Propecia Study Acknowledges Potential Link to Sexual Side Effects

Criticism regarding the use of Propecia (generic: finasteride) continues to increase with each passing day. Subsequently, the once popular hair-loss drug has become synonymous with the development of several sexual side effects. Of significant concern to those that have taken Propecia, is a recent study conducted by researchers at George Washington University. According to the study, Propecia treatment may coincide with the development of dire side effects like erectile dysfunction, decreased sex drive and trouble reaching orgasm.

Propecia was introduced to the U.S. market approximately 15 years ago by the global pharmaceutical powerhouse Merck & Co. Upon its release, Propecia gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat male pattern baldness on the vertex and the anterior mid-scalp area. 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. Therefore, Propecia promotes steady hair growth on the scalp by eliminating the production of DHT.

Unfortunately, however, Propecia’s once pristine name has been tarnished by an influx of adverse health events. A growing number of patients continue to come forward, each of whom claim that Propecia was responsible for the development of persistent sexual side effects that have yet to subside. Included in those patients is one Kevin Malley. Malley was approximately thirty years of age when he started taking Propecia. Following five months of treatment, Malley had become completely impotent and experienced a significant shrinking in the size of his testicles.

After consulting with his doctor, Malley was told that the side effects he had been subjected to were common in Propecia users and should subside upon discontinuation of the drug. However, approximately one year has passed and Malley has yet to see the crippling aftermath of his Propecia use disappear.

Malley’s story will come as no surprise to Dr. Michael Irwig from the University of Washington, who recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. According to Irwig’s study, Propecia can trigger persistent sexual dysfunction, including low sexual desire, erectile dysfunction and problems with orgasms.

The study included interviews with 71 men between the ages of 21 and 46. Each interview was designed to assess how long the individual received Propecia treatment while simultaneously determining the duration of their sexual effects as well as their sexual frequency before and after the medication.

Irwig found that 94 percent of the men in the study had developed low libido, 92 per cent developed erectile dysfunction and decreased arousal, and 69 per cent developed problems with orgasm.

“It turns out that almost all the men had multiple sexual function problems. Before finasteride use, the men experienced average sexual activity of approximately 26 episodes per month, but after use, it came down to approximately eight per month — an almost two-thirds reduction,” he said.

“Twenty per cent of patients I interviewed experienced persistent sexual dysfunction for more than five years, which makes me wonder if their persistent sexual dysfunction is permanent,” he added.

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.