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Propecia Choices: Bald or Impotent?

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As I previously explained in a web posting, Hair Raising Side Effects of Propecia, victims of Propecia use may be left with worrisome side effects, being bald and impotent.

According to a new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the popular hair loss treatment Propecia (generic: finasteride) may cause sexual side effects that may continue for months or even years after stopping the drug.

Last week there was a report on NBC News highlighting this potential side effect.

George Washington University Study

Researchers interviewed a group of 54 male test subjects under the age of 40 who reported persistent sexual side effects after taking Propecia. None of the men reported having any sexual, medical or psychiatric problems before they started taking the drug.

All of them reported sexual complications of impotence, poor sex drive, problems achieving orgasms, shrunken genitalia, as well as psychiatric problems of depression, anxiety and mental instability.

96% of the men reported sexual problems that lasted for more than a year after they discontinued treatment with Propecia.

According to the lead author, Dr. Michael Irwig, "Our findings make me suspicious that this drug may have done permanent damage to these men. The chances that they will improve? I think it's lower and lower the longer they have these side effects."

Propecia History and Mechanism

The U.S. regulatory agency overseeing pharmaceuticals, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Propecia in 1997 for the use in male pattern baldness treatment.

Propecia acts by blocking the conversion of testosterone into a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a primary contributor to hair loss.

FDA Adverse Complaints

From 1997 to 2010, the FDA received more than 400 adverse event reports (AERS) from consumers who claimed to have suffered from sexual dysfunction, and nearly 60 men reported that their complications lasted longer than three months after they stopped taking the drug.

In 2011, the FDA announced that it was requiring a label change for Propecia, warning that some users reported impotence that lasted after they discontinued treatment with the drug.

In April 2012, the FDA updated Propecia’s warning label to include reports of libido, ejaculation and orgasm disorders.

Propecia Lawsuits

There is a New Jersey State consolidation , overseen by Judge Jessica R. Mayer in the Superior Court of Middlesex County.

Federal cases involving Propecia sexual side effects were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) under U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in the Eastern District of New York. The Propecia MDL case number is 1:12-md-2331.

2 Comments

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  1. piya says:
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    I rather be impotent and have hair.

  2. Shaukat Amirzadah says:
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    True,about 5% of my patients in Dermatology clinic who were put on finasteride complained of sexual problems BUT I never expect that these complications could prolong for months and even years.