Immunohistochemical Evaluation of Androgen Receptor and Nerve Structure Density in Human Prepuce from Patients with Persistent Sexual Side Effects after Finasteride Use for Androgenetic Alopecia

    June 2014 in “ PLOS ONE
    Carla Di Loreto, Francesco La Marra, Giorgio Mazzon, Emanuele Belgrano, Carlo Trombetta, Sabina Cauci
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    TLDR Finasteride, a hair loss drug, may cause long-term sexual side effects due to changes in hormone receptor levels.
    Nine years ago, a study involving 8 male patients (aged 29–43 years) who reported persistent sexual side effects after discontinuing finasteride, a drug used for androgenetic alopecia, was conducted. These patients were compared to 11 healthy men (aged 23–49 years) who had never taken finasteride. The study found that the density of nuclear androgen receptor (AR) in stromal and epithelial cells was higher in the patient group than in the control group. The ratio of AR positive stromal cells % to serum testosterone concentrations was 2-fold higher in the patient group than in the control group. These findings suggested that modulation of local AR levels might be implicated in the long-term side effects of finasteride use. However, the study had limitations, including a small number of subjects and the inability to determine dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels.
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