Dr. Rassman,I have been on finasteride for a little over a year, and it has pretty much stopped my hair loss. Needless to say, I am a pretty big fan.
However, I just came across an article that seems to think that finasteride has some questionable long-term safety concerns that deal with its ability to block allopregnanolone. The article seems to hint that the lack of allopregnanolone in the body could lead to neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s in the future. I am not a doctor, so I was hoping that you could give me your thoughts and possibly speculate on the article’s validity.
Here’s the article: Allopregnenolone (synthesized from 5AR) may prevent neurodegeneration
My thoughts are that if you do enough scouring and research on the Internet for any hint of negative effects associated with any medication you will be amply rewarded… and thus spiraling you down the path of confusion, fear, indecision, mistrust of the medical field, and eventually diverting you from your original path of enlightenment and trying to take control of your health.
I am not trying to brush off the article, but I really do not know what the clinical value is with the research (on mice) you found or what it means at hinting of a correlation. But ALL medications have risks and benefits. I personally believe finasteride 1mg is a very safe medication and I prescribe it to my patients. On a positive note, there are actual human studies on 5mg finasteride that was shown to reduce the risk of certain prostate cancer.
A lot of the questions we receive through this site have to do with finasteride (Propecia/Proscar) and its side effects or other various concerns. In the real world grand scheme of things, out of thousands of drugs that people take daily, finasteride is a very safe medication. Furthermore, I highly doubt I am answering all these question from men who ONLY take finasteride (no other drugs) and does not have any medical or psychological issues… plus doesn’t smoke, drink alcohol, or take recreational drugs (such as marijuana). All medications and herbs and even certain foods can have negative effects. My point is that anything is a possibility, but we need to look at the probability of such side effects and think of the risks and benefits of what we do. This mouse study just doesn’t cut it. I do appreciate you sending the article though.
Stepping down from my soap box now…