Adverse Sexual Effects of Treatment with Finasteride or Dutasteride for Male Androgenetic Alopecia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Acta Derm Venereol. 2019 Jan 1;99(1):12-17. doi: 10.2340/00015555-3035.


Treatment of male androgenetic alopecia with 5α-reductase inhibitors is efficacious. However, the risk of adverse sexual effects remains controversial. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the risk of adverse sexual effects due to treatment of androgenetic alopecia in male patients with finasteride, 1 mg/day, or dutasteride, 0.5 mg/day. Fifteen randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trials (4,495 subjects) were meta-analysed. Use of 5α-reductase inhibitors carried a 1.57-fold risk of sexual dysfunction (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.19-2.08). The relative risk was 1.66 (95% CI 1.20-2.30) for finasteride and 1.37 (95% CI 0.81-2.32) for dutasteride. Both drugs were associated with an increased risk, although the increase was not statistically significant for dutasteride. As studies into dutasteride were limited, further trials are required. It is important that physicians are aware of, and assess, the possibility of sexual dysfunction in patients treated with 5α-reductase inhibitors.

Keywords: 5α-reductaseinhibitor; androgeneticalopecia; dutasteride; erectiledysfunction; finasteride; sexualdysfunction.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Dutasteride / administration & dosage
  • Dutasteride / adverse effects*
  • Ejaculation / drug effects
  • Erectile Dysfunction / chemically induced
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Finasteride / administration & dosage
  • Finasteride / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Libido / drug effects
  • Male
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / chemically induced*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / physiopathology


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Finasteride
  • Dutasteride