Current Sexual Health Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 210–219 | Cite as

The Impact of the 5α-Reductase Inhibitors (5α-RIs) on Male Sexual Function and Psychological Well-Being

  • Abdulmaged M. TraishEmail author
Male Sexual Dysfunction and Disorders (SE Althof and AW Pastuszak, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Male Sexual Dysfunction and Disorders


5α-Reductase inhibitors (5α-RIs) such as finasteride and dutasteride have proven useful in clinical management of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and also in treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). However, these drugs have serious and, in some patients, persistent or irreversible sexual side effects. These agents interfere with the biosynthesis and metabolism of neurosteroids and may adversely affect mood, stress, and anxiety and potentiate the onset of depression. Data from preclinical and clinical studies have provided substantial evidence that these agents cause loss or reduction of libido, increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory dysfunction, and may contribute to the onset of depression. It is imperative that clinicians give serious considerations to these adverse effects and their impact on patients’ health and engage their patients in an open and honest discussion regarding the potential harm of these agents prior to prescribing them.


Neurosteroids Depression Sexual dysfunction Finasteride Dutasteride 5α-Reductases 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Abdulmaged M. Traish declares no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of UrologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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