finasteride

  1. The high price of hair growth

    I know more than a few balding men who'd make a deal with the devil if it meant getting their hair back.

    Well, the devil is here... and he's ready to collect.

    All he wants in exchange for those luxurious locks is your sex life--because new studies confirm what many men have already discovered the hard way: A common hair loss drug can lead to erectile dysfunction, impotence, and libido problems.

    And that means men who think a full head of hair will boost their sex lives are in for the shock of their lives instead.

    The med is finasteride, but you may know it better as the hair growth drug Propecia or the prostate med Proscar (that's right--different names... different conditions... same drug).

    In one study, researchers interviewed 71 men between the ages of 21 and 46 years old who got slammed with sexual problems after taking the drug--despite the fact that none of them had any issues "down there" beforehand.

    Some of them began having problems in the first month of taking the med.

    Those problems covered just about everything a man has nightmares about: Researchers said 92 percent suffered from erectile dysfunction, 94 percent experienced low desire, 92 percent suffered a loss of arousal, and 69 percent had orgasm problems such as reduced ejaculation and semen volume, according to the study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

    Ready for the worst part? The problems lingered long after the men stopped taking the med... and in some cases, they were still experiencing erectile dysfunction and other issues five or even 10 years later, with no sign of letting up.

    A second study in the same journal, an analysis of side effects reported in other studies, confirmed the link.

    Researchers behind that one say 8 percent of men who try the drug report erectile dysfunction, while 4.2 percent experience loss of libido--in both cases double the numbers of those who took a placebo.

    That's actually the "good" news.

    The bad news is that researchers say just about any man who takes the med can expect a certain amount of sexual problems since it works by blocking androgen, a hormone essential for sexual functions such as arousal, erection, and ejaculation.

    Maybe it's time to look in the mirror and decide "bald is beautiful" after all--or least research one of the great nondrug alternatives that have helped men get their hair back without costing them their sex lives.

  2. Docs aim to put healthy men on prostate drug

    by Dr. Alan Inglis

    It's bad enough that Big Pharma has brainwashed Americans into thinking they need a prescription drug every time they get sick – now the billion-dollar giants are going after healthy people, too.

    A group of doctors from the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the American Urological Association are recommending that perfectly healthy men consider taking the prescription drug finasteride (also sold as Proscar) to prevent prostate cancer. Finasteride is already commonly used to treat enlarged prostates and urinary problems.

    This recommendation is not only wrong… it's downright foolhardy.

    First, according to the research, 71 men would need to take the drug for seven years to prevent a single case of prostate cancer. That's an enormous cost – and this "preventative medicating" will probably not be covered by insurance. Plus, that's an awful lot of men who will have to suffer through finasteride's side effects – which include loss of sexual desire – for absolutely no benefit.

    What makes even less sense is that the authors are only recommending the drug be considered by men who are regularly getting PSA tests for prostate cancer. Why they're limiting the recommendation to this group, I still don't fully understand. But suffice to say, the PSA test is considered so flawed, that even many major cancer research groups don't recommend it.

    I was at a loss when I first saw these new recommendations published… but it didn't take me long to figure it out. Turns out, some of the doctors who wrote the guidelines have consulted with Merck, which makes Proscar, and GlaxoSmithKline, which makes another drug being tested to see if it prevents prostate cancer.

    Fortunately, there are some doctors speaking up and questioning whether these guidelines make much sense. Like me, they point out that prostate cancer is often so slow-growing, that most men who get it die of something else first. Aggressive treatment, such as surgery, typically doesn't make much sense… and putting millions of men on a drug to prevent prostate cancer doesn't make a whole lot of sense, either.

    That's just common sense… but unfortunately for Big Pharma, there's no profit in that.

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