Thinking of using Propecia? Read on and think again...

Propecia Side EffectsImpotence, low libido, erectile dysfunction

Propecia Side Effects

Propeciasideeffects.com was formed to spread the word about the undocumented potentially irreversible side effects caused by using Propecia (finasteride) 1mg each day. A number of males have suffered erectile dysfunction, impotence, low libido and gynecomestica after using Propecia. The shattering truth for these males is that the side effects did not disappear after ceasing finasteride. The shattering truth is that years later these individuals are still suffering in silence with a seriously reduced quality of life due to erectile dysfunction and impotence. It is not know exactly what causes these changes and how to screen individuals before treatment.

The purpose of this site is to spread the word to others considering using Propecia and also to provide as an informational exchange and gathering place for those who are already suffering.

Thinking of using Propecia? Can you imagine a life with a seriously reduced ability to obtain and maintain an erection? Read on…. You may want to think again.

Discussion forums > http://www.propeciahelp.com/

 

 

 

Propecia Side Effects, Impotence, Low Libido, Erectile Dysfunction, Finasteride

Dr. John Crisler speaking at a recent medical symposium on the dangers of Finasteride.

 

“That medication has DESTROYED their life”

 

 

VIDEO

 

This video explains the undisclosed mechanisms, potential dangers and permanent side effects caused by Propecia (Finasteride). If you are thinking of taking Propecia I strongly urge you to watch this video and think again…...

default_horizontal_line

News

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY - STUDY PUBLISHED: Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride for Male Pattern Hair Loss

March 2011

 

 

 

 

Dr. Michael Irwig from George Washington University discusses his published study on persistent sexual side effects from Finasteride (Propecia) in young men aged 21-46.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View article & interview

View official study abstract

 

 

 

 

Media Awareness

http://gwtoday.gwu.edu/people/adrugsunintendedconsequences

 

A recent study by GW Professor Michael S. Irwig reveals persistent and possibly permanent side effects associated with a common hair loss drug.

 

Men taking medication for hair loss may suffer from prolonged and possibly irreversible sexual dysfunction, according to a recent study by Assistant Professor of Medicine Michael S. Irwig.

 

The study, recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, reveals that finasteride--an antiandrogen that treats hair loss and is found in popular male pattern baldness drug Propecia--can cause persistent sexual dysfunction, including low sexual desire, erectile dysfunction and problems with orgasms.

 

While labeling on the medication in the U.S. currently warns about possible reversible sexual side effects, there is no reference to the effects being persistent, says Dr. Irwig, who conducted the study along with Swapna Kolukula of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Other countries, including the United Kingdom and Sweden, have documented persistent risks and required medical companies to include them in labeling.

 

Dr. Irwig first became aware of the problems caused by finasteride several years ago when he encountered several men who reported they had developed sexual dysfunction while taking the medication.

 

“It’s been very frustrating for a lot of these men because they’ve sought care from medical professionals who have looked at the literature and have not seen a risk of persistent sexual dysfunction,” says

Dr. Irwig. “So a lot of these patients have been told to see psychiatrists and psychologists and that it’s all in their head.”

 

Dr. Irwig then noticed that men had reported sexual dysfunction for months after they stopped taking the medication.

 

“I came across a website called propeciahelp.com with more than 1,400 registered users—many young healthy men who developed the same sexual side effects from finasteride—and I discovered that nobody had published a series looking at these men—who they are, how long the sexual side effects lasted, what types.”

 

Dr. Irwig’s study included results from interviews with 71 men aged 21 to 46 years old to assess how long they took finasteride, the type and duration of sexual side effects and their sexual frequency before and after the medication.

 

Dr. Irwig discovered that 94 percent developed low libido, 92 percent developed erectile dysfunction and decreased arousal, and 69 percent developed problems with orgasm. On average, the men used finasteride for approximately 28 months but experienced persistent sexual side effects for an average of 40 months, from the time they ceased taking the medication to the time of the interview.

 

Dr. Irwig also found that the average number of sexual episodes per month dropped after finasteride use.

 

“It turns out that almost all the men had multiple sexual function problems,” says Dr. Irwig. “Before finasteride use, the men experienced average sexual activity of approximately 26 episodes per month, but after use, it came down to approximately eight per month —an almost two-thirds reduction.”

