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CONTEXT: Glucocorticoids (GCs) are commonly prescribed, but their use is associated with adverse metabolic effects. 5α-reductase inhibitors (5α-RI) are also frequently prescribed, mainly to inhibit testosterone conversion to dihydrotestosterone. However, they also prevent the inactivation of GCs. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that 5α-RI may worsen the adverse effects of GCs. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized study. PATIENTS: A total of 19 healthy male volunteers (age 45 ± 2 years; body mass index 27.1 ± 0.7kg/m2). INTERVENTIONS: Participants underwent metabolic assessments; 2-step hyperinsulinemic, euglycemic clamp incorporating stable isotopes, adipose tissue microdialysis, and biopsy. Participants were then randomized to either prednisolone (10 mg daily) or prednisolone (10 mg daily) plus a 5α-RI (finasteride 5 mg daily or dutasteride 0.5 mg daily) for 7 days; metabolic assessments were then repeated. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Ra glucose, glucose utilization (M-value), glucose oxidation, and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) levels. RESULTS: Co-administration of prednisolone with a 5α-RI increased circulating prednisolone levels (482 ± 96 vs 761 ± 57 nmol/L, P = 0.029). Prednisolone alone did not alter Ra glucose (2.55 ± 0.34 vs 2.62 ± 0.19 mg/kg/minute, P = 0.86), M-value (3.2 ± 0.5 vs 2.7 ± 0.7 mg/kg/minute, P = 0.37), or glucose oxidation (0.042 ± 0.007 vs 0.040 ± 0.004 mmol/hr/kg/minute, P = 0.79). However, co-administration with a 5α-RI increased Ra glucose (2.67 ± 0.16 vs 3.05 ± 0.18 mg/kg/minute, P 

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Endocrinol Metab

Publication Date





dutasteride, finasteride, hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp, insulin, prednisolone, 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors, Adipose Tissue, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Disease Progression, Drug Interactions, Drug Therapy, Combination, Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions, Dutasteride, Energy Metabolism, Finasteride, Glucocorticoids, Glucose Clamp Technique, Healthy Volunteers, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prednisolone, Prescription Drugs, Proof of Concept Study, Young Adult