Finasteride, the highly controversial ingredient found in both Propecia and Proscar, has become a subject of increasing concern within the healthcare community. While it has demonstrated an increased propensity for fulfilling its respective purpose, finasteride treatment may result in the development of several catastrophic complications. Of significant concern, however, are the recent associations that have been established between the use of finasteride and the development persistent sexual side effects. Accordingly, the potential link between these side effects and finasteride use has been exposed by two separate studies at top medical universities.
Finasteride in the form of Proscar (5mg tablets) is used alone or in combination with another medication to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and its corresponding symptoms. As its name suggests BPH is characterized by the enlargement of the prostate gland. Subsequently, finasteride tablets consisting of 1mg doses are synonymous with Propecia. Accordingly, Propecia is also used to treat male pattern hair loss on the scalp.
Finasteride is in a class of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. As a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor finasteride assists in the treatment of BPH by blocking the body’s production of a male hormone that causes the prostate to enlarge. In smaller doses, finasteride treats male pattern baldness by blocking the body’s production of a male hormone in the scalp that stops hair growth.
Propecia utilizes finasteride as its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and has proven capable of growing hair to a patient’s satisfaction in up to 42% of men who have taken it. Similarly, Proscar has preformed well in the treatment of non-cancerous and enlarged prostates. Unfortunately, however, preforming well in their respective treatments may simultaneously coincide with severe side effects.
According to a study conducted by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine, “Prolonged adverse effects on sexual function such as erectile dysfunction and diminished libido are reported by a subset of men, raising the possibility of a causal relationship.”
Similar to that of the Boston University School of Medicine study, is one out of the prestigious George Washington University. This subsequent study, published in June 2011, confirmed: “Subjects reported new-onset persistent sexual dysfunction associated with the use of finasteride: 94% developed low libido, 92% developed erectile dysfunction, 92% developed decreased arousal, and 69% developed problems with orgasm.”
Of significant concern to the healthcare community, is the possibility for these side effects to be persistent. Each study eludes to the fact that these problems have not subsided after discontinuation of finasteride products in many men. Due to the severity and rate in which these sexual side effects have occurred, officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have required the manufacturer to change product labeling in order to inform patients that Propecia has caused disorders of libido, ejaculation and orgasm that can continue after stopping the drug.
Until recently, however, the majority of physicians were unaware of the potential side effects associated with Propecia and Proscar use. As expressed by Kenneth Kochmann, M.D., general practitioner, “Over the years, I have prescribed Propecia to
my patients and still do – I absolutely had no idea of its serious side effects and I do try to keep up with all the latest medical news.” Similar to that of Kochmann’s situation, the recent FDA label change has made most physicians and medical specialists aware of finasteride’s threat to men’s health and sexuality. Following the release of these studies and the subsequent label change, all manufacturers of finasteride commercial brands have tried very hard to keep a lid on the information.
Due to the ambiguity of the situation, approximately 5 million Propecia prescriptions were filled in the U.S. between 2002 and 2009. Furthermore, data indicates that as high as six percent of Propecia users will develop symptoms of persistent sexual dysfunction. Six percent of 5 million represents 30,000 people. However, the results obtained by investigators at George Washington University demonstrate this figure could go up to 92%. According to their study, approximately 4.6 million men will develop erectile dysfunction following Propecia treatment. Should these numbers prove to be accurate, millions of more men are at risk of developing potentially devastating sexual complications.
These numbers suggest a potential influx in Propecia litigation. Approximately three months ago the first class action Propecia lawsuit was filed in Florida and California. However, many individuals currently have a pending Propecia lawsuit.
Do I Have a Propecia Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Propecia lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been injured by Propecia, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.