Anti-Baldness Drug Linked with Lower Consumption of Alcohol

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Researchers have discovered that men who take anti-baldness drugs may lose interest in drinking alcohol.

The drug finasteride, or Propecia, is supposed to stop the balding process by stopping the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. DHT is thought to be the active hormone in hair loss.

The research was carried out by George Washington University, and revealed that two thirds of men who take the drug develop low sex drive and drink less.

Finasteride is taken once a day to treat mild to moderate male pattern hair loss.

Dr. Michael Irwig interviewed 83 men who developed side effects while taking the drug. 

He also recorded how much the men drank before they took the drug.

He found that 63 men consumed at least one alcoholic drink a week before starting the drug, but 65 percent noticed a decrease in their alcohol consumption upon taking the drug. This seemed to persist even after they stopped taking it.

There are reports that men also have lower alcohol tolerance after taking the drug and felt more anxious after drinking. 

Researchers currently do not know why the drug affects men's drinking habits, but Irwig believes it has to do with hormones called neurosteroids.

Neurosteroids are linked with interest in alcohol, and because finasteride prevents the ability to produce some hormones, it may prevent it from making ones that prompt alcohol consumption. 

Irwig also found evidence that finasteride can cause permanent sexual dysfunction, including low sexual desire, erectile dysfunction and problems with orgasms. 

Sources: Daily Mail, The Fix