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Health Canada: Propecia, Proscar May Cause Prostate Cancer

Canadian health officials are warning the public that Propecia, Proscar and Avodart may be linked to an increased risk for developing high-grade prostate cancer.

March 19, 2012 – Canadian health officials are warning the public that the controversial prescription medications Propecia, Proscar and Avodart may be linked to an increased risk for developing high-grade prostate cancer. New information regarding this risk has been added to Canadian warning labels for these drugs. High-grade prostate cancer is a particularly aggressive form of the disease that grows and spreads more quickly than low-grade prostate cancer.

Propecia Update 5/31/12: Attorneys involved in federal lawsuits over Propecia sexual side effects met with a multidistrict litigation (MDL) judge yesterday to discuss procedural matters and the upcoming structure of the trials. To date, only 18 Propecia lawsuits have been consolidated into the MDL; however, this number is expected to grow rapidly in the near future, as Propecia attorneys continue to review potential cases on behalf of individuals allegedly injured by the drug’s side effects. Click here to learn more.

Propecia Update 5/18/12: In an attempt to bring nationwide attention to the severe sexual complications caused by Propecia, a Las Vegas man has staked himself outside Merck’s headquarters in New Jersey. Kevin Malley, 30, began his self-proclaimed ‘hunger strike’ earlier this week, indicating that he had stopped eating on May 13 to protest Merck’s failure to acknowledge Propecia’s inherent dangers. Click here to learn more.

Free Propecia Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, breast cancer, or sexual side effects after taking Propecia, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Propecia and we can help.

What’s the problem?

The updated safety information is based on Health Canada’s analysis of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) and the Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events (REDUCE) trial. These studies independently concluded that the long-term daily use (over 48 months) of finasteride (5 mg) and dutasteride in men over the age of 50 was linked to a small but significant risk of high-grade prostate cancer. The 1 mg version of Propecia was not included in either PCPT or REDUCE, but a potential risk associated with this strength of the drug has not been ruled out.

Finasteride is currently available under the brand names Proscar (5 mg finasteride), Propecia (1 mg finasteride), and their generic equivalents. Dutasteride is available under the brand names Avodart and Jalyn, which is a combination drug containing both dutasteride and tamsulosin.

Finasteride and dutasteride are for use in men only, and under no circumstances should these drugs ever be taken by women. Proscar, Avodart and Jalyn are approved for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that commonly occurs in men over the age of 40. Propecia is prescribed for the treatment of male pattern hair loss.

The purpose of both PCPT and REDUCE was, ironically, to provide evidence that finasteride and dutasteride had the ability to prevent prostate cancer. In the end, both trials showed that the possible benefits of these drugs in preventing low-grade prostate cancer was minimal relative to the risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer. Neither finasteride nor dutasteride have been approved for the prevention of prostate cancer in Canada.

The Canadian labels for Propecia, Proscar and Avodart have been updated in an effort to emphasize that these drugs have not been approved for the prevention of prostate cancer. According to Health Canada, updates to the generics will follow shortly.

Patients taking these drugs should consult their healthcare professional if they have any questions or concerns. Never stop taking any prescription medication without being advised to do so by your physician. Patients taking these drugs should see their doctor for periodic follow-up evaluations.

Want to learn more about Propecia side effects?

Please visit our home page where we provide an overview of the Propecia lawsuit. Here we have posted a number of videos, links to studies and research, and related information: Propecia Lawsuit

Do You Have a Propecia Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Propecia lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new sexual dysfunction and cancer cases in all 50 states.

Remember, taking a drug like Propecia to treat hair loss shouldn’t lead to permanent sexual dysfunction or cancer. Our law firm is passionate about helping the large number of otherwise healthy men who have suffered from the serious and potentially irreversible side effects of Propecia.

If you or a loved one has suffered from sexual dysfunction or been diagnosed with cancer after taking Propecia (finasteride) or Proscar, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help. We offer a Free Confidential Case Evaluation.

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