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Study: Propecia May Curb Drinking

A new study suggests men taking Propecia, a drug prescribed for male pattern baldness, may decrease alcohol consumption.

An option to fight hair loss: Propecia.

An option to fight hair loss: Propecia.

The study shows men who experience sexual side effects from Propecia tend to drink less. According to HealthDay, about 65 percent of men involved in the study reduced their drinking level, even after discontinuing the drug.

“Propecia [Finasteride] interferes with the brain’s ability to make certain hormones called neurosteroids, which are likely linked to drinking alcohol,” said study author Dr. Michael Irwig, an assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.

James Garbutt, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says it’s unclear why men with sexual side effects are experiencing this change in alcohol consumption.

“This highlights the importance of being aware that any medication one takes has the potential to cause side effects and many side effects are not known for medications until years after they have been on the market,” Garbutt added.

More information needed

Irwig says the study suggests an interesting connection that might lead to sobriety medications.

“There is interest in the neuroactive steroid system for development of new medications for problem drinking — this study offers some support for that idea,” Garbutt said.

How Propecia helps fight hair loss

Thousands of men deal with hair loss as they age.

Thousands of men deal with hair loss as they age.

Like many drugs, the power of Propecia was discovered by accident.  Originally drug makers were hoping this medication would treat enlarged prostates and instead, found out this medication could help people grow hair.  Propecia is said to alter a chemical, DHT, that leads to hair loss.

“It is DHT that shrinks or miniaturizes the hair follicle, which eventually leads to baldness. This 60% reduction in DHT has proven to stop the progression of hair loss in 86% of men taking the drug during clinical trials,” WebMD stated in a recent article.