A new study has linked side effects of finasteride, the active ingredient in Merck’s hair loss treatment drug Propecia, to erectile dysfunction (ED) that can persist for months or even years after men quit taking the drug.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered from sexual dysfunction or been diagnosed with cancer after taking Propecia (finasteride) or Proscar, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
April 17, 2017 – The study (PDF) found the overall risk of ED from finasteride to be relatively low (1.4% of users); however, the sexual side effects lasted a long time – more than 3 ½ years after discontinuing treatment. Approximately 4.5% of finasteride users developed shorter-term ED, according to the researchers.
The medications are sold under the brand names Propecia, Proscar and Avodart, and known generically as finasteride and dutasteride. A low dose is used to stop hair loss, while the higher dose treats symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
“Our study shows men who take finasteride or dutasteride can get persistent erectile dysfunction, in which they will not be able to have normal erections for months or years after stopping finasteride or dutasteride,” said Dr. Steven Belknap, a dermatologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and one of the authors of the study.
The drugs act on 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts the hormone testosterone into its active form. Testosterone has profound effects on the prostate, sexual function and male-pattern hair loss (MPHL).
Propecia and Proscar have been linked to ED and loss of interest in sex, or libido. In 2012, FDA required that labels of both medications be updated with a warning which stated that sexual side effects could be permanent.
However, Belknap said that the risks are not clearly calculated and they’re not always clear to men who take the drugs either for hair loss or enlarged prostate.
Do I Have a Propecia Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Propecia side effects lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new sexual dysfunction and cancer cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you developed sexual dysfunction or were diagnosed with cancer after taking Propecia (finasteride) or Proscar, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.