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Aging Male. 2019 Jan 16:1-10. doi: 10.1080/13685538.2018.1548589. [Epub ahead of print]

Post-finasteride syndrome - does it really exist?

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a The Department of Reproductive Health , Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education , Warsaw , Poland.


Inhibitors of 5α-steroid reductase are drugs used to treat androgen-dependent conditions including prostate diseases and androgenic alopecia. Finasteride was the first on the market and is currently the most widely used inhibitor. Dutasteride was the second inhibitor to be approved and has a similar safety profile. Common adverse events of treatment consist of sexual disorders and a negative affect balance. It was described that the prolonged use of 5α-steroid reductase inhibitors in patients with alopecia can cause persistent side effects called a post-finasteride syndrome (PFS), that is not just a simple coexistence of events, but rather a definite syndrome with an iatrogenic background. PFS occurs in susceptible individuals even after small doses of the drug and can last for a long time after the discontinuation of treatment. A deterioration in the quality of life in affected individuals does not justify use of the drug. Wider recognition of PFS symptoms, its incidence, course, prevention, and treatment possibilities will allow the indications for drug use to be reconsidered and treatment to be more personalized. Knowledge about PFS will also help to provide the best treatment for affected individuals and to properly educate patients before obtaining an informed consent for therapy with 5α-steroid reductase inhibitors.


Finasteride; adverse events; alopecia; benign prostate hyperplasia; dutasteride; erectile disorder; libido; post-finasteride syndrome

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