Prostate Home > Proscar Sexual Side Effects

Sexual side effects (such as abnormal ejaculation, decreased libido, or impotence) may occur in patients taking Proscar. If you develop any Proscar sexual side effects, contact your healthcare provider. He or she can recommend another medication for your enlarged prostate or prescribe an erectile dysfunction medication.

Proscar Sexual Side Effects: An Overview

Proscar® (finasteride) is a prescription medication that is used for the treatment of an enlarged prostate. As with all medicines, Proscar has possible side effects. Some of these side effects can affect a person's sexual well-being. In the case of Proscar, sexual side effects that have been reported include:
 
  • Decreased sex drive (libido).
     
  • Impotence. Impotence is usually defined as a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Ultimately, impotence is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Impotence is also known as erectile dysfunction (or ED for short).
     
  • Abnormal ejaculation, including decreased ejaculate amount. In general, decreased ejaculate amount does not affect other aspects of sexual function.
     

How Common Are Proscar Sexual Side Effects?

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. This way, it is possible to see which side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occur in more than 1 percent of people and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people.
 
With Proscar, the sexual side effects mentioned above occurred in the following percentages of men:
 
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence -- in up to 18.5 percent of men
  • Decreased libido (sex drive) -- up to 10 percent
  • Abnormal ejaculation, including decreased ejaculate amount -- up to 7.2 percent.
     
Up to 3.7 percent of men stopped taking Proscar because of sexual side effects.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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