The hair-loss drug Propecia® may have side effects that last much longer than previously thought, according to researchers at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
For some men, according to the scientists’ article appearing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the side effects can last from months to years after they have stopped taking the medication.
Fifty-four men younger than age 40 said in interviews that the side effects lasted three months or longer after taking Propecia® to treat hair loss. The men said that before taking the drug they had no sexual, medical, or psychiatric problems.
Ninety-six percent of the men said the sexual problems continued for more than a year after they stopped taking Propecia®. The men in the study took the hair loss drug from a few weeks to years.
The side effects reported included erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, problems attaining orgasm, shrinking and painful genitals, and psychological problems including depression, anxiety and mental fogginess.
"Our findings make me suspicious that this drug may have done permanent damage to these men," said Dr. Michael Irwig, the author of the study.
Irwig warned that perhaps the only men participating in the study were those most affected by the agent. He said he obtained his subjects through PropeciaHelp, an online discussion among men whose side effects were the most persistent.
Propecia® (finasteride) blocks testosterone from changing to a more powerful form of the hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which is known to be associated with hair loss. Finasteride was first developed in 1992 to treat enlarged prostates. Merck sold the original medication as Proscar®.
If you are experiencing persistent sexual side effects after using Propecia®, you may be eligible for financial compensation. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with a qualified Propecia® lawyer today.