New Delhi: A hair loss drug that is used by US President Donald Trump has been linked to an increased risk of depression, anger, self-harm and erectile dysfunction.
According to a new study, the drug Finasteride can also cause many severe and uncomfortable side effects.
The prostate-reducing drug is also widely believed to be a significant factor affecting the president's low PSA (prostate) levels and thick mane.
A research paper published in March 2017 by Western University in Ontario showed concrete evidence regarding the pills’ mental health risks and appeared to confirm many medic’s fears that it increases the risk of suicidal tendencies.
The same week, another study conducted by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, found that most participants taking the drug were left impotent for four years.
Finasteride, originally developed to treat urinary problems in men, belongs to a class of medications known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (5ARIs).
Studies show the drug made prostate glands smaller by reducing levels of hormone dihydrotestosterone in participants.
However, in recent years, 5ARIs have come under increasing scrutiny by regulators in the United States and Canada because of a possible link to mental health issues, according to the researchers, reports Mailonline.
During clinical trials, scientist found an unexpected side effect - hair growth.
And in 1997, the FDA approved the steroid inhibitor as the first ever drug to treat male pattern baldness.
Finasteride, which is mainly sold under the brand name Propecia, is taken once a day.
The pills used by millions of American adults are proven to be 90 percent effective.
It may be noted that in February 2017, Trump's doctor Harold Bornstein had revealed in an interview that the president takes a small dose of finasteride to stimulate hair growth.
Bornstein also told the New York Times that he, too, takes the drug, adding it helped him keep his shoulder-length locks and helped Trump keep his own hair.
Finasteride reduces PSA levels to reduce swelling of prostate glands.
For men aged 60-69, normally finasteride is given between 4.0 and 5.0ng/ml, which is higher than younger men since PSA and testosterone levels rise with age.
But the number may be lower than usual if a man has prostate cancer or inflammation, causing more PSA to seep into the bloodstream.
(With Agency inputs)