Propecia, also known as the baldness drug finasteride, allegedly leaves users with serious long-term side effects including impotence, diminished sex drive, anxiety and depression. Although these side-effects are nothing new, what makes it news is that they persist long after the users have stopped taking the drug.
FDA and Merck
Since 1992, millions of men have taken finasteride for non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate with Merck and Co. Inc’s Proscar. In 1997, the FDA approved a 1-milligram finasteride pill marketed as Propecia as a pill for male pattern baldness. In 2002, GlaxoSmithKline began to market dutasteride (Avodart), to shrink enlarged prostates. Each of them has the same side effect risks.
Although the FDA and Merck knew about the side effects, and Merck says that Propecia is labeled in a way to show the benefits and risks, researchers say many of the doctors who prescribed it are unaware the side effects are long lasting. Some doctors do not even tell their patients about the side effects.
Unfortunately, many of the affected Propecia users were in their 20s when they began taking the drug. One user, who was close to 30 when he began taking the drug was on it for only five months before the side effects began to wear on him. He lost his sex drive, was impotent, and his genitals even began to shrink. He says he was also in a mental fog he could not clear up. He quit taking the medicine, but the condition did not clear up.
For those who had problems, the side effects lasted more than a year for 96 percent of them. Some doctors say that many of these users may have permanent damage and will not improve.
As a result of the side effects of Propecia, a class-action lawsuit against Merck has been filed.
If you or a loved one has taken Propecia and suffered these or other long-term problems, please contact an experienced drug injury attorney in your area today.