Mounting research and numerous case studies involving the serious side effects of Propecia (finasteride) have apparently prompted pharmaceutical giant Merck to pull its content from the company’s website. Although Merck has offered no explanation for the move, many have speculated that it might have something to do with the growing number of Propecia side effects lawsuits filed against the company in recent months. The blockbuster hair loss treatment has been increasingly linked to serious side effects such as sexual dysfunction, clinical depression, breast cancer, and high-grade prostate cancer.
Propecia Lawsuit Update 2/16/12: More than 50 people from 22 states have joined a lawsuit against Merck & Co. and its subsidiaries for failing to warn the public about the dangerous side effects associated with their male pattern baldness drugs. The complaint alleges that Propecia and Proscar, which contain the active ingredient finasteride, cause an “increased risk of persistent and/or serious and dangerous side effects.” Click here to learn more.
Free Propecia Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered an injury 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?
Most of the lawsuits involving Propecia allege that Merck knew – or should have known – about the serious side effects associated with its drug, and that it failed to adequately warn consumers of these inherent risks.
First approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997, Propecia is a widely used prescription treatment for male pattern hair loss (MPHL). Finasteride is a highly potent inhibitor of Type II 5-Alpha Reductase, an intracellular enzyme that converts the weaker androgen, testosterone, into the more potent androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Propecia has been shown to be effective in stopping hair loss, but only when taken on a persistent, ongoing basis.
Propecia Side Effects
Propecia has been linked to prolonged and possibly irreversible cases of:
- male sexual dysfunction
- clinical depression
- breast cancer
- high-grade prostate cancer
- erectile dysfunction
- greatly reduced libido
- testicular pain
- problems achieving orgasm
- gynecomastia (over-development of the male breast)
In 2011, the FDA issued a press release warning the public that Propecia had been associated with high-grade prostate cancer, which is the most aggressive and lethal form of the disease.
While Propecia labels do contain information about reported cases of persistent erectile dysfunction, there is no reference to the other sexual side effects being prolonged and possibly irreversible. To date, the medical community has been unable to identify a pharmacological reason to account for these side effects. Sadly, there is currently no known cure for men who have had their sexual function destroyed by Propecia.
Despite the growing controversy surrounding Propecia, the FDA has not issued any warnings or recalls regarding the drug’s sexual side effects. Since it was not originally noted in the literature, many medical professionals are still unaware of the risk of persistent and serious sexual dysfunction associated with Propecia. Additionally, millions of men who have been prescribed Propecia in the past have no idea they may be at risk.
Public Demands Information about Propecia Side Effects
As more and more men reach out with questions about Propecia’s potential side effects, they are realizing answers are hard to find. Merck spokesman Ronald Rodgers said in a phone interview that the site is currently ‘undergoing revisions,’ and that any questions about Propecia should be submitted to Merck via e-mail. The Examiner (examiner.com) compiled a list of questions based on reader inquires, and submitted the following to the company:
- What specific revisions to the Propecia website will Merck be making?
- Will there be additional warnings and/or other information for Propecia consumers who may be affected by the drug’s side effects or related issues?
- What is Merck’s estimate for making the revised Propecia website available to the public?
- Until the Propecia website is updated, what should consumers who believe they have been affected by Propecia do? Call the FDA? Call a Merck hotline? Is there another source for information on Propecia that Merck recommends?
- How many complaints have been received by Merck from consumers who have been affected by Propecia side effects or related ailments?
- Is Merck, either by its own internal policies or FDA policies, required to make records of such complaints public?
Questions on Propecia have also been emailed to the FDA:
- Are there any plans to establish a FDA hotline or special webpage to fill the information void on Propecia since the official Merck website is now unavailable to the public?
- Does the FDA have any information on how long the Merck Propecia website will be unavailable?
- Does a drug manufacturer have any legal responsibility to provide the latest up-to-date information on a drug that consumers are currently taking — especially if it is undergoing a safety review for previously undisclosed side effects?
- Has the FDA been in contact with Merck to address any or all of the above concerns?
The answers to these questions will be made available as soon as Merck responds.
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 I 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.