Dutasteride in the long-term management of stuttering priapism

Ryan C. Baker, Rachel L. Bergeson, Yooni A. Yi, Ellen E. Ward, Allen F. Morey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study is to review our 12-year experience with the 5-α reductase inhibitor dutasteride as a potential long-term treatment option for stuttering priapism. Dutasteride has a uniquely long half-life of 35 days which offers a theoretical advantage as a chronic therapy for management of stuttering priapism. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients with stuttering priapism in our database from 2006-2018 treated with dutasteride. Men with concurrent use of medications other than dutasteride to treat stuttering priapism were excluded. Patients were started on a dose of 0.5 mg daily and tapered to a more infrequent dosing schedule, ranging from 0.5 mg every other day to once weekly. The frequency of priapism episodes before and after initiation of dutasteride therapy was analyzed. Results: Among 21 cases, 13 patients met our inclusion criteria (mean age 43 years). Median follow-up on daily dutasteride was 79 days, and median follow-up on tapered dutasteride was 607 days. A total of 11/13 (85%) men treated with dutasteride had some degree of improvement-5/13 (38%) had complete resolution of their symptoms and 6/13 (46%) had reduced frequency and/or severity of their episodes. Among 5/13 (38%) men who had >2 emergency room (ER) visits for ischemic priapism prior to therapy, most (3/5, 60%) did not require any ER visits while on dutasteride therapy. Among the five men who received chronic, tapered-dose therapy, all reported continued suppression of priapistic episodes. Among 4 patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), 3/4 (75%) ultimately chose more invasive therapy including androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and penile prosthesis. Side effects were minimal and included gynecomastia (8%), decreased libido (8%), and fatigue (8%). Conclusions: In patients with stuttering priapism, daily dutasteride therapy is a promising treatment option to reduce the frequency and severity of priapistic episodes without significant side effects. Therapy can effectively be tapered to once weekly dosing without a reduction in efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalTranslational Andrology and Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Priapism
  • Sick cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Urology


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