A total of 32 healthy male volunteers (age range 20-30 years) were enrolled in a 1-week open, randomized, placebo-controlled study comparing finasteride (Proscar), a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, with Permixon, the plant extract of Serenoa repens. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of single and multiple doses of the drugs on the inhibition of 5 alpha-reductase as assessed by serum dihydrotestosterone level determination. Following baseline measurements on day 1, the subjects were randomized to finasteride 5 mg once a day (n = 10), Permixon 80 mg x 2 twice a day (n = 11), or to placebo once a day (n = 11) for 7 days. Serum testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels, were determined on day 1 (baseline and 12 h) and on days 2 (24 h), 3 (48 h), 4 (72 h), 6 (120 h), and 8 (168 h). After 12 h, a single dose of finasteride 5 mg reduced the serum dihydrotestosterone level by 65% (p < or = 0.01). The decreases ranged from -52 to -60% with multiple doses of finasteride 5 mg once a day (p < or = 0.01). As in the placebo group, there was no effect of Permixon on the serum dihydrotestosterone level. No significant difference was detected between finasteride and Permixon or between finasteride and placebo with respect to serum testosterone, except on days 3 and 6, respectively (p < or = 0.05). However, the corresponding serum testosterone levels remained within the normal ranges. These data confirm the efficacy of finasteride as inhibitor of 5 alpha-reductase.
Strauch G; Perles P; Vergult G; Gabriel M; Gibelin B; Cummings S; Malbecq W; Malice MP
Eur Urol, 26: 3, 1994, 247-52
Eclimed Pharmacologie Clinique, Hôpital Universitaire Cochin, Paris, France.