PROPECIA and MERCK have been linked to alleged claims of sexual dysfunction in users. Lawsuits have been filed and MERCK continues to deny a scientific correlation between the claimed injuries and use of their product.
We are actively investigating cases involving use of PROPECIA and sexual dysfunction in young men who used the product for male pattern baldness. Contact requests may be sent thru a contact form from here.
Men seeking to maintain their hairline may be sacrificing their ability to keep or maintain an erection. #Propecia has been touted as “The Hair Loss Pill for Men” by MERCK it’s manufacturer. However, it has come under growing scrutiny as studies claim to have revealed a long term, or irreversible, association between the popular drug and erectile dysfunction. Generally speaking, most ‘side effects’ of a drug subside, or vanish altogether, with the discontinuation of the drug, some published reports indicate that the “Propecia Legacy of Dysfunction” can linger for up to 40 months.
USAToday reported during March 2011 that the sexual side effects of both PROPECIA and AVODART may be irreversible. Citing Dr. A.M. Traish in “Sexual Side Effects of Propecia, Avodart May Be Irreversible”, Health Day reporter, S. Reinberg, references a growing body of scientific literature that supports claims that these drugs are doing long term harm and sexual dysfunction. Dr. Traish cited to reports of erectile dysfunction, reduced libido, reduced ejaculation and semen volume, along with depression.
In a study by Dr. M. Irwig of George Washington University, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine during June 2011, survey results of 71 #Propecia users reported the following:
- 94% suffered low libido or sex drive
- 92% experienced erectile dyfunction
- 92% had decreased sexual arousal
The most alarming finding reported was an average of 40 months of side effects after discontinuation of the drug. In sum, the side effects were noted as persisting long after the drug had been taken. Granted, this appears to be a small sample of potential users but scrutiny is growing as lawsuits mount in the US regarding #ED and #PROPECIA.
Most recently, October 2011 MENS JOURNAL has published a story entitled: “The (Not So Hard) Truth About Hair Loss Drugs” and points to Dr. Irwig’s statistical findings, as lending support to questions about when the manufacturer knew about the lingering side effects. Wonder when the company could have begun warning US consumers? Well, printed reports indicate that Sweden’s Medical Products Agency approved a warning on the product label that included “persistence of erectile dysfunction after discontinuation” as early as March of 2010. Subsequently, Italy added a similar warning of the long term risks of sexual inhibition from the use of PROPECIA.
The active ingredient in the trademarked PROPECIA is #finasteride which was originally used to battle an enlarged prostate. A side effect gave rise to PROPECIA when hair growth became associated with the use of #finasteride. This niche market is now under a microscopic review - in some circles - as the dangers of trying to keep your hairline risk a legacy of dysfunction and stigma.
Borrowing a page from Big Tobacco’s fall back defense - ‘a causal relationship has yet to be established ’ - MERCK is reportedly standing up to critics. The FDA Safety Information in this link addresses information as of June 2011 and a risk of cancer in specific instances:
- Increased Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer with 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitor
- Men aged 55 and over with a normal digital rectal examination and PSA ≤3.0 ng/mL at baseline taking finasteride 5 mg/day (5 times the dose of Propecia) in the 7-year Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) had an increased risk of Gleason score 8-10 prostate cancer (finasteride 1.8% vs placebo 1.1%). Similar results were observed in a 4-year placebo-controlled clinical trial with another 5α-reductase inhibitor (dutasteride, Avodart) (1% dutasteride vs 0.5% placebo). 5α-reductase inhibitors may increase the risk of development of high-grade prostate cancer. Whether the effect of 5α-reductase inhibitors to reduce to reduce prostate volume, or study-related factors, impacted the results of these studies has not been established.
Whether #PROPECIA is as safe and effective as originally thought remains an open question. If MERCK cannot rule out, either way, a causal relationship between their product and sexual problems, they should not be allowed to hide from proving critics wrong. Whether the very data used for the FDA Safety Information above will shed more light on an association between ED and #Finasteride remains to be determined. For now, it seems that MERCK has some explaining to do to a Generation of Men that bought into their slogan.
Gabriel F. Zambrano, P.A., is the author and sponsor of this blog commentary. Gabriel F. Zambrano, P.A., is actively investigating cases of erectile dysfunction from the use of #Propecia to battle male pattern hair loss.