Just like around the United States, men in Washington State are finding a dismaying side effect when they take the hair loss prevention drug Propecia, erectile dysfunction. This defective drug side effect has seriously lowered the quality of life for many male Propecia patients. This has led hundreds of men in Washington State and across the country to file Propecia lawsuits.
These men are suing global pharmaceutical conglomerate Merck & Co for what has been a billion dollar product for the company that has a history of producing defective drugs with little consideration for the consequences to their customers. The plaintiffs are accusing the drug manufacture of failing to adequately warn of the potential sexual side effects.
Sexual Side Effect Research
Propecia belongs to a class of drugs known as the 5-alpha-reductable inhibitors. The active ingredient is finasteride, which is linked to impotence, erectile dysfunction, depression, and a decrease in sexual desire. This may have been known by Merck when they were designing and testing the drug for market.
A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2011 affirms these concerns. Researchers found that drugs often prescribed to treat hair loss that contain finasteride causes sexual dysfunction.
Researchers conducted interviews with 71 otherwise healthy men aged 21-46 years who reported the new onset of sexual side effects associated with the temporal use of finasteride and found:
- 94% developed low libido
- 92% developed erectile dysfunction
- 92% developed decreased arousal
- 69% developed problems with orgasm
In another study published this year in the Journal of Sexual Medicine originated in the Boston University School of Medicine lead by Professor Abdulmaged M. Traish. He found in his study that some of the patients studied had long-term erectile dysfunction or even permanent impotence.
Traish’s research, like that of the other study cited above, found that nearly everyone who takes these drugs usually experience some of the side effects—although some people more severely than others—and in some cases the effects are permanent even after the men have stopped taking the medication. Traish infact refers to this outcome as a “life sentence.” This is from findings such as:
- 8% of men who used the drugs experienced erectile dysfunction.
- 4.2% said their libido was reduced.
- Other side effects included depression, decreased semen volume, and reduced ejaculation.
Propecia Side Effects
Although these side effects discovered in the studies are not fatal, they can be physically and psychologically damaging. It is up to the company to properly disclose and inform the patients of the serious side effects associated with their drug. Certainly the patient’s physician could have a hand in informing them, but often the newest research regarding the drug has not been forwarded to medical professionals.
Side effects linked to Propecia:
- Anxiety attacks
- Amotivational syndrome
- Bipolar mood disorder
- Breast enlargement
- Breathing problems
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Hyper tension
- Male breast cancer
- Memory loss
- Testicular pain
Part of the whole point of preventing hair loss is to improve quality of life, however many of these men say they were not properly informed of the dangers of the drug and as a result have been put into a serious situation of facing a life long problem that could result on a life long need for other prescription drugs to retain normal sexual function.
Filing a lawsuit against Merck in order to hold them accountable is an important part of upholding much-needed standards on pharmaceuticals. Drug companies make billions of dollars every year off of these drugs, often knowing the detriment to those taking the drug, but choosing to keep it on the market.
These lawsuits are also important because they send a message to the under-funded, overworked, and bureaucratic Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is often the standard bearer for many countries around the world as to actions taken against drugs or the allowance of lawsuits. Many people in countries around the world don’t have the opportunity that Americans do to be able to seek justice for defective drugs.
National Propecia Lawyers
If you or a loved one are taking Propecia or any other derivative of Finasteride it is important that you contact legal council that has experience in protecting patients from giant pharmaceutical companies. Call Phillips Law Firm for a consultation on your legal options.