Merck Pharmaceuticals is the drug company that produces the hair loss medication Propecia®. While the drug has long been associated with sexual side effects, including impotence, Merck has claimed that the side effects are rare and that symptoms are temporary. A recently published medical study suggests that sexual side effects are more common than Merck claimed and that they can sometimes last for years after the treatment has been discontinued.
Propecia® is the only oral medication which the FDA has approved for treating male pattern baldness. The active ingredient, finasteride, was originally intended to treat enlarged prostate in the drug Proscar®. When it was discovered to help grow hair and prevent hair loss, it was remarketed in smaller doses as Propecia®, and it has been highly profitable for the drug company.
Information about Merck Pharmaceuticals
Merck opened for business in the United States in 1891, after being originally founded in Germany. The drug company may be most famous for creating the vaccine for measles in the 1960's. After several mergers and acquisitions, it has grown to be the second largest drug company in the world. Among the more recognizable consumer products controlled by Merck are Dr. Scholl's and Coppertone, while its drugs are used to treat everything from heartburn and allergies to hair loss.
Merck faces problems with Propecia® now that there is evidence pointing to a higher risk of sexual side effects. One of the most disturbing findings in the recent medical study involves the duration of the sexual side effects. Patients who participated in the study claimed they had suffered erectile dysfunction for an average of 40 months, 20 percent said they had been experiencing problems for more than 5 years.
The Propecia® warning label in the United States contains no mention of the possibility of long term or permanent sexual side effects. The United Kingdom and Sweden have already documented the risk of long term sexual side effects, and require information about persistent side effects to be listed on the labeling.
If you are battling persistent sexual side effects of Propecia®, you might be eligible to file a legal claim against Merck. To find out if you qualify, contact our Propecia® lawyers to schedule a free and confidential consultation.