Does Propecia/Finasteride have permanent sexual side-effects?

Propecia, the brand name version of Finasteride is a widely used drug recognized for its high potential to cure hair loss and male pattern baldness. Chemically, Finasteride(Propecia) is anti-androgenic and since etiology of pattern baldness is androgenic, the drug treats the disease effectively.

Androgens are responsible for increasing libido and sexual characters in male and therefore, the interference of Propecia with the action of androgens to treat pattern baldness causes sexual side-effects such as loss of libido, erectile dysfunction or impotency. Several studies have been done to classify side effects as temporary or permanent and it has become a challenge for dermatologists, researchers and other medical practitioners who deal with hair loss patients.

Status of Finasteride (Propecia): Organization’s say

In 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the professional labels for Propecia and the upgraded one states under Adverse Reactions there is a link to the male reproductive system conditions such as sexual dysfunction, infertility, erectile dysfunction, inability to orgasm and poor seminal quality. Sadly, some studies have suggested that the severe side effects persist even after discontinuation of Propecia.

International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery argues that there have been not sufficient evidence establishing a clear link and the cause-effective relationship between Propecia and permanent sexual dysfunction and hence research still needs to be done to unveil the truth behind the same.

Incidences and severity of sexual side effects: Scientific accuracy

A review based study reports that from 1998, when Propecia was first approved by FDA, to 2011 about 7 million patients were exposed to the drug, and about 59 showed persistent sexual dysfunction.

In fact, many of the consumers of Propecia reported long-term depression and suicidal thoughts as a result of persistent sexual dysfunction.

All in all, literature studies on Finasteride (Propecia) demonstrate the existence of the drug’s sexual side-effects but also suggest that these side effects vanish on withdrawal of Propecia or through the course of time as the therapy continues.

One of the major obstacles to finding a relevant answer to the question about the prevalence of permanent sexual side effects is the establishment of lack of clear-cut patterns that extensively demonstrate a correlation.Another obstacle is that in almost all studies conducted so far, no men were examined for sexual functionality or sexual state before administering Propecia and therefore comparing the results to unknown baseline remains insignificant.


The answer to the question regarding the severity and duration of sexual side effects of Finasteride (Propecia) is not crystal clear due to loop holes in scientific study and reports supporting the facts. But one thing that can be stated is that there are short-term and long-term sexual dysfunctions persisting in patients consuming Finasteride. Although the life of Propecia effects is yet not certain, for most of the patients, withdrawal from the drug was effective in restoring the body to normal sexual activity with time. As far as efficacy and safety of buying and taking propecia are concerned, FDA approved online pharmacies claim that the drug is safe for use if used as per the instructions of a licensed doctor. The benefits and risks of the drug which can be further discussed with the physician or with online pharmacy doctors in case of any side effects.