Why is Propecia linked with lasting symptoms of depression?

propecia and depressionPropecia, the drug for male-pattern baldness also known as Finasteride falls in the class of 5alpha-reductase inhibitor. Propecia has been approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1992 for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) which causes bladder and urination difficulties and also for the treatment of MPHL (Male Pattern Hair Loss) or androgenetic alopecia (AGA) since 1997.

In layman’s language, Propecia is a drug to prevent hair loss particularly in men and increase the number of scalp hairs. In women, Propecia has been used in some cases for the treatment of hirsutism.

According to a recent study from George Washington University, men who buy Propecia and consume it are likely to be at the risk of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts even after they stop taking the drug.

Lots of researchers are able to link the use of Propecia with lasting symptoms of depression.


Let us discuss in detail so that you also can decide yourself next time you are giving priority to beauty over health-

  • The way Propecia drug works on the brain may be the reason for emotional and cognitive changes in men. It belongs to the class of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. So, this medication blocks the production of certain hormones in the brain.
  • Another reason for depression can be due to the sexual side effects that arise due to Propecia medication. These side effects include low libido and erectile dysfunction which can be linked with the cause of depression in men. These side effects often persist even after the drug is stopped being used in most of the men on which studies had been taken.
  • It’s a well-known fact that men and women having a problem with depression do have lower blood levels of neuroactive steroids, and the Propecia also does the same to the person taking it. Propecia blocks an enzyme in the brain which controls the levels at which the neuro-active steroids are released.
  • One more possibility of depression can be due to the change in concentrations of certain brain chemicals too.
  • This medicine may cause changes in the breast tissues which also came forward as a reason for depression among some users of Propecia medication.
  • The FDA has also added a warning concerning an increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer, as it can lower the PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which could prevent the development of prostate cancer.

We can say that till the detailed studies are not conducted, we cannot say conclusively about its (Propecia’s) side effects. Further research is essential to evaluate this medication to be safe or not safe. But till then the Propecia medication should be prescribed cautiously for the patients who are having a problem of depression already and the users should also be well aware of potential risks associated with the medicine. Pregnant women should also not be using Propecia as it prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT, which is necessary for the development of male genitalia thus causing the birth defects in male babies.