New study shows: Hair loss remedies can make you impotent
Hair loss is a common problem in today's society. Small men in particular often get bald early, as a recent study showed. Those affected should still avoid certain hair loss remedies. Because some products can make you impotent for years, as researchers now report.
Adverse effects of hair loss remedies
On average, a person loses up to 100 hairs every day. If these do not grow again, one speaks of permanent hair loss. The most common forms include circular hair loss (alopecia areata). Men are affected more frequently than women. The causes of hair loss are many. Among other things, it can be caused by an iron deficiency or an overactive thyroid. In order to stop hair loss, sufferers often use drugs from the pharmacy. However, some of these products can make you impotent - even after years, as US researchers have found.
Side effects persist after stopping medication
Scientists in many countries are looking for new therapies to help with hair loss. Only last year researchers from the United States reported a new product that has proven very successful in scalp hair regrowth.
Other drugs have been available in pharmacies for a long time. However, these often have enormous side effects. For example finasteride, a substance that interferes with the metabolism of male sex hormones.
The possible consequences: erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and ejaculation disorders. According to the package insert, these can even stop after stopping the product, reports "Spiegel Online". However, there is no information on how often these side effects persist.
A team of researchers has now investigated how often such problems occur and how much the duration of the intake influences the risk. In addition to finasteride, dutasteride was also considered in the study. The drug has the same mechanism of action and is mostly prescribed for men to treat prostate enlargement.
Data from around 12,000 men were evaluated
As part of their study, the researchers led by Dr. Steven Belknap of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago evaluated data from around 12,000 men aged 16 to 89 years who had taken one or both of the active ingredients and had not previously complained about sexual problems.
As the scientists report in the specialist journal "PeerJ", the health status of the test subjects was compared with men who were not prescribed any of the medication. In addition, a short intake time was compared with a long one.
It was found that for every 17 men who took finasteride or dutasteride, there was an additional case of impotence compared to the group who did not take any of the drugs.
According to the news magazine, even among men under 42 years of age who took a comparatively low dose of finasteride for hair loss, 31 people treated with it had an additional case of impotence.
Years of sexual problems
The problems usually go away after the funds have been withdrawn, but not in all cases. 167 out of 11,909 men (1.4 percent) had an average of 1,348 days, i.e. more than three and a half years, to cope with after stopping the medication.
Men under 42 years of age who took finasteride for more than 205 days were nearly five times more likely to become impotent for a longer period than those who took the drug for less. For them, impotence lasted an average of 1,534 days after stopping medication.
In a communication from the university, Dr. Belknap said: “Our study shows that men who take finasteride or dutasteride can experience persistent erectile dysfunction, which means they are unable to achieve a normal erection for months or years after stopping medication to have."
According to the researchers, doctors should incorporate the new insights into their considerations when prescribing medication for hair loss or prostate enlargement.
Dr. In a previous publication in the specialist magazine “JAMA Dermatology”, Belknap and colleagues indicated that previous studies were not sufficient to prove the safety of finasteride against hair loss. (ad)