Finasteride, the active ingredient found in popular hair treatments such as Propecia, has continued to receive criticism since the release of studies that suggest a possible link with catastrophic side effects. According to a recent study, men who use products that contain finasteride to treat male pattern baldness may significantly increase their risk of developing persistent sexual side effects.
Propecia was introduced to the U.S. market in 1997 by the global pharmaceutical powerhouse Merck & Co. Upon conception, Propecia gained approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat male pattern baldness on the vertex and the anterior mid-scalp area. Unfortunately, adverse reports of finasteride side effects have left many people searching for a Propecia lawyer to represent them in court.
Finasteride, the active ingredient contained within Propecia, belongs to a class of medications known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. As a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, finasteride treats male pattern hair loss by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp, which prevents hair growth. DHT is a substance in the body that can shrink hair follicles until they no longer produces visible hair. Accordingly, Propecia promotes steady hair growth on the scalp.
However, the mechanism of action responsible for stimulating hair growth may coincide with severe complications. According to a recent study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, finasteride has been linked to adverse sexual side effects in multiple randomized, controlled trials for the treatment of male pattern baldness. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom and the Swedish Medical Products Agency have added the following information to patient leaflets: “Persistence of erectile dysfunction after discontinuation of treatment with Propecia has been reported in post-marketing use.”
The recent trial interviewed and evaluated 71 seemingly healthy men between the ages of 21 and 46. Each of the men interviewed had previously reported the presence of sexual side effects associated with the use of finasteride. Subsequently, each of the men acknowledged that such symptoms lasted for approximately three months despite discontinuation.
Upon conclusion of the study, 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. The mean number of sexual episodes per month dropped and the total sexual dysfunction score increased for before and after finasteride use according to the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (P < 0.0001 for both). The mean duration of finasteride use was 28 months and the mean duration of persistent sexual side effects was 40 months from the time of finasteride cessation to the interview date. Study limitations include a post hoc approach, selection bias, recall bias for before finasteride data, and no serum hormone levels.
Do I Have a Finasteride 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 finasteride lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been injured by finasteride, 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.