Hair-Loss Drug Propecia Blamed for Multiple Problems

07.12.2012 in PROPECIA

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A man who took the male pattern baldness drug Propecia for four years claims it gave him “severe sexual dysfunction and cognitive impairment.”
Jason McCord sued Merck & Co. in Federal Court.
Merck has been sued at least 15 times in the past two years for similar claims, according to the Courthouse News database.
McCord says he was 36 when he was prescribed Propecia, in 2006, and he took it for four years. He says the trade-off wasn’t worth it.
“Male pattern hair loss affects 30 percent of men by the age of 30 years and 50 percent of men by the age of 50 years. Men who suffer from hair loss may be perceived as older and less physically and socially attractive,” according to the complaint.
“Male pattern hair loss is a common condition thought to be caused by a combination of genetic factors and a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (‘DHT’).
“DHT is a substance in the body that can shrink hair follicles until a person no longer has hair on top of his head.
“Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that decreases the conversion of testosterone to DHT, therefore, preventing hair loss.
“Propecia, or finasteride, may produce undesirable side effects to patients who use the prescription drug, including but not limited to, sexual dysfunction and cognitive impairment.
“The rates of the sexual dysfunction as a result of finasteride are reported to be as high as 39 percent in published clinical studies. In addition, it has been reported in 2003 that only 50 percent of patients experience resolution of their sexual function adverse events after discontinuation of finasteride.”
The U.S. FDA approved Propecia for hair loss in 1997 and more than one million people have taken it by prescription, McCord says.
Before he took the drug, McCord says, he “did not suffer from sexual dysfunctions or cognitive impairment. However, while consuming Propecia, plaintiff began to suffer severe sexual dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Plaintiff’s adverse effects continued after Plaintiff discontinued using Propecia.”
He claims: “Defendants knew or should have known that Propecia, when taken as prescribed and intended, causes and contributes to an increased risk of persistent and/or permanent serious and dangerous side effects including, without limitation, cognitive impairment, development of depression, and various forms of sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction, reduced ejaculate volume, diminished or reduced libido, reduced sexual sensation and/or infertility (‘sexual dysfunction’) even after discontinuation of use.”
Defendants Merck & Co. and Merck Sharpe & Dohme sell their 1-milligram tablet of finasteride as Propecia.
Finasteride was first approved by the FDA in 1992, for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate, according to the complaint. It was marketed then as Proscar.
In 2009, Swedish researchers concluded that Propecia could cause permanent erectile dysfunction, McCord says. That led to warnings on Propecia labels in several European countries, including the United Kingdom and Italy.
“According to the FDA’s website, defendants have updated the Propecia label in the United States nine times since introducing the drug into the market, and none of the label revisions have included a warning regarding persistent and/or permanent sexual dysfunction in patients that discontinued use of the prescription drug,” the complaint states.
“In April of 2011, defendants updated its ‘Patient Information about Propecia’ insert to indicate patients have reported ‘difficulty in achieving an erection that continued after stopping the medication.’ Upon information and belief, defendants’ updated insert is the first warning it gave to patients in the U.S. regarding persistent and/or permanent sexual dysfunction after discontinuation of use.
“Upon information and belief, the Propecia label distributed in the United States continues to fail to warn users of persistent and/or permanent sexual dysfunction and cognitive impairment after discontinuation of use.”
McCord says he has “suffered significant pain and suffering, and his quality of life has severely diminished.”
He seeks damages for strict liability, negligence, breach of implied warranties, breach of express warranty, fraudulent concealment, unfair and deceptive trade, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
He is represented by Timothy Beck of Minneapolis.
Neither the law firm nor Merck immediately responded to requests for comment.



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Study: Male Hair Loss Drug Propecia Making Men Impotent

02.12.2012 in PROPECIA

A recent study suggests that the drug used to fight baldness is damaging men’s sex lives.

Guys, would you rather lose your hair or lose your sexual prowess? Sounds like a pretty rotten deal, but a new study shows that men who take medication for hair loss risk losing something particularly valuable in return. Don’t Settle For Low Sexual Libido

The research, which was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine this month, says that 5 to 23 percent of men who took the prescription drug finasteride (sold as Propecia) may suffer impotence, low libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and an inability to orgasm. Specific Hormone Replacement Can Boost Libido

While side effects are common to many drugs, these symptoms may persist for months after stopping treatment. Dr. Michael S. Irwig of George Washington University’s medical school interviewed 76 men aged 21 to 46 to find that their symptoms lingered for at least three months after they stopped taking the medication. Some even felt the effects for up to 10 years. Female Sexual Dysfunction IS A Real Disorder
A number of participants developed problems after taking the medication for just a few days. On average, the men had been taking the drug for 28 months and experienced problems afterward for a mean of 40 months. The persistence of their symptoms is especially troubling giving the irony: once you stop taking the drug, you’ll soon start losing your hair again, but your libido may not be so quick to return.

In the U.K. and Sweden, the drug comes with a warning label for potential sexual dysfunction, but this hasn’t been the case in the U.S. But before you exchange your drugs for a toupee, we should note that the subjects weren’t completely random. The researchers selected them from a website especially for problems with finasteride.

Take it from us, though. We’d rather see our men bald than suffering from a loss of libido, so grab that razor and embrace the super-sexy Bruce Willis look.

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Loss of Propecia Sex Drive, Driving Numerous Lawsuits

16.03.2012 in PROPECIA, YOUTUBE YouTube Preview Image

Washington, DC: Would men rather have their hair, or their manhood? With Propecia finasteride, that appears to be the choice for a number of men who have used Propecia only to discover difficulties in the bedroom.

