Propecia Sexual Side Effects

Side effects may occur with the use of Propecia, and sexual side effects are the most commonly reported problems. Such problems may include impotence, decreased sex drive, or decreased ejaculate amount. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop sexual side effects; he or she may recommend an erectile dysfunction medication, adjust your Propecia dosage, or prescribe another hair loss medicine.

Propecia Sexual Side Effects: An Overview

Propecia® (finasteride) is a prescription medication that is used for hair loss treatment in men with certain types of male pattern baldness. As with all medicines, side effects are possible, and some can affect a person's sexual well-being. In the case of Propecia, sexual side effects that have been reported include:
  • Decreased sex drive (libido).
  • Impotence. Impotence is usually defined as a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Ultimately, impotence is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Impotence is also known as erectile dysfunction (or ED for short).
  • Decreased ejaculate amount.

How Common Are Sexual Side Effects With Propecia?

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies, where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occur in more than 1 percent of people (common) and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people (rare).
For Propecia, the sexual side effects mentioned previously occurred in the following percentage of men:
  • Decreased libido (sex drive) -- in up to 1.8 percent of men
  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence) -- up to 1.3 percent
  • Decreased ejaculate amount -- up to 1.2 percent.
Up to 1.2 percent of men stopped taking Propecia because of sexual side effects.
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