Propecia, manufactured by Merck & Co. Inc., is prescribed for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Propecia uses the active ingredient of finasteride, which, like other 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5-ARI), blocks male sex hormones. Finasteride blocks testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone, a male sex hormone primarily responsible for male pattern hair loss. While Propecia has been scientifically proven to stop male baldness, it may also cause irreversible sexual side effects, including the development of female sex characteristics.
A 2011 study by George Washington University Professor Michael S. Irwig revealed that study subjects using Propecia reported new-onset, persistent sexual dysfunction associated with the use of finasteride. Total 94 percent developed low libido, 92 percent developed erectile dysfunction, 92 percent developed decreased arousal and 69 percent developed problems with orgasm.
These risks were never disclosed to Propecia users. Instead, warning labels included on the medication warned of possible temporary sexual side effects that may occur while taking the drug, but disappear after use of the drug is discontinued. However, there is no mention of the possible long-term or permanent side effects.
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Recent studies suggest that men taking finasteride can experience the following long-term, permanent or fatal side effects:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in men)
- High-grade prostate cancer
- Loss of libido
- Male breast cancer
- Nipple discharge
On June 9, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a warning that Propecia may increase the risk for the most serious form of prostate cancer. The safety alert was issued against Propecia, Avodart, Proscar and Jalyn, all of which are 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. The alert was based upon the findings of two studies that suggested the drugs lowered the overall risk of getting prostate cancer, but increased the chances of developing high-grade tumors, the most deadly form of prostate cancer. High-grade prostate cancer grows and spreads into surrounding areas quickly, often reappears, and is difficult to treat. The FDA announced that the Warnings and Precautions section of Propecia and the other 5-ARI drugs will be revised to include new safety information, warning of the higher risk of developing high-grade prostate.
In Michael S. Irwig’s recent study, 71 healthy men between the ages of 21 and 46 years were interviewed. Total 94 percent of the participants reported sexual side effects associated with Propecia use, and the symptoms continued for at least three months after discontinuing the use of the medication. The average duration of the sexual side effects was 40 months, with 20 percent of the participants reporting problems lasting more than six years. The men reported decreased arousal, erectile dysfunction (characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection during sex) and problems with orgasm.
The 5-mg dosage of finasteride, commonly prescribed as Proscar, has been linked to an increased risk of breast tenderness, gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in men) and male breast cancer. Proscar was originally marketed to treat prostate enlargement and other prostate problems.
Ury & Moskow, LLC, is currently reviewing finasteride-related injury cases. Such cases and Propecia lawsuits are handled on a contingency fee basis. That means the client is never at risk of paying any money out of pocket. If there is no recovery, there is no fee. We file lawsuits in individual cases only after a thorough review of medical records and assessment of the facts in each case.
Our Propecia lawsuit lawyers represent victims nationwide in association with local firms we know and trust. We provide each client’s case with individualized attention and care. Remember, time limitations can bar late claims, so if you or a loved one has been injured by Propecia, please contact our firm as soon as possible. We have a toll-free (no-cost) telephone number to reach an attorney to answer your questions with regard to your specific case. That number is 1-888-LAW-4335.
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