 

Twenty percent of patients I interviewed experienced persistent sexual dysfunction for more than five years, which makes me wonder if their persistent sexual dysfunction is permanent,” he adds.

 

Dr. Irwig says roughly 5 percent of men who take medicine will experience sexual dysfunction, but that “out of that 5 percent, it’s hard to tell how many will experience persistent symptoms.”

We know that this is a potential problem, but we can’t quantify what the exact risk is. I can’t tell a man if he has a 1-in-100 chance, or a 1-in-1000 chance of developing persistent sexual dysfunction, but it’s pretty clear there’s a relationship here,” he says.

 

Topical Rogaine can be used as an alternative to Propecia —applied directly on the skin, it does not get absorbed by body and thus does not cause sexual side effects—but Dr. Irwig says Propecia is very effective in treating hair loss and thus is commonly prescribed.

 

So Dr. Irwig says it is crucial physicians treating male pattern hair loss discuss the possibility of persistent sexual side effects associated with finasteride with their patients.

 

I think it’s very important that doctors who are prescribing this medicine talk about potential risks, so men can make an informed decision,” he says.

 

 

STUDY PUBLISHED: Adverse Side Effects of 5α-Reductase Inhibitors Therapy: Persistent Diminished Libido and Erectile Dysfunction and Depression in a Subset of Patients

March 2011

 

View Study Abstract >


Media awareness

 

· WebMD - Study: Sexual Side Effects of Hair Loss Drugs Persist

 

... But the review says less attention has been paid to uncommon but potentially devastating side effects of these medications.

 

Those side effects can include anxiety, depression, loss of sex drive, difficulty getting or maintaining and erection, gynecomastia (growth of male breast tissue), and reduced semen production, which may affect fertility.

 

What’s worse is that for some, these side effects persist, even when they stop taking the medication, according to the review.

 

We don’t really understand why, but the symptoms remain persistent or irreversible and even if they get off the drug,” says study researcher Abdulmaged M. Traish, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at the Boston University School of Medicine. “They no longer regain what they had before. Biologically, something gets shut off and gets shut off once and for all.

 

Traish thinks that may be because nerves that are maintained by dihydrotestosterone become permanently degraded and can’t be repaired even after men come off the medication.

 

 

· USA TODAY: Sexual Side Effects From Propecia, Avodart May Be Irreversible - US News and World Report

 

Use of dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Proscar and Propecia) were linked to erectile dysfunction, depression and loss of libido in a review of existing studies. In a small percentage of cases, symptoms persisted even after the medication was stopped.

 

For those men, "it's a life sentence," said lead researcher Abdulmaged M. Traish, a professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine. "No sex. No desire. Potential depression," Traish added. Almost everyone who takes these drugs experiences some of these side effects, Traish said. "But, some experience it more drastically than others," he added.

 

... " We need androgen for erectile function, libido and ejaculation, and for just feeling good," Traish said. Noting that increasing numbers of patients report ongoing sexual problems after they stop taking the drugs, Traish said, "That's where the light should be shined."

 

"I am not worried about those who stop taking the drug and get their life back, [my concern is] about those who stop taking the drug, but they don't get their life back," Traish said.

 

 

· Popular Drugs For Common Male Health Problems Can Affect Their Sexual Health

 

... Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, has seen and evaluated numerous such patients. He further explained the importance of this study.

 

Young men are being prescribed 5 alpha reductase inhibitors as hair loss treatments that may negatively impact their sexual life, possibly for a prolonged time after stopping the medication.

 

Older men with symptoms of lower urinary tract symptoms or fearful of prostate cancer, now have to deal with new onset sexual and mental health problems. The growing use of 5 alpha reductase inhibitors is causing concerns.

 

Clearly more research is needed to better understand the basis for these drug-associated side effects but it is evident that 5 alpha reductase inhibitors prevent the synthesis of very critical central nervous system neurosteroids and lower a very important sex steroid hormone, dihydrotestosterone."

default_horizontal_line

OFFICIAL ENROLLMENT FOR GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY STUDY ON Testosterone, DHT and Fertility in men who developed persistent sexual side effects related to the use of Finasteride

 

Dr. Irwig at George Washington University is conducting a new study on male hormones and fertility parameters in men who developed persistent sexual side effects from finasteride (Propecia/Proscar).


TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STUDY:

 

DOWNLOAD CONSENT FORM: http://www.propeciahelp.com/forum/download/file.php?id=515

Submit completed consent form to propeciastudy@gmail.com

Obtain hormone & fertility tests per instructions below

Submit photocopied test results to Dr. Irwig at propeciastudy@gmail.com


If you did not participate in the previous study by Dr. Irwig (
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=3497 ), a telephone interview of less than 30 minutes would be scheduled so that Dr. Irwig or his assistant can ask basic questions about your medical, psychiatric and sexual histories. Two questionnaires will be emailed relating to sexual function and depression.

Text Box:


HORMONE & FERTILITY TEST INSTRUCTIONS

You will need to have your local physician order:

 

· 2 sets of morning blood tests (8-10 AM, and at least one month apart) for total testosterone and dihydrotestosterone

· 2 semen analyses (read according to World Health Organization standards) also spaced at least one month apart.

Results of these studies on official letterhead should be sent to Dr. Irwig ( propeciastudy@gmail.com ) for review and analysis.

These tests may or may not be covered by your health insurance and this study is not responsible for any medical/lab bills. The blood tests should be sent to a large reputable laboratory such as Quest or LabCorp if you live in the United States. All information will be kept confidential and each subject will be assigned a unique ID number so that the data is analyzed anonymously. Participation is entirely voluntary.

Text Box:


You are eligible if you:
1) began and completed use of finasteride before age 40 for the treatment or prevention of male pattern hair loss.
2) developed sexual side effects that have persisted for at least 3 months after discontinuation of finasteride.


You are NOT eligible if you had
1) Any significant baseline sexual dysfunction.
2) Psychiatric diagnoses (including depression, anxiety) BEFORE starting finasteride
3) Medication use (within the 3 months prior to bloodwork and semen analyses) that can affect reproductive hormones or fertility (testosterone, hCG, clomid, DHEA, etc)

Text Box:


We invite you to be a part of this important project so that we can report the hormone levels and fertility parameters in men who developed persistent sexual side effects after taking finasteride for male pattern hair loss.

*** Interested subjects should download the consent form and submit it to propeciastudy@gmail.com to participate. ***

March 2011 - DR. ANDREW RYNNE WARNS AGAINST PROPECIA USE

Dr. Andrew Rynne is a GP based in Ireland, vasectomy surgeon, men's health specialist and author. In March 2011, he wrote another blog post on the dangers of Propecia use and persistent side effects.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia"...hardly a week goes by that I am not being approached by yet another young man recently prescribed Propecia as a “treatment” for male pattern baldness.This drug has the capacity to obliterate their sexuality, not just for the time that they take the drug, but for all time.This vanity treatment can and does condemn many young men to a life sentence of sexual anhedonia, without feeling, desire or function, to otter misery and despair for which, as yet, we have no treatment. If you would like to know more about this you can share in their pain on www.propeciahelp.comI believe that potentially toxic medicine like this must be reserved for the indications for which it was first introducedand that is in the management of advanced prostate cancer with metastases. Here, as we all know, it can be life-saving or at any rate life-prolonging. Using it to treat a benign condition like BPH is, in my view, at best questionable. Using it to treat a naturally occurring condition in men like male pattern baldness, is reckless in the extreme."

default_horizontal_line

May 2011: NEWS & VIDEO REPORTS ON PERSISTENT FINASTERIDE SIDE EFFECTS

Recent media coverage, including one young man's tragic suicide.

 

CBS Philadelphia
Health Watch: Popular Drug Warning (Suicide)

" A grieving mother's warning about a popular medication, taken by millions, that can cause devastating and long term side effects."


 

FOX 9 News
Hair Today, What's Gone Tomorrow?

"The FOX 9 Investigators delve into concerns abut a popular hair-loss prevention drug that may have permanent sexual side effects for men who use it. Watch the video for the full investigation."


 

CBS Chicago
Hair Loss Drug ‘Under Fire’ For Sexual Side-Effects

"It’s a drug that promises to reverse hair loss for men, but is it worth the risk? As CBS 2's Pam Zekman reports, some men say they have been devastated by a side effect of the baldness drug Propecia."


