MEN: This commonly prescribed prostate drug may increase suicide risk

Millions of men in the U.S. suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is caused by a benign swelling of the prostate gland, which can obstruct urine flow and make a man’s day-to-day (and night) absolutely miserable. 

Fortunately, you have many powerful, science-backed, natural options for dealing with BPH. And I’ll tell you about one that I personally helped discover in just a moment. 

But first, let’s back up to present the problem with the mainstream’s drug solutions 

Finasteride tied to higher risk of deadly prostate cancer and suicides 

In 1992, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug called finasteride for the treatment of urinary symptoms due to BPH. Then, in 1998, they approved it at a lower dose to treat male pattern baldness. (It works by blocking testosterone.) 

Subsequent research showed that, in addition to relieving the symptoms of BPH, the drug could also lower a man’s risk of developing low-grade prostate cancer. Of course, “low-grade” prostate cancer is rarely fatal—or even problematic—which is why I call it “fake cancer.”  

But further studies found finasteride actually increases a man’s risk of developing high-grade, aggressive prostate cancer—which is the REAL type of prostate cancer that can spread, metastasize, and kill you. The FDA even issued a warning about it in 2011. 

The FDA also says finasteride can cause impotence, decreased libido, sexual dysfunction, male breast enlargementand testicular painall of which often persist after the men stop taking the drug. (There’s now even a name for it: “post-finasteride syndrome.”)  

Plus, now we’re learning it may also increase suicide risk. Worse yet, the FDA and Merck, the drug company that makes finasteride, knew about this increased suicide risk, yet they failed to make it known to the public! 

And—we’re only learning about it now because a news agency filed a motion to obtain Merck’s internal records about the drug, as part of an investigation into another matter…and a federal judge ordered their release in January 2021. 

Judge opens Pandora’s Box of hidden side effects  

According to the newly released documentswhile reviewing adverse events related to the drug in 2010, an FDA safety evaluator noted nine reports of suicide. And she recommended adding suicide as a potential warning to the drug’s safety label 

But, after further FDA review (and undoubtedly a lot of pressure from Merck), nothing came of it. When the FDA issued an updated safety warning about the drug that same year, it still didn’t mention suicide risk. And to this day, the FDA still doesn’t require any warning about suicide risk on the drug’s label. (Even though they now require it in Canada and Europe.) 

To make matters worse, between 2011 and 2021finasteride usage has skyrocketed in the U.SConsequently, the FDA has received 700 additional reports of suicides and suicidal thoughtsIncluding 100 deaths! 

Of course, let me just note that men with prostate problems already run a higher risk of suicide. And some of the risk probably relates to the anxiety, depression, and worry resulting from being diagnosed with prostate disease. But clearly, as these documents suggest, the suicides also relate to treatments for the disease! 

Fortunately, as I mentioned earlier, there are many natural approaches that can help shrink an enlarged prostate—and reduce (or even eliminate) these troubling symptoms…without resorting to deadly, harmful drugs… 

Prevent and even reverse BPH with lycopene 

Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid found in tomatoes and certain other deep-pink and red fruits and vegetables. I actually helped conduct the original research to discover its role in food composition, and in human nutrition and metabolism, in the mid-1980s, when I was working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. 

In the wake of our original research, other studies have shown that lycopene also supports prostate health, specifically. In fact, clinical studies show lycopene not only reduces the symptoms of BPH, but it can also help stop the progression of BPH entirely! 

As a supplement, I recommend a daily dose of at least 4 mg. But you can—and should—also get lycopene through your healthy, balanced diet by eating apricots, carrots, sweet red peppers, tomatoes, and watermelon. 

Of course, there are many more effective, natural approaches to supporting healthy prostate function in addition to taking lycopene, without resorting to dangerous drugs(After all, some commonly prescribed prostate medications can actually increase your risk of Type II diabetes, too!)  

You can learn more in the October 2019 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“Men: Protect your prostate and slash your risk of other chronic diseases with this fall favorite”). Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one today! 


Exclusive: Merck anti-baldness drug Propecia has long trail of suicide reports, records show.” Reuters, 2/3/21. ( 

“Lycopene inhibits disease progression in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia.” J Nutr 2008 Jan;138(1):49-53.