In this blog we discuss DHT Blocker Side Effects: What to expect and How to Minimize the risks of these side effects.
Interestingly, there’s a misconception that if you have high or excessive levels of DHT, this is what’s causing hair loss in men.
This isn't quite true, dihydrotestosterone is the male sex hormone responsible for all the heavy lifting during puberty.
It’s responsible for developing male characteristics - maturation of the penis and scrotum at puberty, growth of facial, body and pubic hair, and development and maintenance of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles.
An enzyme closely connected to DHT is 5-Alpha Reductase. This enzyme converts Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone DHT plays such a vital role in sexual development, that if you had a shortage of this hormone, it would disrupt the formation of your external sex organs before birth.
Men who have a 5-alpha reductase deficiency are also born with external genitalia that appear female.
DHT and 5-alpha reductase are hormones that are needed for normal healthy development.
Male pattern baldness develops due hair follicle DHT sensitivity.In Genetically predisposed men in certain areas on the scalp, their hair follicles are more sensitive to the effects of DHT. Over the years, this causes their hair to thin, and miniturise, in the characteristic male pattern baldness. Since DHT is a vitally important male hormone, medications that block DHT can have a number of sexual side effects.
One of the most widely used hair loss drugs is a prescription only medication called Finasteride. Finasteride was approved by the FDA in 1992 for the treatment of enlarged prostates.
Finasteride is the generic form of the drug Propecia. While Propecia is the more well-known and recognized name, they do the same thing and provide the same overall benefits.
Propecia is the most often prescribed medication for male pattern baldness.
Finasteride helps to shrink enlarged prostates, and in doing so, helps to reduce the risk of acute urinary retention or the need for surgical procedures.In the US between 2007 and 2017 over 76 million men were prescribed Finasteride.
Finasteride is a type of medicine called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. It works by stopping testosterone (a sex hormone) turning into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 1 in 20 men will experience some side effects. The most common of which include:
- Loss of interest in sex
- Trouble having an orgasm
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Swelling in your hands or feet
- Swelling or tenderness in your breasts
- Feeling like you might pass out
- Runny nose
- Skin rash
How can you minimize the side effects of Finasteride?
There has been some discussion online that it’s not necessary to take 1mg of Propecia per day. Dr Vikram Jayaprakash and Dr Russell Knudsen point out that Finasteride can stay in the skin for up to thirty days. The Doctors advise to take it 3 times per week, which is enough to mop up 5 Alpha Reductase without causing any side effects.
If you do experience side effects, your doctor is likely to lower your dosage.
Propecia may interact with other drugs and so don’t forget to tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.
Before using this medication, also be mindful to tell your doctor your medical history, especially of; prostate cancer, liver disease, infections and urinary problems. The vast majority of men who experience side effects from finasteride also notice these side effects stop when they stop using the medication.
In this study researchers found that other health factors in the participant’s health also leads to a similar effect of sexual dysfunction as finasteride, including:
- Declining physical function
- Increased body mass index.
And so, if you have these going on, they are also very likely to cause sexual disfunction in men.
Apart from taking Finasteride, there are a number of other ways to block DHT. It Really Works Vitamins contain 22 ingredients most of which are known to block DHT. Try us out today including our hair growth serum which is part of our 360° approach to hair health.