Results showed 530 of the 11,909 subjects had cases of new erectile dysfunction, and 167 of these developed PED that continued for a median of 1,348 days after stopping treatment (interquartile range (IQR) 631.5-2320.5 days).
Compared to men with shorter exposure, men without prostate disease had a 4.8-fold higher risk of PED when they combined NSAIDs with >208.5 days of 5α-RI exposure (number needed to harm (NNH) 59.8, all P<0.002). Thirty-four of 4,284 (0.8%) men, aged 16–42 years, exposed to finasteride ≤1.25 mg/day developed PED (persistence median 1,534 days; IQR 651-2,351 days). In addition, compared to men with shorter finasteride exposure, young men with >205 days of exposure had 4.9-fold higher risk of PED (NNH 108.2, P<0.004).
“Our study shows men who take finasteride or dutasteride can get persistent erectile dysfunction, in which they will not be able to have normal erections for months or years after stopping finasteride or dutasteride,” said Belknap.
The researchers note that before this study, there was no strong evidence that these medications caused sexual dysfunction that persists after the drug has been discontinued or that longer exposure increases the chance of experiencing sexual problems.