In typical male pattern baldness, hair recedes from the front and top of the head, while a horseshoe of hair on the sides and back of the head remains unaffected as a result of testosterone being converted to a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase.
Wine, women and song? or not!
If you have male pattern baldness, you may feel the need to talk to your doctor about taking the drug finasteride (Propecia), which blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
But Propecia has the unacceptable side-effect of reduced libido or impotence and an early major study on the effectiveness of this drug, showed that even after taking Propecia religiously for five years, more than a third of men failed to reduce their hair loss.
So, if your hairline seems to be racing towards the back of your head and you’d like to stop baldness in its tracks with this drug, don’t think for one moment that a fuller head of hair will improve your sex life.
That’s because a more recent study, has confirmed those early reports of Propecia’s link to an increased risk of impotence.
In this latest study, researchers followed 83 men who were suffering from sexual side effects of Propecia ? and, trust me, these men weren’t that hard to find. Their results showed that apart from suffering with sexual dysfunction, depression, and suicidal thoughts, 41 of 83 participants also cut back on their alcohol consumption after starting the drug.
The researchers think Propecia may somehow interfere with the production of certain hormones that are linked to alcohol cravings.
As expected, the drug maker is trying to put a positive spin on this additional “side effect”. Who knows, perhaps with the aim to market it in the future as a drug that could curb binge-drinking episodes?
We all know that wine, women, and song are not the keys to happiness, but I’m pretty sure sad, sexless, and sober aren’t either. This study is just another reminder that nasty side effects are exactly what many mainstream drugs serve up, one pill at a time.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Baldness Drug Propecia May Put Some Men Off Alcohol: Study (nlm.nih.gov)
American Academy of Dermatology 59th Annual Meeting 2001