Finasteride appears on Prescrire’s latest ‘Drugs to Avoid’ list

Prescrire, an independent patient safety organization based in France, has updated its Drugs to Avoid guide. Finasteride appears in the 2024 edition, and has also been included in past editions. The guide notes: Finasteride 1 mg, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, has very modest efficacy in androgenic alopecia in men: it increases hair density on the … Read more

From LSD to Zoloft, drugs can leave lasting damage

SUMMARY: Post-drug disorders are not side effects that linger, but lasting changes that may be severe and irreversible. These disorders are linked to prescribed drugs as well as recreational drugs, and can arise after one dose, long-term use, or abuse. This post covers post-drug disorders linked to use of alcohol, hallucinogens, antidepressants, benzodiazepenes, isotretinoin (also … Read more

Firsthand experiences – Volume X: Saw palmetto & nettle

Men turn to saw palmetto, a plant-based supplement, because prescription drugs may be unavailable or too costly. Some see the palm supplement as having a lower risk of side effects. Regulators say it is safe, but online, it is not difficult to find reports of men with adverse experiences after using saw palmetto which resemble the post-finasteride disorder.

Rules of engagement: how sensitive concerns are hidden from drug trials

Alan, a 28-year-old man who experiencing hair loss, is participating in the Propecia clinical trial. Alan brings high hopes that the new drug will stop hair loss. An investigator examines Alan’s scalp and hair, recording figures on a form. She asks Alan if he experienced any side effects. None, he replies. He is then given a form to fill out…

Polls vs. official data on side effect rates

Since online polls are anonymous, there is less risk to disclosing embarrassing side effects. In online polls, the rate of side effects was 6.2x greater than the rate of adverse events in a clinical trial. The clinical setting may suppress safety concerns in sensitive areas such as sexuality and mental state.

Appendix: Results of online polls on side effects

This is an Appendix to the post: Polls vs. official data on side effect rates. Summary Mobile users: swipe left to see more columns. ID & source Date posted Participants % with side effects % with severe or persistent side effects P1. r/tressless Jan 2016 146 53.4% NA P2. r/HairLoss Jul 2021 110 27.3% NA … Read more

Disability and deaths in men who used finasteride

Databases of drug adverse events contain tremendous variation. They include reports from patients of all ages, and many took other drugs that might explain outcomes. In this analysis, cases were limited to men ages 18–40 where the ‘Suspected Product’ field only contained finasteride (or, in the comparison below, minoxidil). This is only a fraction of … Read more