Propecia and possible use when muscle-building
When you go round the gyms, or tune into the forums and chat rooms, there are always people talking about the different ways in which to build muscle mass. Most are legitimate and not dangerous but, every now and then, you hear words from those who have passed on to the dark side. To them, it's not so much the how, it's the result of looking the part and having the strength that matters. Some of these people suggest using Propecia, also sold under the generic name of Finasteride. This represents an off-label use. In other words, when you look at the used licensed by the regulatory authorities around the world, none have permitted this particular use. So, if you're tempted by the idea, you should be aware of the risks in using the drug in this way. This reflects the more general rule against using any drug for a non-medical purpose.
So how and why do people propose using a treatment for male pattern baldness in the gyms? The answer comes from the chemistry. The drug is designed to maximize the amount of testosterone in your body by preventing it from being converted into dihydrotestosterone. As you will know, testosterone is a natural anabolic steroid, i.e. it helps to build muscles. The theory therefore says that if you have the maximum amount of natural testosterone in your body (ignoring all those who would add the hormone artificially), this will increase your body mass and reduce surplus fat. In older men, this is more tempting because the level of testosterone falls naturally as the years pass beyond your thirtieth birthday.
Unfortunately, there's absolutely no scientific evidence to support the theory. Indeed, for all the low-level buzz, there's very little enthusiasm for the idea Propecia enhances athletic performance in any way. The main reason for the lack of enthusiasm comes from the side effects. If pregnant women take it, all babies will be born with defects. For men, there are real risks of sexual problems from erectile dysfunction, through low sperm counts to a failure to ejaculate. Speculative benefits are not worth the known risks.