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Old 04-22-2009, 06:39 AM   #1
Taka4312
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Default Is Propecia Really safe?

I have a history of sexual side effects from propecia, including no more erections during the morning, and difficulty maintaining one even if I manage to get one in the first place. I stopped eventually, but realizing that it was my last hope for stopping hairloss as rogaine and lasercomb didn't work either, I started taking propecia again, but this time .5 mg every other day to start. Still, I am experiencing side effects as close to one and a half weeks following the start of my regimen.

So I have 3 main worries/questions.

1) if I am getting side effects, should I carry on taking drug, and what percentage of men are able to get over the side effects after continued use.

2) There is news on the web of a Swedish Medical Products agency concluding a safety investigation of Propecia, advising that sexual side effects may be persistent even after the stopping of Finasteride intake.
Wikipedia has even noted it in its side effects column.

3) Even if Propecia is FDA approved, its Longer term effects are still unknown. Seeing as it was only introduced in 1997, it is still a relatively new and untested drug.

So in the end, is PROPECIA REALLY SAFE? I ask myself - what will i do now if in a few years I am both bald AND impotent? Are there other people out there who worry about the severity of these consequences?

Thanks for your time everyone.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:11 AM   #2
seraphix
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It must be safe otherwise it wouldn't be FDA approved or we hope so anyway. There have been cases of drugs being approved to later discover that certain side effects have been over-looked - Vioxx was a case of medication being found later to be dangerous. Funny enough it was a Merck drug.
As for propecia, I am using it but only the doctors and long term users here can comment on it's safety.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
Robert Haber, MD
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Taka:

You didnít mention if your performance problem resolved while you were off the drug.

The most common reported side effects of finasteride are loss of sex drive and the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. The incidence of these problems however is very small. For men taking finasteride for five years, the difference between the treatment group and the placebo group was only 0.3%. In comparison, the incidence of these complaints in men not on finasteride is as high as 10-15%, particularly for men over 40. Notably, 60% of patients experiencing a sexual side effect found that the problem resolved spontaneously, even if the drug was continued. Iím not aware of any reputable study that has associated a permanent sexual problem with the use of finasteride. Wikipedia is not a reliable source of medical information.

Iíve prescribed finasteride to many thousands of men, and less than 1% of my patients have complained about sexual problems. The only way to manage decreased libido is to decrease the dose of finasteride, or stop it altogether. For problems with performance, I usually prescribe Cialis or Viagra, which allows the continuation of finasteride as well as robust sexual performance.

Iím in my 10th year of finasteride use myself, and I continue to have the utmost confidence in its safety and effectiveness.

All that said, any side effect from any drug should be evaluated by a physician, preferably the one who prescribed the medication, so that other causes can be considered, and a treatment plan developed.

I hope that helps!

Sincerely,
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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Default effectiveness of propcia over longterm use.

Doc, i myself have been using propecia since 1998 with no neg. side affects, i do have a two questions for you. 1. doe's propecia lose it's effectiveness over a long period of use, i've been reading from many postings that this is so. 2. how do you feel about using proscar, inplace of propecia. please reply. thanks
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:04 AM   #5
crazytikilady
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My husband tried propecia for a couple years, but it didn't work for him. Are there any other types of drugs like this that are better?

Thanks in advance,
Tricia
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:59 AM   #6
Robert Haber, MD
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John

To my knowledge, there is only one long term study on finasteride, and it demonstrated continued effectiveness through about 9 years. I think any other information is anecdotal, therefore hard to trust. I myself have not noticed any decreased effectiveness in the 10 years I've been using finasteride, and I certainly hope it will continue to work forever. Remember that finasteride sometime just slows down hair loss as opposed to stopping it altogether, so that continued thinning may still continue, just over a much longer time frame. That's not the same as losing its effectiveness.

Regarding Proscar cut up into 4 pieces as an alternative to Propecia, I think that probably works as well, and I do have patients on that regimen.

Sincerely
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:03 AM   #7
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Crazytikilady:

The only FDA approved medications for hair loss are Rogaine and Propecia. Dutasteride is another prostate medication that works in a similar manner as finasteride, and some patients may respond better to that drug than to finasteride. As with all non-approved drugs, there are potential side effects and problems that exist that must be discussed with your physician before beginning use.

Sincerely,
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Haber, MD View Post
John

To my knowledge, there is only one long term study on finasteride, and it demonstrated continued effectiveness through about 9 years. I think any other information is anecdotal, therefore hard to trust. I myself have not noticed any decreased effectiveness in the 10 years I've been using finasteride, and I certainly hope it will continue to work forever. Remember that finasteride sometime just slows down hair loss as opposed to stopping it altogether, so that continued thinning may still continue, just over a much longer time frame. That's not the same as losing its effectiveness.

Regarding Proscar cut up into 4 pieces as an alternative to Propecia, I think that probably works as well, and I do have patients on that regimen.

Sincerely
Doc. thanks for your reply. if you don't mind i have other questions. i'm thinking of adding rogain foam to my regimen, will i still go through a shedding faze even though i think (can't remember) i went through it with propecia many years ago, and would you recommend using nizoral 1% shampoo 2x per week. all i'm taking at this time is the propecia. also have you ever heard of Thomas lab. hair treatments out of Chicago Ill., if so your opinion.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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John:

I'm a big fan of using both Propecia and Rogaine together. The 5% liquid and 5% foam are equally effective, but the foam is more elegant to use, and causes less skin irritation. Some shedding can occur several weeks after starting Rogaine, but this is less likely if you are on Propecia.

The data on Nizoral shampoo is less convincing, but certainly will do no harm. Regarding Thomas lab, I am not familiar with them, but beware of anyone charging lots of money for "hair treatments." The only proven treatments for hair loss are Propecia, Rogaine, and surgery. Light based treatments are promising, but not yet proven effective.

Sincerely,
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:03 PM   #10
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Doc. thank you very much for your answering my questions so quickly, if you don't mind i know in the near future i will have more questions for you. thanks again for your time. john
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