merck, the manufacturers of popular hair loss treatment, Propecia (Finasteride) has been faced with a lot of bad press recently. It has always been suspected that Finasteride caused sexual dysfunction in men with side effects including:lower libido; erectile dysfunction; and problems with ejaculation but we were always told that if side effects were to be experienced by a patient, they would soon disappear once treatment ceased.

Researchers at the George Washington University carried out a study on 76 men between the ages of 21 and 46 and found that these men were experiencing problems with sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation from 3 weeks to 10 years after they had stopped taking the drug. The study is published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

94% of participants who had taken the drug for a number of days noted that they had low levels of sexual desire, a similar number reported difficulty with sexual arousal and ED and 69% had problems with achieving orgasm. Those who had taken Finasteride for 28 months reported that they had experienced sexual problems for a duration of 40 months on average from when they stopped taking the treatment to the time the reports were made. 20% of men were experiencing side effects 6 years later.

What is interesting is that in order to be considered eligible to participate in this study, men had to have experienced problems with sexual dysfunction for at least three months after they had stopped taking Finasteride. It seems to me that the study’s authors had a pretty clear indication of the outcome they wanted to see before they even began! Furthermore, in order to participate in this study, men had to include the results of two hormone and fertility tests with their application. These tests were to be spaced one month apart. There was no mention of these results and their effect on sexual dysfunction in the report, only the influence of Finasteride. This report is based on a very small and biased sample and quite simply, it is bad science.

The fact remains that Propecia does benefit those suffering from hair loss and it may cause sexual dysfunction in certain patients but as yet there is no reliable evidence to suggest that any side effects are widespread and long lasting.

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