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Propecia Side Effects Lead to Litigation

propecia pillsMany men who took Propecia (finasteride) to treat their premature hair loss have suffered Propecia side effects ranging from erectile dysfunction to cognitive impairment. This has led to a large number of lawsuits against Merck, the drug’s manufacturer. On April 16, 2012, a Propecia multidistrict litigation was established in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York under District Court Judge John Gleeson to consolidate many of these lawsuits.

Sexual side effects of Propecia

Most Propecia lawsuits claim sexual side effects from the drug, including erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, impotence, reduced ejaculate, testicular pain, and gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts). Although the Propecia label initially assured men that side effects were rare and disappeared once the drug was discontinued, studies have found that Propecia side effects can continue for months or even years after the man stops using the drug, and in some cases might even be permanent.

For example, in December 2008, the Swedish Medical Products Agency released results from a study that found that Propecia side effects may be irreversible in some men. Similarly, endocrinologist Dr. Michael S. Irwig of George Washington University conducted a study of men who reported experiencing Propecia sexual side which found that after they stopped taking Propecia, the men continued to experience side effects for an average of 40 months, and 20 percent of the men were still experiencing side effects five years later, which led the researcher to speculate that their side effects may be permanent.

Even more alarmingly, in June 2011 the FDA issued a public safety warning stating that Propecia has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, a life-threatening side effect.

Other Propecia side effects

Other plaintiffs have reported experiencing cognitive impairment or depression after using Propecia. However, studies into these side effects have to date been inconclusive. Research is continuing to determine if Propecia does in fact cause cognitive impairment and/or depression.

Plaintiffs who file Propecia lawsuits seek to recover damages for their pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and medical expenses, and to hold Merck liable for allegedly failing to adequately warn them of the risk of Propecia side effects.