Finasteride Risks: Time to sound the alarm?
Although many RegenRx clients stack RU58841 with finasteride (pills or gel formulations) with great success and no complaints, there is nevertheless growing evidence that long-term finasteride or dutasteride use may have worrisome side effects in some men. This is part of the reason why many clients are deciding to switch from finasteride to RU58841.
Worse yet, US courts have let finasteride manufacturers hide and downplay the risks, which has led to multiple lawsuits.
In fact, a high-impact study done at Harvard examined characteristics of men who report persistent sexual side effects after long-term finasteride use for hair loss. The study evaluated sexual function, mood, cognition, hormone levels, body composition, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) response to sexual images. Affected men had impaired sexual function, higher rates of depression, and more cognitive complaints. Interestingly, the researchers were surprised to discover there was no evidence of testosterone/DHT deficiency or decreased testosterone/DHT action in men with persistent sexual symptoms after finasteride use. Thus, the underlying reason why finasteride causes chronic and persistent sexual side effects in some men remains a mystery.
Finasteride Can Promote Fatty Liver Disease
Finasteride and dutasteride use long-term can also cause accumulation of fat in the liver, also known as steatosis. This phenomenon may be particularly problematic for individuals who drink alcohol habitually or use substances that stress the liver. There are two main types: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease, also called alcoholic steatohepatitis. Combined, there are over 3 million cases per year in the US, making it a common disease. While there are treatments to manage symptoms, the condition is generally uncurable, so it is crucial to prevent the development of the disease.
The enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, 5-alpha reductase, is present in high levels in liver tissue, and it is thought to protect the liver because it also functions to inactivate cortisol. When DHT levels in the liver are too low (ie. due to finasteride use), cortisol levels rise and this leads to fatty liver disease. In an epidemiological study, men with fatty livers had reduced increased circulating cortisol, resulting in liver fat accumulation. These observations carry important clinical implications for men who take finasteride or dutasteride therapy long-term.
Finasteride Can Promote Insulin Resistance & Type 2 Diabetes
Previous studies have shown that 5-alpha reductase inhibitors can promote insulin resistance and trigger type 2 diabetes. Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine Journal Watch highlights the fact that diabetes risk is 30% higher among finasteride and dutasteride users. This was discovered in a massive study of 55,000 men in the UK. Reseachers concluded that the risk of developing adult-onset diabetes was higher in men exposed to 5α-reductase inhibitors but did not differ between men prescribed dutasteride versus those who were prescribed finasteride.
Blood glucose monitoring may be required for men starting these drugs, particularly in those with other risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Elsewhere, researchers at the University of Edinburgh and University College London conducted another study which confirmed that men taking finasteride or dutasteride to reduce the symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Is RU58841 Superior to Finasteride?
Due to the hidden and underreported risks of finasteride, many physicians are beginning to reevaluate whether or not to prescribe finasteride long-term for prevention of hair loss. Obviously, this change in physician outlook demands that alternatives like RU58841 be suggested clinically to mitigate the risks of finasteride. Ongoing research is evaluating RU58841 with finasteride head-to-head to quantify the superiority of RU58841.