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Nevada Man Claims Merck Failed to Warn About Propecia Erectile Dysfunction

Propecia-Bottle-138x122A Nevada man has filed a new Propecia lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the location of the current finasteride multidistrict litigation (MDL). Represented by his Propecia lawyer, he claims that after taking the hair-loss drug, he suffered serious and persistent injuries. He now seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages.

The FDA approved Propecia (finasteride) in 1997 for use in men suffering from male pattern hair loss. Though manufacturer Merck & Co. originally stated on the label that less than two percent of men experienced erectile dysfunction caused by Propecia, post-marketing reports have indicated that men have suffered from persistent sexual dysfunction even after stopping the medication.

Plaintiff claims erectile dysfunction caused by Propecia

According to the plaintiff’s Propecia lawsuit, he was only 26 years old when he first started taking the hair loss medication. While consuming it, he claims he began to suffer erectile dysfunction and related sexual dysfunction. He was later diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, and continues to suffer from the condition to this day. The problems have caused him considerable pain and suffering, and have diminished his quality of life.

The plaintiff blames Merck & Co. for failing to provide adequate warnings about the risks associated with Propecia, including the risk of sexual dysfunction and especially the propensity of the drug to cause “persistent sexual side effects after discontinuation of use.” The plaintiff states that he has suffered not only erectile dysfunction caused by Propecia, but related problems like depression, emotional distress and anxiety.

Propecia lawyer notes side effects of the drug

The active ingredient in Propecia is finasteride, the same active ingredient in Proscar, a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Proscar contains 5 mg of finasteride, whereas Propecia contains only 1 mg. Finasteride was initially developed to treat the symptoms of BPH, and was later approved for the treatment of androgenic alopecia, or male pattern hair loss.

Finasteride works by preventing the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is believed to be responsible for hair loss in men. Less DHT circulating in the body results in less hair loss, and in many men, even a regrowth of hair. This process, however, can also cause other, less desirable side effects.

The plaintiff’s lawyer notes in the case that finasteride can produce debilitating side effects in some patients, including sexual dysfunction that continues after discontinuation of treatment, erectile dysfunction, libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and cognitive impairment.

Plaintiff claims failure to warn in Propecia lawsuit

Though Merck has now updated the label in the U.S. to reflect the possibility that some men may experience persistent erectile dysfunction caused by Propecia, for years the label failed to warn of this risk. In fact, the initial Propecia label stated that less than two percent of men experienced sexual dysfunction in clinical trials, and that these effects went away when the men stopped taking the drug.

In 2008, however, Merck updated the label in Sweden because of reports of persistent sexual side effects, and in August 2009, the Swedish Medical Products Agency concluded that Propecia could lead to permanent erectile dysfunction. The label change in the U.S. did not occur until 2011.

The plaintiff brings claims of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranties, fraud, violation of unfair and deceptive trade practices acts, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Propecia, Baldness Drug, Linked With Sexual Problems Even After Men Stop Taking It.