Not only are Propecia-related sexual dysfunction side effects serious, but studies have shown that the adverse sexual reactions potentially associated with Propecia may actually be irreversible. Propecia (finasteride) is Merck & Co’s hair loss drug used to treat male pattern baldness. Propecia is considered a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, inhibiting the enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which plays a major role in inherited male pattern baldness. Finasteride originally garnered FDA approval in 1992 as Proscar, a medication used to treat enlarged prostate, and was then approved in 1997 as brand name Propecia, a treatment to stimulate hair regrowth in men suffering from male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, despite Propecia’s alleged success in treating hair loss in, the sexual dysfunction side effects allegedly linked to the drug may significantly outweigh any possible treatment benefits. If you took Propecia to treat male pattern baldness and have since experienced permanent sexual dysfunction, contact an experienced Propecia attorney immediately.
Sexual dysfunction is characterized by a difficulty occurring during any stage of normal sexual activity, from desire to arousal and orgasm. The term sexual dysfunction can be used to describe any number of sexual problems, including impotence, loss of sexual drive, erectile dysfunction and abnormal ejaculation. Although sexual dysfunction can be associated with a variety of factors, studies have shown that men taking the hair loss drug Propecia may have an increased risk of suffering from sexual dysfunction side effects. Unfortunately, research also indicates that Propecia-related sexual dysfunction side effects may persist after use of the drug is terminated, and may even be irreversible.
In June 2011, the Journal of Sexual Medicine published an alarming study in which researchers found a significant correlation between the use of the hair loss drug Propecia and the development of sexual dysfunction side effects. The study involved 71 otherwise healthy men between the ages of 21 and 46 who reported the new onset of Propecia-related sexual dysfunction side effects, in which the symptoms lasted for at least three months even when use of the drug was stopped. The report indicated that 94% of the men experienced low libido, 92% suffered from decreased arousal, 92% developed erectile dysfunction, and 69% experienced problems with orgasm. According to researchers, the average duration of these sexual dysfunction side effects was 40 months after use of Propecia was terminated.
According to Propecia’s medication guide, which is approved by the FDA, less than 2% of men taking Propecia experience sexual dysfunction side effects, which are typically reversed once Propecia treatment is discontinued. On the contrary, Propecia side effect studies show that, on average, 5-23% of Propecia users are affected by adverse side effects, many of which are actually irreversible. In light of this Propecia side effect risk, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, along with the Swedish Medical Products Agency, has updated its Propecia medication guide to include a warning noting that “persistence of erectile dysfunction after discontinuation of treatment has been reported in post-marketing use.”
Experts have indicated that the sexual dysfunction side effects potentially linked to Propecia can significantly alter a patient’s quality of life, and may persist even after use of the medication is discontinued. If you or a loved one has suffered from sexual dysfunction and you believe Propecia to be the cause, contact an experienced Propecia attorney to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing a Propecia lawsuit against Merck & Co. Drug companies like Merck are expected to produce safe and effective medications for consumer use, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. By hiring a qualified Propecia lawyer to represent your case, you can pursue the financial compensation you deserve and protect yourself and your family from further harm.