Side effects associated with oral Finasteride ( 1 mg/d ) and topical 5% Minoxidil have been previously described.
The long-term adverse effects and causes of long-term therapy withdrawal in patients with androgenic alopecia treated with Minoxidil 5% plus Finasteride vs Minoxidil 5% without Finasteride were evaluated.
A total of 130 patients with androgenic alopecia with a minimum 2-year follow-up volunteered to complete a questionnaire on side effects.
Patients' responses were classified as never, rarely, sometimes, often, and all the time. An adverse effect was considered in the presence of an often or all the time response.
A total of 100 patients received combined Minoxidil 5% plus Finasteride and were compared with 30 patients receiving single-therapy Minoxidil 5% according to the physician's clinical criteria.
Erectile dysfunction ( 3% ), diminished libido ( 4% ), and reduced ejaculation ( 7% ) were present in patients taking Minoxidil 5% plus Finasteride but were absent in patients taking Minoxidil 5%.
Only 1 of 100 patients taking Minoxidil 5% plus Finasteride quit long-term therapy due to sexual adverse effects ( diminished libido ).
The main causes for therapy withdrawal in the Finasteride group were lack of positive results in 11% and in the Minoxidil 5% group side effects in 4% ( P less than 0.02 ).
Increased body hair was different between groups: with 6.6% in the Minoxidil 5% group and 4% in the Minoxidil 5% plus Finasteride group ( P less than 0.03 ).
Finasteride has demonstrated sexual-unrelated reasons as the main cause of therapy withdrawal in long-term treated patients for androgenic alopecia. ( Xagena )
Perez-Mora N et al, Skinmed 2015;13:179-183