Propecia Lawsuits Allege Hair Loss Drug Caused Sexual Problems, Memory Loss

by Jim Orr

The number of men who have filed suit asserting that the drug Propecia caused them to suffer sexual dysfunction or problems with cognitive processing continues to increase. Recent court documents show that so far about 400 plaintiffs have filed claims regarding Propecia.

In most of the cases, the plaintiff alleges that when he was first prescribed Propecia for male pattern hair loss, he did not suffer from sexual dysfunction or cognitive impairment. However, after using Propecia as directed, he began to experience sexual dysfunction problems and/or to have difficulty remembering things and processing information.

The lawsuits are based on a central allegation that Propecia’s manufacturer, Merck, failed to warn the patient or his doctor that the drug could cause persistent or even permanent sexual side effects and cognitive impairment. Instead, for years, Merck advised all users that the sexual side effects would “go away” upon stopping use of the hair loss drug. However, most of the plaintiffs filing suit allege they are suffering from these conditions long after they stopped taking the hair-loss drug.

Research indicates that Propecia side effects lasted on average for four years after men stopped taking the drug. Merck & Co. was aware of this and warned patients in other countries, but not in the U.S. In fact, the company did nothing to fight changes to the product label when the Swedish equivalent of the FDA indicated that irreversible Propecia sexual dysfunction side effects risks were an issue. Despite the required label changes in Sweden in 2008 (and then in other countries), the company did nothing different in this country until Merck finally changed the labeling in the U.S. in 2011—and the FDA had to force the company to address a number of sexual issues.

According to the lawsuits, research had also suggested 4 out of 5 patients, men as well as women, who take the drug experience mental health problems. Despite studies showing the mental health issues as far back as 2006, Merck changed the label as to such issues only in 2010.

Many of the Propecia lawsuits have been centralized in New Jersey, where the manufacturer Merck has its headquarters, and in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, where such cases in the federal court system have been consolidated.

Our firm routinely represents people throughout the U.S. who have been injured by FDA-regulated drugs. In fact, the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have made it a career priority to hold drug manufacturers accountable and responsible for their actions. We have the resources and experience to protect a person’s rights and the rights of their loved ones against irresponsible pharmaceutical companies and physicians.

If you or a loved one has experienced sexual dysfunction or mental problems such as difficulty remembering things and processing information, you and your family deserve answers to your questions. If your loss was as a result of a drug company failing to warn you and your doctor about known risks or marketing a defective drug, you have the right to demand that the drug company be held responsible.

Contact the law firm Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free consultation so we can help you determine the best way to protect your legal rights and interests. You can reach us by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free case evaluation form on this page.

by Jim Orr

Jim Orr is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P focusing on business and personal injury litigation. Jim was selected multiple times to the Super Lawyers List and has tried 70+ cases to verdict.