Advertisement

What are some side effects of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
Side effects may include sexual problems, including weak erections, loss of interest in sex, and abnormal ejaculation. Other side effects may include low blood pressure, swelling of the legs and feet, and breast tenderness or enlargement. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.
Marc B. Garnick, MD
Hematology & Oncology
In the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate enlargement, 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride and dutasteride (which help reduce the size of an enlarged prostate) can interfere with sexual function, although this effect is relatively uncommon. As the drug shrinks the prostate gland, a small number of sexually active men (8.1% in one clinical trial) have difficulty achieving erections, and some (6.4%) experience a decline in sexual desire. A few (3.7%) notice a decrease in the volume of their ejaculate, which some may find troublesome. In clinical practice, however, doctors say these side effects are much more common, affecting up to a third of patients.

Continue Learning about Patient Education

News: FDA Warns Online Drug Buyers About Fake Letter Scam
News: FDA Warns Online Drug Buyers About Fake Letter Scam
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers about fraudulent letters sent to people who have purchased medicines online or over t...
Read More
Can I take alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors if I have BPH?
Marc B. Garnick, MDMarc B. Garnick, MD
Because alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors work differently in the treatment of benign ...
More Answers
How can I find out if a prescription drug may be causing my fatigue?
Emilia KlappEmilia Klapp
You may have to do your homework. Many doctors are not aware of the interaction between the drug...
More Answers
Is Sharecare Like a Medical Reference Book?
Is Sharecare Like a Medical Reference Book?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.