Purpose: Finasteride, an oral type 2, 5α-reductase inhibitor, is used in 1 mg. daily doses for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. A dose of 5 mg. finasteride daily reduces ejaculate volume by approximately 25%, and reduces prostate volume by approximately 20% and serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) by approximately 50% in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. To our knowledge no data exist on the effect of 1 mg. finasteride daily on ejaculate volume or other semen parameters, or on the prostate in young men. Therefore, we studied the potential effect and reversibility of effect of 1 mg. finasteride daily on spermatogenesis, semen production, the prostate and serum PSA in young men. Materials and Methods: In this double-blind, placebo controlled multicenter study 181 men 19 to 41 years old were randomized to receive I mg. finasteride or placebo for 48 weeks followed by a 60-week off- drug period. Of the 181 men 79 were included in a subset for the collection and analysis of sequential semen samples. Results: There were no significant effects of I mg. finasteride on sperm concentration, total sperm per ejaculate, sperm motility or morphology. Ejaculate volume in subjects on finasteride decreased 0.3 mL (-11%) compared to a decrease of 0.2 ml. (-8%) for placebo, with a median between treatment group difference of -0.03 ml. (1%, 90% confidence interval -10.4 to 13.1, p = 0.915). There were significant but small decreases in prostate volume (-2.6%) and serum PSA (- 0.2 ng./ml.) in the finasteride group, which reversed on discontinuation of the drug. Conclusions: Treatment with 1 mg. finasteride daily for 48 weeks did not affect spermatogenesis or semen production in young men. The effects of 1 mg. finasteride daily on prostate volume and serum PSA in young men without benign prostatic hyperplasia were small and reversible on discontinuation of the drug.
- Testosterone 5-alpha-reductase
ASJC Scopus subject areas