Propecia: Anti-baldness treatment can cause men to lose interest in alcohol
A new research has revealed that some men who take anti-baldness drugs lose interest in alcohol.
Those who take finasteride (also known as Propecia) to stop their hairline receding also tend drink less alcohol after starting the medication.
The research, carried out at the George Washington University, revealed that two thirds of men who take the drug, and who develop side effects such as low s** drive, drink less as a result.
It showed that this side effect continues even after the man has stopped taking the medication.
Finasteride is the only once-a day pill developed to treat mild to moderate male pattern hair loss.
In a clinical study of 535 men taking the drug, 99% had visible results – growth or no further hair loss – after two years.
It works by stopping the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is thought to be the active hormone in hair loss.
Researcher Dr. Michael Irwig interviewed 83 healthy men who developed persistent s***al side effects while taking finasteride.
He also collected information relating to the men’s medical histories, s***al function, and alcohol consumption before and after taking finasteride.
Of the 63 men who consumed at least one alcoholic drink per week prior to starting finasteride, 65% noted a decrease in their alcohol consumption even after they stopped taking finasteride.
Thirty-two per cent reported no change in their alcohol consumption, and three per cent reported an increase in alcohol consumption.
Live Science reports that many of the men also noted that they had a lower alcohol tolerance after taking the medication, that they felt more anxious after drinking, and that they recovered less quickly from the effects of alcohol.
The researchers do not know why Propecia has this effect upon people’s drinking habits.
However, Dr. Michael Irwig believes that it reduces the brain’s ability to make hormones, called neurosteroids, which are linked to interest in alcohol.
Previous research has also suggested that finasteride can cause permanent, irreversible, impotence.
Dr. Michael Irwig found that finasteride can cause persistent s***al dysfunction, including low s***al desire, erectile dysfunction and problems with orgasms.
These problems, he discovered, often did not resolve themselves when the man stopped taking the drug.