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. 

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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.

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