Dear Dr. Rassman,
I have heard from people on the Internet, especially from the following two websites, that the sexual side effects of Propecia can be permanent, along with many others. Can you dismiss all the information on these websites?
Anyone can write and publish anything on the Internet. You can you find contrary evidence to those sites you listed at Propecia.com. I can’t dismiss everything on these anti-Propecia/finasteride websites, because I simply don’t have time to go through every post made there. I’m sure some of the claims made there are based in fact and might have some validity — and those have more than likely been addressed here before (search for “Propecia side effects”). I’m also sure that much of the info on those sites is created by people that have no medical background and simply write what they believe to be true based on FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).
The people that speak the loudest are usually the people that want their complaints to be heard. In other words, you don’t necessarily see a lot of people visiting message boards just to tell others that Propecia works great for them, but you certainly will see the unsatisfied few going to every website they can find to make their opinions known. When doing your research online, try to find out if you’re getting information from fact-based sources. Are these other sites just shills for the various snake oil products on the market today? What better reason to shoot down a proven treatment like Propecia than to promote your non-proven treatment that sells for double the price. I’m not saying that this is 100% the case, but anything is possible. Take BaldingBlog (this very site), for example — I’m a hair transplant surgeon, yet I’m not trying to “sell” people on hair transplantation procedures. I write a lot about Propecia because I get asked a lot about Propecia, and because I’ve seen first hand what this medication can do to treat hair loss. I don’t want to see anyone go through an unnecessary surgery when a simple daily pill could be the answer to their problem. I, along with the other doctors that write here, are just trying to help.
It seems what you really want is a doctor’s reassurance. Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor… and you need to discuss these concerns with your doctor. You may not even be a candidate for Propecia.