Dear Dr Rassman,
First off let me say what a very informative website you have, it’s allayed a lot fears I have had about Propecia which my Doctor in the UK is unable to answer. I’m a Propecia user and have came across this article when browsing Reuters.
My questions are: Has Propecia ever been on the FDA’s List of Safety Probes before? What’s your view on Propecia being put on the list?
Must admit I’m surprised, I’d read a few things on the web but dismissed them as they weren’t certified medical opinion. I look forward to your reply.
This is the first FDA safety probe relating to either Propecia (finasteride) or Avodart (dutasteride) that I’m aware of, and it is looking into a link between male breast cancer and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. Any FDA probe certainly is in the best interest of the public, but as the article points out, “Merck spokeswoman Pam Eisele said the prescribing instructions for Proscar and Propecia already mention cases of male breast cancer seen in clinical trials.” No relationship has been established though, so we’ll have to wait to see what is discovered in the FDA’s investigation.
In my opinion, Avodart and Propecia are both safe medications when used as directed (for their intended purpose) under the supervision of a physician. Avodart is a similar type of medication to Propecia, but it has a much longer half life, which is the time it takes for half of the drug to be cleared by your body. Avodart’s half life is in the order of months, whereas Propecia’s half life is in the order of hours. In other words, if you have side effects from Avodart, it’ll take a while to get rid of them. Plus, Avodart is not at this time FDA approved for the treatment of hair loss.