June 2011 - MERCK USA: PROPECIA LABEL UPDATE, REPORTS OF PERSISTENT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

The drug manufacturer recently updated the USA labeling for Propecia to include erectile dysfunction that continues after treatment, as a reported side effect from general Finasteride use:


PG 2: http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/p/propecia/propecia_ppi.pdf"In general use, the following have been reported: breast tenderness and enlargement; depression; allergic reactions including rash, itching, hives and swelling of the lips and face; problems with ejaculation; testicular pain; difficulty in achieving an erection that continued after stopping the medication; and, in rare cases, male breast cancer. You should promptly report to your doctor any changes in your breasts such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge. Tell your doctor promptly about these or any other unusual side effects."


This is a major change, in that it updates the USA labelling to reflect that of the European countries (Sweden, UK, Italy) which have had similar verbage for some time.

default_horizontal_line

June 2011 - FDA ALERT, LABEL CHANGES: FINASTERIDE MAY INCREASE RISK OF HIGH-GRADE PROSTATE CANCER

FDA: 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs) may increase the risk of a more serious form of prostate cancer"[6-9-2011] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing healthcare professionals that the Warnings and Precautions section of the labels for the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) class of drugs has been revised to include new safety information about the increased risk of being diagnosed with a more serious form of prostate cancer (high-grade prostate cancer). This risk appears to be low, but healthcare professionals should be aware of this safety information, and weigh the known benefits against the potential risks when deciding to start or continue treatment with 5-ARIs in men."

 

WebMD: Prostate Cancer Risk From BPH, Hair Loss Drugs"The prostate drugs Proscar, Avodart, and Jalyn and the hair-loss drug Propecia add to the risk of high-grade prostate cancer, the FDA warns. All of the drugs must change their labels to warn of the risk, which unexpectedly appeared in two different large-scale clinical trials.... The male hair-loss drug Propecia has the same active ingredient as Proscar, although at one-fifth the dose. But the FDA says Propecia should carry the same prostate cancer warning as Proscar."


--------


MERCK USA - LABEL FOR PROPECIA & PROSCAR - UPDATES:

PROPECIA Prescribing Information - http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/p/propecia/propecia_pi.pdfPg. 7 - Increased Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer with 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors"... 5α-reductase inhibitors may increase the risk of development of high-grade prostate cancer."

 

PROSCAR Prescribing Information - http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/p/proscar/proscar_pi.pdfPg. 18 - Increased Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer"... Patients should be informed that there was an increase in high-grade prostate cancer in men treated with 5α-reductase inhibitors indicated for BPH treatment, including PROSCAR, compared to those treated with placebo in studies looking at the use of these drugs to prevent prostate cancer"

 

PROSCAR Patient Information - http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/p/proscar/proscar_ppi.pdfPg. 2 - "PROSCAR may increase the chance of a more serious form of prostate cancer."

default_horizontal_line

JULY 2011 - JOURNAL EDITORIAL: "AN OLD PROBLEM WITH A NEW CAUSE - 5 ALPHA REDUCTASE INHBITORS AND PERSISTENT SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION"


Dr. Irwin Goldstein, Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, published a July 2011 editorial on the dangers of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors Finasteride and Dutasteride titled "An Old Problem with a New Cause—5 Alpha Reductase Inhibitors and Persistent Sexual Dysfunction"


Selected excerpts:

· "...We are becoming more and more aware of persistent sexual health problems occurring as a result of the use of 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, finasteride, and dutasteride, in a subset of patients.   What is even more alarming is that in addition to persistent sexual issues, there are persistent central cognitive issues and concerns of persistent depression."

 

· "I think of the frequent phone calls I receive from distressed men with varying degrees of hair loss who have used 5 alpha reductase inhibitors and now have newly manifested sexual and cognitive complaints that often persist despite discontinuation of the 5 alpha reductase inhibitor... In general, these patients feel deceived because of the lack of information warning them of potential sexual side effects. The majority feels strongly that the sexual problems are far worse than the hair loss concerns."

· "...At the end of the day, because sex steroid hormones are critical for genital organ structure and function, depriving young men of a critical sex steroid — dihydrotestosterone — affects sexual function."

