A drug to promote hair growth, finasteride (Propecia), is among the medications that President Donald Trump takes. That’s what her usual doctor told the New York Times. The good doctor admitted that he also takes this drug: “He has all his hair. I have all the hair.
The history of finasteride reads a bit like a medical mystery. In a small town in the Dominican Republic, some children were born without obvious male sexual characteristics. They would be raised as girls until they reached puberty and became men. This was quite common for villagers to have a term for it. They called these children “guevoces”, which roughly means “the penis and the testicles grow at 12”. Another term, “machihembras” translates “first woman, then male”.
This happened because their bodies did not convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, DHT. These men were relatively immune to enlargement of the prostate and male pattern baldness as they aged.
Scientists at the Merck pharmaceutical company were able to figure out how to make a drug that blocked the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Finasteride is that drug.
A lower dose, 1 mg daily, was approved to combat male pattern baldness. It was first marketed as Propecia in 1997. It is now available generically.
Side effects are less common with Propecia than with Proscar because the dose is lower. That said, some men report decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and reduced ejaculation volume. For most men, the side effects disappear when the drug is discontinued.
The Food and Drug Administration official prescribing information notes “sexual dysfunction that continued after discontinuation of treatment, including erectile dysfunction, libido disorders, ejaculation disorders and orgasm disorders; Male infertility and / or poor quality Seminal (normalization or improvement of seminal quality has been reported after termination of finasteride). ”
Some of our readers have reported their own experiences with this drug. Some people, like this man, are very happy: “I have been taking Propecia for 20 years. I have noticed a decrease in semen, but no effects on libido, erection or any other negative effect on sexual functions. Full of hair at 64, while my three brothers all have obvious hair loss. ”
Not everyone is so satisfied with the effects. Here is a reader who is unhappy: “Propecia has shrunk my genitals. I regret taking it, of course, especially when there does not seem to be much hope of recovery.
There are some side effects that do not seem to have received so much attention, perhaps because they have nothing to do with sex. Here is a report: “I have been taking finasteride primarily to minimize hair loss, but there is evidence that it also helps prevent prostate problems. I have a constantly runny nose, but I always carry a tissue or a handkerchief.”
Dr. Harold Bornstein’s revelation of President Trump’s drugs has focused attention on finasteride, a drug that has not appeared lately in the news. Perhaps now you will receive renewed attention from men looking to reverse male pattern baldness.