In April 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the warning to finasteride, Merck & Co.’s drug marketed to treat both male pattern baldness (Propecia®) and enlarged prostate (Proscar®). The new warnings state the sexual side effects associated with the medication, including issues involving libido, ejaculations and orgasm, could last even after patients stop taking the drug.
Study Links Finasteride to Long-Term Sexual Side Effects
A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine finds that side effects may not only continue after stopping finasteride, but they may last for months or even years.
In the study, researchers from GeorgeWashingtonUniversityinterviewed 54 men under age 40 who reported side effects for three months or more after taking Propecia®, also called finasteride, to treat their hair loss. None of the men reported having any sexual, medical or psychiatric problems before they took the drug. Some of the men took the drug for a few weeks, others took it for years, but all of them reported side effects such as erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual drive, problems with orgasms, as well as shrinking and painful genitals. Currently, doctors have no way of knowing which patients will suffer the long-term side effects.
What is Finasteride (Propecia®/Proscar®)?
Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into a more potent form, called DHT, which contributes to hair loss. It was originally developed in 1992 by drug giant Merck as a treatment for enlarged prostates and sold as the drug Proscar®.
Propecia® was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997, and at that time Merck noted that a few men reported sexual side effects during clinical trials of the drug. On its website, the agency said those side effects were resolved when patients stopped taking the drug.
For 96% of the men, the sexual problems lasted more than a year after they quit using the drug. None of the men had sexual, medical or psychiatric complaints before taking Propecia®.
Propecia® and Proscar® Side Effects Attorney
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Users of Propecia ® with concerns should contact their doctors. Patients should not discontinue use of the any medication without first consulting with their physician. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the drug finasteride or Propecia ®, feel free to contact my office at 800-285-HURT or use the link to the right.