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Depressing Side Effect of Prostate Treatments Propecia and Proscar

Men across the country have been prescribed Propecia for reducing an enlarged prostate, treating benign prostatic hypertrophy, and even decreasing unwanted hair loss. As of April 2012, safety labels of Propecia- also known as finasteride or Proscar-  have been changed to highlight the common side effect of decreased libido or loss in the ability to have sex. But could a more serious condition be linked with Propecia use? Patients who use this medication might be overlooking fine print that warns of a serious, adverse effect: depression.

Sad man sitting on floor“Common” and  “less serious” side effects of finasteride include erectile dysfunction, lack of desire to have sex, trouble achieving an orgasm, and even swelling of the breasts. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in August of 2012, these discouraging symptoms could really land men in the slumps, resulting in serious depression, or even leading to suicidal thoughts.

The trials conducted in August found that although only 11% of men using finasteride experienced mild depressive symptoms, up to 64% suffered from moderate to severe depression. These shocking results were accompanied by data that revealed 44% of these men were haunted by suicidal thoughts. And if that isn’t bad enough this problem does not simply stop after use of this prostate remedy has been discontinued. Experts say that side effects often persist well after patients have discontinued their treatment.

Patients using Propecia in hope of happily regrowing a youthful head of hair or relieving their prostate symptoms should know that this benefit could be overshadowed by serious depression. Knowing the complete information regarding the risks and benefits of a medicine could save you a lot of trouble and prevent you from making a decision that could potentially have unhealthy consequences. As the saying goes, sometimes happiness is the best medicine.