Will the drug finasteride (Proscar) (Propicia) affect my Peyornie's disease in any way?

Dr. Herazy,

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My urologist prescribed finasteride (PROSCAR) to shrink my enlarged prostate and lower my PSA level.  Will this affect my Peyronies in any way?

Thanks,

Lou

Greetings Lou,

Finasteride (prescribed under different names depending how it is being used) is used to treat enlarged prostate and prostate cancer,  (under the name Proscar), and it is used to treat hair loss and male pattern baldness (under the name Propecia).  Initially when finasteride was first given approval by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) the known side effects of  fatigue, dizziness, weakness, breathing difficulty and reduced blood pressure were thought to be acceptable because they were mild.  Since approval by the FDA and greater usage in the general population more disturbing side effects have been associated with finasteride use.

In mid 2012 the FDA announced that finasteride use can increase the risk of a very serious form of prostate cancer, even though it is sometimes used to treat symptoms of a mild form of prostate cancer.

My first thought when reading your email was, “I wonder if Lou told his urologist that he has Peyronie's disease?”  But being your urologist, I assume you have gone to this doctor in the past simply because you have Peyronie's disease, right?  If so, it appears to me that you probably have gone to this urologist for your PD and now your enlarged prostate, and the doctor prescribed the finasteride for you anyway.

You see, there are currently several lawsuits being litigated against against Merk & Co., the maker of finasteride, about the many apparent side effects of this drug, including complaints related to the urogenital system:  Peyronie's disease, reduced semen volume, reduction of the size of the penis, genital numbness and lowered sex drive.  Unlike many drug side effects that stop once a drug is discontinued, the side effects of finasteride that affect the male reproductive system appear to be permanent and do not go away after the drug no longer is taken.  In addition, there are other categories of lawsuits being processed due to the mounting evidence that it also causes depression, anxiety, “brain fog”, memory problems, comprehension issues, reduced exercise tolerance, weight gain, and muscle and joint aches.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has ordered Merck & Co. to revise its labeling of Propecia in recognition of the growing body of complaints that the side effects of this drug appear to cause permanent sexual dysfunction long after it is no longer being taken.  Most disturbing it seems is that the FDA acknowledges that new side effects and complaints against finasteride are being reported over time, creating a new medical condition now called the Post-Finasteride Syndrome.

Please see, Another case of Propecia and Peyronie’s disease.

Your urologist was not negligent or wrong in prescribing Proscar for your prostate enlargement because the FDA has not officially stated that finasteride causes Peyronie's disease or aggravates established cases of PD.  All of these claims are being studied and evaluated to determine if the association between the drug and the side effect are real or merely coincidence.  While the FDA might take perhaps a few years to reach an official conclusion, and your urologist can still prescribe this medication, you must decide if you wish to take it.

Just a few weeks ago I worked with a man in his late-40s who took Propecia (finasteride) for his thinning hair problem.   He was on it for perhaps a few months when he developed many unusual problems of skin eruptions, anxiety, forgetfulness and weight gain.  A few months later he developed severe erectile dysfunction (ED) and a curved penis.  His doctor denied any connection or association between his patient taking finasteride and these health problems that started after taking the drug.   In the face of all the information and evidence that is developing about this drug, I told him that his MD was not being honest because he was trying to protect himself from a possible law suit.  You must assume that an MD who prescribes a drug knows about its growing history of drug side effects.  The MD must make a decision:  Do I prescribe this drug knowing that it is getting a lot of bad reports of side effects and the drug maker is drowning in law suits, or do I continue to use it because the FDA has not pulled it from the market?  It seems to me that MDs play with fire, but it is their patients who get burned while the MD is protected by a good lawyer!

The problem this 40 year old fellow was having as he worked to reduce his Peyronie's scar, was that his response was very irregular and very slow.  Some days the scar was softer and smaller, and other days it would return to its previous density and size; some days the curved penis was straighter and other days it was not.  He was getting very discouraged.  I later learned that he was also taking a beta-blocker drug for high blood pressure, long known to cause PD.  Apparently this double-whammy of two drugs that cause Peyronie's disease was the basis of his slow and unusual response to his aggressive PDI treatment plan.   

Perhaps you should consider that some of the other drugs you are currently taking for different health issues might also contribute negatively against your Peyronie's disease.  For information along this line, please see Could these drugs be the cause of my Peyronie’s disease?  

I cannot answer your question if Proscar will affect your Peyronie's disease in any way.  My guess is that if it is possible for  finasteride to cause Peyronies disease, it would be possible to make an existing case of PD a bit worse and it might also be possible for it to make recovery all the more difficult as I work to reverse the problem with a PDI plan. 

To my way of thinking, being a very conservative person in these areas related to health and well being, I would talk to my urologist.  I would  learn if there are options to explore;  if there is an enlarged prostate drug that does not carry the possible side effect of causing all these different urinary symptoms that could be used as a substitute for Proscar.  If I had an enlarged prostate and I had Peyronie's disease, I would not take Proscar.  I strongly advise that you should do what you and your urologist decide to do.  TRH

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Is it possibile for Viagra, or any other medication, to cause Peyronie disease?

