MALE PATTERN BALDNESS DRUG LINKED TO SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
Propecia (finasteride) is a medication prescribed to men suffering from male pattern hair loss. Off-label uses of the drug include the treatment of enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Finasteride is in the 5-alpha-reductase (5-ARI) class of drugs, which prevents an enzyme from transforming testosterone in the body to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT can play a role in the development of BPH, urinary tract infections, and alopecia (such as male pattern hair loss).
The hair loss drug was introduced to the United States market in 1992 and is manufactured by Merck. There are several common side effects associated with Propecia, including:
- Decreased libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Ejaculation disorder
- Breast tenderness
- Other sexual side effects
Unfortunately, Propecia has been linked to other more serious sexual side effects that could have life-long effects on patients taking the drug.
FDA UPDATES LIST OF SEXUAL ADVERSE EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH PROPECIA
In April 2012, the FDA announced that the labeling on Propecia and Proscar (a higher dosage of finasteride) will be updated to reflect a growing list of sexual side effects potentially caused by the dangerous drug. These sexual adverse events were added to the warning label because they persisted after discontinuing the drug in some instances.
- Libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm disorders
- These effects may continue after halting Propecia treatment
- Male infertility or poor semen quality
A study in early 2017 revealed a twofold increase in sexual dysfunction in young men using Propecia. According to the Miami Herald, there have been more than 1,300 lawsuits filed against Merck due to the severe, and in some cases permanent, side effects caused by Propecia.
PROPECIA LINKED TO INCREASED RISK OF HIGH-GRADE PROSTATE CANCER
The FDA issued a safety warning to healthcare professionals regarding the increased risk of prostate cancer linked to 5-ARIs. As mentioned previously, finasteride — Propecia and Proscar — are both in the 5-ARI class of drug. The FDA claims that the risk appears to be low, but healthcare providers should weigh the benefits and risks before prescribing one of these drugs.
The two studies that the FDA reviewed revealed a lower incidence of lower-risk forms of prostate cancer but a higher incidence of high-grade, serious prostate cancer. 5-ARI drugs are not indicated to treat prostate cancer, but the effects of these drugs were monitored versus a placebo in the two clinical trials for four years and seven years.
CONTACT OUR DANGEROUS DRUG INJURY LAWYERS
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious side effect from Propecia or Proscar, contact our experienced dangerous drug attorneys immediately. Finasteride has been linked to severe sexual dysfunction and high-grade prostate cancer but is still available to consumers. Thomas J. Henry has the experienced team of lawyers, the legal resources, and the financial resources to take on the pharmaceutical companies. If you have been injured after taking a dangerous drug, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free case review.