Such problems can not only prove an impediment to a relationship, it can also result in a Propecia lawsuit – and there are a number of them. In fact, according to a release from PRWeb Newswire (3/19/13), there were 140 actions pending in the Propecia Multi-District Litigation as of March 5 (US District Court, Eastern District of New York, MDL 2331 – IN RE: Propecia (Finasteride) Products Liability Litigation). These lawsuits are part of a larger number reported by Propecia manufacturer Merck & Co. November 9 of last year.

At that time, Merck identified 265 lawsuits involving about 415 plaintiffs as of September 30, 2012, alleging continued and persistent Propecia sexual dysfunction after stopping Propecia.

A Propecia lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania Eastern District Court on February 5 alleges Propecia impotence. The claim alleges that Merck & Co. knew, or should have known, about the basket of Propecia side effects, and should have been more forthcoming with regard to those risks with patients and consumers. The lawsuit, case no. 2:2013cv00659, identifies those Propecia side effects as depression, cognitive impairment and erectile dysfunction.

In another Propecia lawsuit, a plaintiff filed an action in New York Eastern District Court on October 8 of last year alleging sexual dysfunction and cognitive impairment after his use of Propecia finasteride. The plaintiff alleges his symptoms continued after he stopped using Propecia finasteride.

The case is case no. 1:2012cv05030. Plaintiffs were not identified in the release.

Propecia has been on the market since 1997, and is also used to treat an enlarged prostate. However, finasteride has been gaining more traction in recent years as a means to slow down the progression of male pattern baldness. While it remains fashionably acceptable today for even young men to sport a shaved head, some men are overly sensitive about a particular skull shape that lends itself to shaving. Others simply prefer having hair, than not.

Many plaintiffs, however, have been unpleasantly surprised when it was discovered that their Propecia dosage is often associated with difficulties between the sheets. Had plaintiffs known about the risks of problems with their Propecia sex drive, they might have weighed the risks and decided their hair loss was less important than the loss of their manhood.

The allegation that sexual dysfunction can translate to Propecia long-term side effects and extend well beyond the point at which the medication is terminated, constitutes a serious event in a man’s life. Many plaintiffs have lost relationships or have divorced. Their lives have never been the same.

Propecia lawsuit plaintiff Kevin Malley alleges that Propecia not only fostered physical and cognitive impairment, his use of Propecia is also alleged to have caused sexual dysfunction and even shrinkage of his genitals. Malley is part of a Propecia class action, and appeared on CNN in August of last year describing his symptoms, and how Propecia has impacted his life in a negative way.

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Simmons Firm Investigates Popular Hair Loss Drug Linked to Serious Sexual Side Effects


Propecia, Prosca found to cause long-term sexual, mental and physical side effects, Study warns

Alton, IL (PRWEB) August 11, 2011

Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC is currently investigating claims that Propecia, a drug manufactured by Merck to treat baldness in men, can have debilitating sexual side effects.

Propecia, and its parent drug Proscar, are the trademark versions of finasteride, a synthetic antiandrogen that limits the production of enzymes believed to contribute to the cause of male pattern baldness and an enlarged prostate. Propecia treats baldness in men, while Proscar treats benign prostatic hyperplasia.

A new study conducted by George Washington University and published in the March issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that taking finasteride can cause decreased arousal, erectile dysfunction, severe depression and other serious sexual side effects.

“Many of the men who take these drugs were unaware of the seriousness of these Propecia side effects because they were led to believe that any symptoms would cease once they discontinued taking Propecia,” said Trent Miracle, Simmons Firm Partner who is leading the investigation. “This is not necessarily the case for all users.”

The study found that side effects are permanent in at least 5 percent of men who take Propecia. In addition, the Food & Drug Administration issued a warning in June that the warning label of finasteride has been revised to include new safety information about the increased risk of being diagnosed with a high-grade prostate cancer.

“This is a very serious and sensitive issue for men who have been negatively impacted by these drugs,” Miracle said. “These men are understandably asking a lot of questions, and the Simmons Firm is hoping to help them find the answers they deserve.”

The Propecia lawyers at the Simmons Firm are currently investigating claims against Propecia, Proscar and other finasteride drugs.

About Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC
The Simmons Firm is a leading law firm in pharmaceutical litigation. The Simmons firm has experience in litigating complex medical matters and has taken a leadership role in standing up for individuals who have been injured by dangerous or defective drugs. The firm has represented thousands of pharmaceutical clients and recovered nearly $200 million in verdicts and settlements in cases involving Oxycontin, Vioxx and more. Learn more at

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Hair loss drugs possibly hamper sexual health among men

09.03.2011 in PROPECIA

The commonly used medication 5a-reductase inhibitors and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a popular treatment to overcome hair loss seem to be extremely harmful in the health-space. According to a latest study, 5a-reductase inhibitors together with BPH cause persistent erectile dysfunction (ED), depression and loss of libido in men. The effects of these drugs appear even after the medication has been discontinued.

As a part of the study, investigators evaluated data from several clinical studies that reported about the side effects of the 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, finasteride and dutasteride. Prolonged adverse side effects on sexual function, including ED, depression and diminished libido, possibly occurred in a subset of men. Drug-related reduction in libido seemingly took place among 4.2 percent patients in the dutasteride group, and 1.8 percent patients in the placebo group. Some patients also registered decline in ejaculation and semen volume. These drugs were supposedly linked with depression as well.

Many young men may be prescribed 5 alpha reductase inhibitors as hair loss treatments, which damage their sexual life. Since, these medications apparently have severe side-effects, patients have to avoid them. Abdulmaged M. Traish, MBA, PhD, of Boston University School of Medicine, lead investigator and colleagues believe that the study findings have major implications in the medical terrain.

The study is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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