Longer exposure to 5α-reductase inhibitors (5α-RIs) finasteride and dutasteride has been associated with a greater risk of persistent erectile dysfunction (PED), according to new research published in the journal Peerj. The findings showed that among those who developed PED, the condition continued for months or years, despite patients stopping treatment.
“The new findings of an association between debilitating sexual dysfunction and exposure to finasteride or dutasteride should be of particular interest to prescribers and patients considering medical management of androgenic alopecia or symptomatic treatment of enlarged prostate,” said lead author Dr. Steven Belknap, a research assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University.
Finasteride is indicated for the treatment of androgenic alopecia in men, while dutasteride is used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Researchers from Northwestern University analyzed a total of 11,909 men for PED using the data repository for Northwestern Medicine. The men were aged 16 to 89 and were exposed to finasteride or dutasteride between the years 1992 and 2013. PED was classified as symptoms lasting for at least 90 days after 5α-RI treatment was stopped. Men with shorter exposure served as a comparison control group to those with longer exposure.