For more information or confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Propecia Plaintiff Claims Distributor Responsible for Outdated Labeling

Merck, McKesson Corporation, and others have been named as the defendants in a new complaint filed by a Propecia side effects lawyer. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a California man who used the defendants’ medication, Propecia, and alleges significant and ongoing complications as a result. The plaintiff filed his complaint on April 10, 2013 in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages of an unspecified amount, and requests a jury trial.

Plaintiff alleges ongoing side effects

In 2011, the plaintiff was prescribed Propecia (finasteride) to treat his male pattern baldness. Subsequently, he began to develop cognitive impairments and severe sexual dysfunction. The plaintiff discontinued his use of the drug, yet alleges that he continues to experience significant, lingering side effects, including depression, cognitive impairment, sexual dysfunction, and infertility. The plaintiff’s Propecia side effects lawyer further alleges that the California man has experienced significant hair loss as a result of his side effects, greatly lessened quality of life, and emotional trauma.

At the time the plaintiff was prescribed Propecia, he was 44 years old. The complaint notes that he did not experience any sexual dysfunction or other side effects prior to his use of the drug.
Propecia was originally marketed as Proscar and prescribed to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate in men. However, in 1997, the FDA approved its use for male pattern baldness. The body naturally converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT); Propecia works by inhibiting this conversion process in order to restore hair growth.

In recent years many plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against Merck, the manufacturer, requesting compensation for erectile dysfunction caused by Propecia, along with other side effects.

Claims of outdated labeling

The California plaintiff’s Propecia side effects lawyer claims that Merck is not the only company that should be held liable for the plaintiff’s medical complications; the complaint also names McKesson Corporation as being responsible for “inaccurate and outdated labeling.” McKesson is a distribution company that was involved in the marketing campaigns of Propecia, packaging the product, and distributing it to patients.

At the time that Propecia was originally introduced to the market for the purpose of hair loss treatment, the labeling information claimed that any sexual side effects that occurred would be resolved once the drug was discontinued. After hundreds of adverse reports were submitted, detailing side effects that persisted long after discontinuation of the drug, the FDA required a labeling update in 2011. However, at least as recently as July 2012, Merck continued to maintain that the drug was safe and effective, and that any side effects that occurred would be short-lived.

In addition to the allegations of outdated labeling information, the complaint notes that the plaintiff would never have taken Propecia had he been adequately warned of the potential for serious side effects. The Propecia lawsuit plaintiff also alleges that the product is defective in design and “unreasonably dangerous.”

Studies link drug to other complications

Numerous studies have been performed regarding the safety and efficacy of Propecia. One study conducted by researchers from George Washington University involved 54 men who used Propecia for hair loss. None of the study participants had previously experienced any of the side effects associated with Propecia. Following their use of the drug, they began to complain of erectile dysfunction, painful & shrunken genitals, anxiety, depression, mental fogginess, orgasm problems, and decreased libido.

The study results revealed that 96 percent of the men who reported sexual dysfunction said that it lasted for longer than a year after discontinuation of the drug, regardless of whether the participants had used the drug for a few weeks or for years.

Other side effects that have been linked to Propecia include gynecomastia, increased risk of male breast cancer, and suicide ideation.