News – August 2021

  • The Sexual Medicine Society of North America hosted a webinar including a talk about sexual dysfunction induced by finasteride and SSRIs.
  • A study by Baylor researchers finding altered gene expression in post-finasteride patients was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
  • The FDA added a new adverse event to the Propecia label: Hematospermia.
  • The International Society of Sexual Medicine hosted a webinar on post-SSRI sexual dysfunction, a disorder with similar symptoms as some experience after stopping finasteride.
  • A study of post-discontinuation effects of SSRIs on rats was published in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

SMSNA webinar covers post-finasteride syndrome

On July 27, the Sexual Medicine Society of North America held a webinar titled ‘Unusual Sexual Medicine Conditions and Their Management.’ The webinar included a talk by Dr. Maria Oluko on medication-induced sexual dysfunction. Dr. Oluko covered post-finasteride syndrome, post-SSRI sexual dysfunction and sexual dysfunction induced by oral contraceptives.

Baylor study reports altered gene expression in patients reporting symptoms of post-finasteride syndrome

In July 2021, a study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine titled Differential Gene Expression in Post-Finasteride Syndrome Patients. The study reported over-expression and under-expression of thousands of genes in the penile tissue of post-finasteride patients. Moreover, the function of these genes—for example, skin development, vascular development and neurosteroid conversion—was linked to symptoms of post-finasteride syndrome. The study also reported overexpression of the androgen receptor in post-finasteride patients.

Citation: Howell S, Song W, Pastuszak A, Khera M. Differential Gene Expression in Post-Finasteride Syndrome Patients. J Sex Med. 2021 Sep;18(9):1479–1490. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2021.05.009. PMID: 34247957.

Hematospermia added to FDA label

On June 15, 2021, the FDA added an adverse event, hematospermia (blood in semen), to the Postmarketing Experience section of the Propecia label.

Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) news

ISSM webinar

On July 29, 2021, the International Society for Sexual Medicine held a webinar on post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD). The speakers were Dr. David Healy and Dr. Yacov (Cobi) Reisman.

Animal study from Melcangi lab

Researchers at the University of Milan published a study of neuroendocrine changes in rats who were administered, and then discontinued, the SSRI paroxetine. Among other findings, the study reports differences in neurosteroid levels and RNA expression of neurosteroidogenic enzymes 30 days after the rats had stopped taking paroxetine. This provides a potential clue to understanding post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD).

Citation: Giatti S, Diviccaro S, Cioffi L, Falvo E, Caruso D, Melcangi RC. Effects of paroxetine treatment and its withdrawal on neurosteroidogenesis. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2021 Jul 21. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105364. PMID: 34325207.