The immediate possible side effects is one issue, but I’m curious about long-term effects down the line. I know that low DHT levels has been associated with poor cognitive skills as men get older. Aside from that, what are the long-term effects of having this chemical in your body for say, 10 years or so. I don’t want to make a decision that helps me now but screws me later.
We see that finasteride becomes less effective as a man ages because their testosterone levels drop and subsequently, their DHT levels drop as well. Finasteride is a DHT competitive inhibitor (blocker) that is about 70% effective so as the DHT levels drop with age, the impact of finasteride drops off. For hair loss, the good news is that in most men, the rapid hair loss occurs in younger men in their 20s when finasteride is most effective and as a man drops his DHT levels in his 30s and 40s, the hair loss usually, but not always slows down. The a classic article in the New England Journal of Medicine many years ago, 25000 men were reported, half of them on finasteride and the other half not. All of these men were over 55 in the study. What the study learned was that those men on the drug had a lower incidence of cancer of the prostate by 25% compared to the study group. So the long term effects of finasteride may be good for the prevention of cancer of the prostate. This reported study only went out 7 years, so I would imagine that younger men who took this drug in their 20s through their 60s, would have a much lower incidence of cancer of the prostate, the #1 cancer in men.