As a 5-α reductase inhibitor, Finasteride has proven effective in ameliorating two conditions documented to be androgen dependent, namely male androgenic alopecia and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Therapeutic results are maintained as long as the drug is administered, with treatment cessation generally leading to the return of symptomatology for each condition. In addition, during the therapeutic phase, several adverse effects have been reported, some of which persist long or indefinitely after treatment cessation, known as “post-finasteride syndrome.”
Herein we present and discuss the most common finasteride side effects, along with a psycho-neuroendocrine rationale that could explain the persistence of many adverse effects after treatment cessation. Moreover, we argue that finasteride adverse effects occurring during finasteride administration should be delineated from postfinasteride side effects (encountered after treatment cessation), suggesting the need to be addressed separately within a therapeutic perspective. Until a tailored therapeutic approach of postfinasteride syndrome becomes available, we have noted that hand preference and sexual orientation seem to be useful as possible predicting factors for finasteride side effects and postfinasteride syndrome.
Finally, even though finasteride administration is considered relatively safe, literature data urges prudence. Specifically, recent studies report that some subjects receiving finasteride develop severe depressive episodes including suicidal thoughts, in part due to persistent sexual side effects.
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Rowland, David L.; Motofei, Ion G.; Popa, Florian; Constantin, Vlad D.; Vasilache, Adriana; Păunică, Ioana; Bălălău, Cristian; Păunică, Georgeta P.; Banu, Petrisor; and Păunică, Stana
"The postfinasteride syndrome; an overview,"
Journal of Mind and Medical Sciences:
2, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholar.valpo.edu/jmms/vol3/iss2/2
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