Evaluation of Sexual Function With an International Index of Erectile Function in Subjects Taking Finasteride for Androgenetic Alopecia

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To evaluate variations in sexual and erectile function in subjects taking 1 mg of finasteride for androgenetic alopecia by administering the abridged 5-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaire before and during treatment.


In a multicenter study, 186 patients with androgenetic alopecia were asked to complete the IIEF-5 regarding the domain of erectile function before (at baseline) and 4 to 6 months after beginning finasteride treatment. The test was self-administered.


The study was conducted in 7 institutional dermatology departments in Italy (Bologna, Rome, Genoa, Cagliari, Milan, Florence, and Bari).


A total of 186 patients with androgenetic alopecia were evaluated before and 4 to 6 months after the initiation of finasteride therapy (1 mg). All patients (age range, 19–43 years; mean age, 28.3 years) were followed up as outpatients.


The score on each of the 5 domains of the IIEF-5 did not show any significant change after 4 to 6 months of treatment.


Our results support the clinical impression that sexual side effects are actually much less common than reported in clinical trials. The sexual function of all patients remained stable during treatment with 1 mg of finasteride.

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