Men who use medication to reduce their symptoms of prostate disease are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, research suggests.
Patients with enlarged prostates who are prescribed drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are about a third more at risk for the condition.
They reduce the production of androgens, a hormone that helps stimulate urine flow, a common problem in men with enlarged prostates.
But these drugs – including finasteride and dutasteride – can slow down metabolism and reduce the insulin sensitivity of the body, which can cause type 2 diabetes.
Finasteride made headlines in 2017 when Donald Trump’s physician Harold Bornstein revealed that the president is using the controversial drug to fight baldness.
Prostate patients who use a commonly prescribed drug to help them urinate are one third more at risk for type 2 diabetes, research suggests (stock)
The research was conducted by the University of Edinburgh and University College London. It was led by Professor Ruth Andrew, a personal chair for pharmaceutical endocrinology in Edinburgh.
“We discovered that commonly prescribed drugs for prostate disease can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes,” said Professor Andrew.
More than three million finasteride recipes are published each year by the NHS in England – and many more are purchased privately.
In the US, around eight million a year use prostate problems and 1.2 million for hair loss.
The 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are often prescribed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the medical term for an enlarged prostate.
This is more common with age, with an estimated prevalence between eight and 60 percent in men aged 90 years.
To determine the health effects of the drug, the researchers analyzed the health records of 55,275 men in the UK who had prescribed 5-alpha reductase inhibitors for their BPH for 11 years.
Results – published in the British Medical Journal – revealed that the drugs increase a man’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about a third.
WHAT IS FINASTERIDE?
Finasteride was originally developed to treat urinary problems in men, but during tests, scientists found an unexpected side effect – hair growth.
In 1997, the FDA approved the steroid inhibitor as the first drug to treat male pattern baldness.
The medicine is taken once a day and is mainly sold under the Propecia brand name.
Millions of American adults use the pills, which are proven to be 90 percent effective.
It is not certain how many men in the UK use it because it is only available on prescription and is not available on the NHS.
But Asda can sell the drug without a prescription, because it will be available through a patient-led patient group.
This means that patients must be seen by a pharmacist before they receive the medicine.
Among the reported side effects associated with the use of the drug, which can often take months to work, is a loss of libido and erectile problems.
In recent years, the drug has been increasingly examined by regulators in the United States and Canada due to a possible connection with psychological problems.
And research of men older than 66 published in March provided the first concrete evidence of the risks for depression and self-injury.
Scientists at Western University discovered that men who use the drug, known as a 5ARI, were at 88 percent higher risk of injuring themselves. Their risk of depression was 94 percent higher.
The drug works by reducing the level of a hormone, dihydrotestosterone, that can damage the hair follicles. This is also how it makes the prostate glands smaller.
This means that in a group of 500 men who have been taking the drug for 20 years, 16 cases of type 2 diabetes are likely to develop in people who would otherwise not have the condition.
A similar effect was seen when the team repeated the study with the health records of 91,681 Taiwanese men.
“By studying real word data from different ethnic populations in the UK and Taiwan, we discovered that men treated with dutasteride or finasteride have a roughly 30 percent increased risk of developing diabetes for BPH,” Dr. said. Whey.
The findings suggest that men taking these drugs may need additional health checks to monitor diabetes warning signs, such as unexplained weight loss, extreme thirst, and fatigue.
“These findings are especially important for health screening in older men who are usually already at higher risk for type 2 diabetes,” said Professor Andrew.
If these symptoms occur, the prescriptions of the men may need to be changed, the researchers claim.
However, they emphasize that patients taking these drugs should continue to do so as directed.
And they added treatment guidelines that do not need to be changed based on their study.
Dr. However, Wei added: ‘It is important that all patients are made aware of the risks and benefits of their medicines.
“In this case, men should be warned about the increased risk of diabetes if they use these specific drugs for BPH and they should talk to their doctor if they are worried.”
Professor Andrew claims that the researchers will continue to study patients taking these drugs to help them better understand who is most at risk.
Laurence Stewart, urologist advisor at Spire Murrayfield Hospital and honorary consultant at NHS Lothian – who was not directly involved in the study – said: “These findings should not be a major concern for men who use 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
“As doctors, we may need to review the way we follow our patients to ensure that we are extra alert to early signs of diabetes.
“Anyone who is worried should contact their doctor or urologist for advice on alternative treatments.”
Research suggests that finasteride causes hair growth in up to 80 percent of men, but one in 60 then experiences impotence – and the risks increase the longer they are on the drug.