Research finds baldness drug Propecia is making men impotent

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by John Chapman

If you have been taking Propecia because of concerns about losing your hair, the latest research suggests you may have a far more serious matter to worry about. As many as 23% of the millions of men who take the drug may become impotent and have lowered sex drives because of the active ingredient finasteride, according to research findings. And the problem may linger years after they stop taking the drug.

For example, one of the studies describes a “case study” of a man who started a daily treatment of finasteride (Propecia) in 1999 at age 24. At the time, he reported having a normal sex drive and normal erectile capacity. Within 2–5 days after starting Propecia, he experienced soreness of the testicles, total lack of sex drive, and complete inability to achieve an erection. He had difficulty concentrating and felt depressed. Expecting these initial side effects to be temporary, he continued treatment. Except for some improvement of the soreness in the testicles, he felt numbness and there was no improvement in his sex drive or erectile function. After a little more than 1 month, he discontinued treatment and the side effects diminished to some degree, but sexual function never returned to normal. In the following months and years, the symptoms persisted with loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.

In 2003, the man consulted a specialty clinic for sexual medicine in Boston. Because of hopelessness and depression, he was prescribed antidepressants, but still showed no improvement in either libido or erectile capacity. Because of other undesirable side effects to these drugs, the antidepressants were discontinued after several months. Still suffering from persistent symptoms of erectile disfunction, loss of libido, and depression, the patient consulted a clinic in Denmark, which specializes in testosterone treatment. He is currently under no treatment, but 11 years later, he still suffers from erectile dysfunction and loss of libido.

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 the tragedy of losing a family member as a result of prescription narcotics usage, you and your family deserve answers to your questions. If your loss was as a result of a defective drug or perhaps a physician’s negligence, you have the right to demand that the drug company or negligent physician 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.

The studies discussed above are:

Traish, A. M., Hassani, J., Guay, A. T., Zitzmann, M. and Hansen, M. L. (2011), Adverse Side Effects of 5α-Reductase Inhibitors Therapy: Persistent Diminished Libido and Erectile Dysfunction and Depression in a Subset of Patients. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8: 872–884. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02157.x

Irwig, M. S. and Kolukula, S. (2011), Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride for Male Pattern Hair Loss. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8: 1747–1753. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02255.x