April 27 2012, 2:50 pm PT | Posted in: Drugs
Hi, I have a couple of questions about finasteride, if you have any answers they’d be very appreciated:
– Does finasteride shrink the prostate even in men with a normal prostate (no BPH)? Are there any studies available for this?
– I have read that although finasteride is said to increase testosterone, it actually decreases free/bio-available testosterone which is more important than total testosterone for muscle strength/libido etc (see here). This worries me because as much as I want to save my hair, I am also an athlete and want to be at my peak. Could you comment on this?
– Along the same lines, do you have many patients that are sportsmen using propecia without side effects or reduction in their performance (particularly those in more ‘physical’ sports)? Apart from the ‘free testosterone’ theory, I have heard that DHT plays a role in strength/aggression etc.
Many Thanks for taking the time to read. I find it so frustrating that there isn’t more information on the subject and when I do find something I can’t be sure to trust whether it is a study which should be considered valid or not.
I don’t know if finasteride shrinks a normal prostate, though since it is used to treat enlarged prostate it can be inferred that there is the possibility of some effect. I don’t have any studies to refer to off the top of my head, but there have been many studies done relating to finasteride and BPH… so if someone has links to studies that this reader is requesting, please feel free to share.
From a practical point of view, I do not know if taking finasteride will negatively impact your overall physical strength. I would doubt that you would see an impact from reducing your DHT, but everyone is different and this opinion is not universal across the board. I don’t recall any of my more athletic patients mention their athletic performance being limited after taking the medication.
On the flip side of the coin, finasteride/Propecia was once banned in professional sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency due to a similar idea that it may enhance performance or mask steroid use. It does not and it is not banned in professional sports anymore.