Is anyone doing research on the possibility of Viagra causing Peyronie disease or any other type of medication causing this disease?  Mine seems to have started after I took Viagra . Thank you,  Floyd Mathis

 

Greetings Floyd,

Sorry to hear of your problem with Peyronie's disease.

Yes, there is growing evidence that Viagra, Cialis and Levitra (all the PDE5 inhibitor drugs) can cause Peyronie's disease in some men.  I have reported this and written about this observation for many years now.  You can read more about this topic in these posts from the PDI website:  Viagra Peyronie's disease connection and Viagra, Cialis and Levitra Use with Peyronie’s Disease and Peyronie’s Disease Plaque, Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Blood Supply .  There are more articles that are available but I think you will get the idea from these. 

The basic way the injury happens that leads to the start of Peyronie's disease is from "over inflation" that damages the internal tissue of the penis called the tunica albuginea.

I was talking to a man the other day from Australia whose PD started from just a single use of one of these PDE5 drugs. He told me that he developed an erection that was so hard and large that he was scared what might happen to him.  He said he thought he might explode.  Obviously that was the last and only time he took any drug like that.  About two months later he had three internal Peyronie's plaques and a curved penis of 45 degrees.  Because he did not have any sexual activity for months before that event or after it he is positive it was the drug that injured him. 

He went to his medical doctor who told him that this sometimes happens to men.  You will notice that there is a caution on inside drug product information that warns that men with PD should not use these PDE5 drugs.  

What strikes me as especially careless and inappropriate is that there are medical doctors who actually prescribe Viagra, Cialis and Levitra to men who already have Peyronie's disease to help them have an erection when they show signs of erectile dysfunction.

Yes, there are other drugs that are said to be associated with or to cause Peyronie's disease.  The common list includes beta blockers used for heart problems and all of the statin drugs used to lower cholesterol.    

I suggest that you review some of the Alternative Medicine treatment ideas on the PDI website to learn how you can use Peyronie's natural treatment to help yourself correct this problem.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.  TRH 

Could blood pressure medication cause Peyronie’s disease?

My wife and I wanted to know if blood pressure pills would effect PD as well.

Thank you

 

Greetings to your wife and you,

Yes, there is a category of blood pressure and heart medication known as beta-blockers that have long been known to cause Peyronie's disease as a side effect.   Other drugs that can cause Peyronie's disease are interferon, used to treat multiple sclerosis, and Dilantin, used as  an anti-seizure drug.  

Here is a partial list of beta blockers:

  • Acebutolol (Sectral®)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin®)
  • Betaxolol (Kerlone®, Betoptic®)
  • Bisoprolol (Zebeta®)
  • Carteolol (Ocupress®)
  • Esmolol (Brevibloc®)
  • Nebivolol (Bystolic®)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor®, Toprol-XL®)
  • Penbutolol (Levatol®)
  • Pindolol (Visken®)

If you suspect your blood pressure medication is a beta blocker you should talk to your doctor about finding a possible substitute for it.   TRH

Beta-Blockers and Peyronie’s Disease

What is a beta-blocker?

Anyone who has looked for a cause of Peyronie’s disease will eventually read about a drug called a beta-blocker.   I will not bore you with the technical aspects of the chemistry and physiology of beta-blockers, but only what might be important to you as someone who suffers with PD.

Beta-blockers are prescription drugs used to treat a wide variety of conditions, but most often heart-related disorders like abnormal and irregular heart rhythms, chest pain, and the immediate symptoms of a heart attack, as well as to lower the heart rate and reduce the force of heart contraction.  They are available in tablet, liquid and injection forms.  Beta-blockers can also be used to treat migraine headaches, social phobias, hypertension, muscle tremors related to anxiety and/or an overactive thyroid gland. Timolol is a particular beta-blocker that is prescribed as an eye drop, used in the glaucoma treatment since this beta-blocker reduces the pressure of fluid inside the eye. Beta blockers have been called "the musicians underground drug" because they can be used for performance anxiety.

Some of the more popular beta-blockers and their brand names are: acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta), metoprolol (Lopressor, Lopressor LA, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and timolol (Blocadren).

Inderal is perhaps the most commonly prescribed beta-blocker.  This beta-blocker affects the heart and circulation particularly well.  It is frequently used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), heart rhythm disorders, tremors, angina (chest pain), and other heart or circulatory conditions. It is also used to treat or prevent heart attack, and to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.

If you have taken a medication for any of these problems you might have taken a beta-blocker and were not warned about it.  This might be worth checking out.

If you know you have taken a beta-blocker in the past and now have Peyronie’s disease, this might be a possible explanation for your PD and you might want to discuss this with the doctor who prescribed it for you.

If you are currently taking a beta-blocker you need to know that this category of medication should not be stopped suddenly, since this can bring about an attack of the original condition – sometimes more severe than the original problem – plus a rapid and dangerous rise of the blood pressure.  If beta-blocker use should be stopped or reduced, this should only be done under close medical supervision.  The best way to continue your Peyronie’s disease treatment is to keep your doctor informed and aware of what you are doing with Alternative Medicine.  You should try to get him or her to be a part of your natural Peyronie’s disease treatment.

Peyronie’s disease connection to beta-blockers

All beta-blocker drugs list Peyronie's disease as a possible side effect.  This association has been borne out in communication with men in my work with the Peyronie’s Disease Institute.