Finasteride is a popularly prescribed medication to treat male pattern hair loss or baldness.
Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor.
Males may also use the medicine to treat the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
However, many individuals believe that taking Finasteride will reduce their testosterone levels, but is this actually true?
This article will answer the question: Does Finasteride lower testosterone levels or not?
What does Finasteride do
Also known as Proscar, Finasteride is used either on its own or in combination with another medication to treat BPH or enlargement of the prostate gland.
In addition to reducing the possibility of acute urine retention (the sudden inability to urinate), Finasteride is used to treat symptoms of BPH.
Besides BPH, Finasteride is also used to treat male pattern hair loss, also known as progressive thinning of the hair on the scalp.
It is characterized by a receding hairline or balding on the top of the head in males.
A study published by Indian Dermatol Online J focuses on the side effects of Finasteride.
Around 2.1% to 3.8 % of males suffer from Erectile Dysfunction (ED), Ejaculatory Dysfunction, and low libido due to medication intake.
These side effects appeared early in treatment and disappeared upon quitting the medication.
Wondering if low testosterone can lead to erection issues in men? Read our article- Can Low Testosterone Cause ED?
Does Finasteride lower testosterone
No. Finasteride does not actually lower the testosterone levels in the blood.
Finasteride works by lowering the levels of circulating Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) instead of lowering testosterone.
It actually raises the amount of testosterone that can be easily used up by the body by 10%.
It does so by preventing the conversion of testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone.
It lowers the concentration of DHT by approximately 70%.
This increases the levels of testosterone due to less testosterone being converted and a greater level retaining its natural form in your body.
Finasteride acts by inhibiting the 5-Alpha-Reductase enzyme, which prevents the formation of Dihydrotestosterone from testosterone.
Even after the dramatic decrease in the level of DHT, most of the testosterone is not converted to DHT.
This, in turn, raises the blood levels of testosterone.
Does stopping Finastride restore Testosterone levels’
No. Finasteride withdrawal will raise DHT levels and bring testosterone at the same level as before you started taking the medicine.
Your testosterone levels will decrease since more testosterone is converted to DHT than is present in the blood.
Finasteride and other DHT-blocking medications only function while you are actively taking them, just as other 5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitors (5-ARIs).
Finasteride prevents testosterone from converting to DHT.
Once you stop taking Finasteride, your body will once again convert testosterone to DHT.
Most men encounter low testosterone, which affects their libido at some point in their lives.
Apart from other physical and psychological factors, certain medications can also lead to low testosterone levels in your body.
Finasteride is a commonly prescribed medication to treat male pattern hair loss and symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
Many people wonder, “Does Finasteride lower testosterone?”
But this is not true.
Finasteride restricts the conversion of testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by inhibiting the activity of the 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme.
As a result, the body produces more testosterone and less DHT.
However, if you are still concerned about your testosterone levels, consult a healthcare expert immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Finasteride cause low testosterone?
No. Finasteride increases the level of testosterone while lowering the concentration of circulating Dihydrotestosterone.
Why does Finasteride cause ED if it increases testosterone?
According to a journal published by NIH, the drop in DHT has a greater impact on ED, despite the increase in total testosterone after Finasteride therapy.
Is it okay to combine testosterone with Finasteride?
Finasteride inhibits the effects of 5-α-Dihydrotestosterone, which mostly affects the prostate and causes hair loss.
Consequently, individuals with low testosterone levels can be safely treated with a combined Finasteride and testosterone replacement treatment.
Do DHT blockers reduce testosterone?
No. DHT blockers like Finasteride prevent testosterone from converting to DHT, which may result in a modest rise in overall testosterone levels.
Is DHT blockage beneficial for men?
Men who use block DHT have reported several side effects.
The main being that it prevents hair development on the entire body.
Also, DHT blockage leads to low libido, causes Sexual Dysfunction, and also induces muscular tissue loss.