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June 2015

Finasteride and the Uncertainties of Establishing Harms

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Alexandria, Virginia
  • 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington, DC

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(6):585-586. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.37

The findings about possible sexual adverse effects of finasteride therapy as reported by Belknap and colleagues1 in this issue of JAMA Dermatology are best understood as 3 separate issues woven together: (1) What is the evidence that use of finasteride for androgenetic alopecia (AGA) impairs male sexual function, especially persistently? (2) How adequate were clinical trials for assessing these harms? (3) How well reported was this evidence in scientific journals, especially in meta-analyses?