Effects of finasteride, a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, on circulating androgens and gonadotropin secretion in hirsute women.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1994 Sep; 79(3):831-5.JC
An oral 5-mg dose of finasteride, a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, was administered for 3 months to 10 hirsute women to determine the effect on gonadotropin secretion, on basal and stimulated androgen secretion, and on hair growth. Hair growth was assessed by the Ferriman-Gallwey score. All of the above determinations were evaluated before and after 1 and/or 3 months of finasteride treatment. Basal and GnRH-stimulated gonadotropin secretions were not affected. Indeed, finasteride did not modify the pulsatility of LH secretion. No change was seen in estradiol, PRL, free testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and sex hormone-binding globulin concentrations. Serum concentrations of cortisol (F) were significantly reduced after 1 month of finasteride treatment. The F levels returned to pretreatment levels after 3 months. Plasma levels of dihydrotestosterone and 3 alpha-androstanediol glucuronide significantly decreased during finasteride treatment. A significant increase in testosterone concentrations was observed after 3 months. Finasteride did not modify the responses of testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate to ACTH-(1-24) injection. Conversely, finasteride blunted the F response to corticotropin stimulation. Three months of finasteride treatment significantly decreased the Ferriman-Gallwey score. In conclusion, finasteride significantly decreased dihydrotestosterone and hair growth in hirsute women without negatively affecting gonadotropin secretion.