Is it true that Propecia causes depression? How does this happen?
Propecia belongs to the family of Finasteride. It is a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme 5 alpha reductase. This is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as androgenetic alopecia. However, this causes some changes in the behavior of the patient and would lead to depression in a person.
128 men who had androgenetic alopecia were given Propecia and their information with regards to their mood and anxiety was obtained through a BDI and HADS questionnaire. After two months, the questionnaire was again given and it was found that the depression scores had increased significantly though the anxiety scores also had increased but not to that extent. The depression scores has a p value of 0.005 and the anxiety scores had a difference in p value of 0.061 these studies have since then been conducted on various groups of people and similar results have been obtained.
How depression is linked with Propecia?
There are a number of cases where depression has been linked to this and the cases are more among patients who have a greater susceptibility to it. The reason is that corticosteroid drugs and interferon alpha, calcium, channel blockers as well as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors all induce depressive effects.
What does research say about Propecia’s potential to cause depression
Studies conducted by the reputed online pharmacy www.exlpharmacy.com show that when the medication was administered, a decline in serum DHT levels was noted and this led to depression. It is found that serum DHT levels are associated inversely with depression and that DHT had anti depressant effects. Also, this has an inhibitory effect on the steroid 5alpha reduction and androgen. The reduction of 5alpha reduction of testosterone and progesterone inhibits forming of allopregnanolone and this is the cause of depressive disorders. It is found that allopregnanolone levels in CSF as well as in the HAM-D scores have a bad co-relation.
Propecia crosses the blood brain barrier. When in the brain, the enzyme that alters the hormone derived neuroactive steroid levels and also the metabolite which binds the receptors of the gamma amniobutyric acid or the GABA neurotransmitters. This has an effect on depression as well as anxiety.
It is also found that the neuroactive steroids as well as the neuromodulators which are synthetized in the central nervous system and these are transported to the brain from the adrenal glands as well as the gonads have an association between Propecia medication and depression.
As the researchers have found that 11% of the people who took propecia generic had mild depressive symptoms, 28% had moderate symptoms and 36% had severe symptoms and most worrying of all 44% had suicidal thoughts, it is suggested that the doctors only prescribe it when it is needed, for just the period when it is required and proper screening is done to ensure that it is not given to those who have depressive tendencies or anxiety related disorders or even have a history of it, else the results could have disastrous consequences.