 

· "... The 5 alpha reductase enzyme ALSO metabolizes progesterone to 5 alpha-dihydroprogesterone and deoxycorticosterone to 5 alpha-dihydrodeoxycorticosterone. And in the brain, the products of 5 alpha reductase inhibitors are transformed by another group of specific enzymes known as 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases, which reduces 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone to 3 alpha, 5 alpha-androstane 17b-diol (3a-diol), and 5 alpha-dihydroprogesterone to 3 alpha, 5 alpha-tetrahydroprogesterone (allopregnanolone). Similarly, 5 alpha-dihydrodeoxycorticosterone is further reduced to 3 alpha, 5 alpha-tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone. " [THDOC]

 

· "Theoretically, these important neurosteroid derivatives are UNNECESSARILY LOWERED (collateral damage) by 5 alpha reductase inhibitors for hair loss. These reduced important neurosteroid derivatives are thought to function in the central nervous system with important physiological functions including modulation of gamma aminobutyric acid type A receptor, sigma receptor function, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, voltage gated calcium channels, and synaptic and brain plasticity.

 

"To translate into clinical terms, these physiological functions may impact mood, rhythm, stress, sleep, memory, anxiety, and sexual function."

default_horizontal_line

SEPT 2011 - MEN'S JOURNAL: "THE (NOT SO HARD TRUTH) ABOUT HAIR LOSS DRUGS"

In the
October 2011 Men's Journal issue (Vol 20, #9, pg. 66-67), author Mickey Rapkin writes about the growing scrutiny regarding Propecia and hair loss drugs.  The article does not yet appear online, only in the print version of the magazine.


Selected excerpts:

· "Jeff O. was 35 when his wife first confronted him about their increasingly anemic sex life. The couple had gone from almost daily romps to something like once every two months. "I had barely noticed," Jeff says. "I could have an erection. But it wasn't nearly as hard as before. ... After multiple visits to the doctor and a battery of tests, Jeff learned he was suffering from low testosterone, and the likely cause shocked him. "I'll be on hormone therapy for the rest of my life," he says, "because of Propecia."

 

· "Propecia was hailed as something of a miracle drug when it first hit the market in December 1997... at the time, pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck warned that a small percentage of all Propecia users could experience wilting erections and decreased libido. But to the millions of people who turned to Propecia to prevent hair loss, it was well worth the risk."

 

· "Now, new research shows that Merck may have underestimated the persistence of some of Propecia's side effects.  ...If there's a smoking gun here, it might just be in Merck's own hand.  According to a complaint filed in Florida, Merck expanded the warning on the product label to include the "persistence of erectile dysfunction after discontinuation" in the face of a study by Sweden's Medical Products Agency suggesting that Propecia could be a long-term sexual inhibitor.  But the rewrite appeared just in Sweden. In March 2010 the fine print was also amended in Italy, but nothing about the possibility of lasting sexual side effects appeared in the U.S. until this spring..."


 

alexander-skarsgard-covers-mens-journal-october-2011default_horizontal_line

Author Jim Thornton has written a Special Report on persistent Propecia side effects, the "Post-Finasteride Syndrome" and growing medical and legal awareness surrounding these issues.

Selected excerpts:

· Charles decided to start taking Propecia, the only FDA-approved oral medication for male-pattern baldness. For the next 6 years he tolerated the drug fairly well. But he noticed one odd side effect: a random, intermittent decline in his sex drive. "I'd be with a sexy woman, and there was just no interest at all on my part," he recalls. "If anything, it was almost like I felt mild repulsion."

 

· ... he [Mark J.] suffered what some doctors have come to describe as an "endocrine system crash." Old symptoms returned and were more severe than ever, accompanied by strange new ones: hot flashes, extreme fatigue, and visible changes to the structure of his penis and scrotum, both of which literally began shrinking overnight. His libido vanished entirely. "Forget the fact that I wasn't very horny anymore," he says. "Now there was just no urge for sex whatsoever. I could be with the hottest girl on the planet and nothing would happen, either down there or in my head. It was as if my brain could no longer respond to anything erotic—visual or through touch."

 

· OVER A DOZEN PFS PATIENTS CONTACTED by Men's Health revealed remarkably similar symptoms to the ones described by Mark J. and Charles K. One man reported that since using and then quitting finasteride, he has been wandering through life in a state of constant "brain fog." Yet another views himself as an "asexual zombie."

 

· "Before our study, the published research indicated these were largely reversible side effects," says lead researcher Michael Irwig, M.D., an endocrinologist at George Washington University. But in this select population, over 90 percent were suffering from low sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, and decreased arousal—this after being finasteride-free for 40 months on average. One man had still not improved 11 years after taking his final pill. "It's a real irony," says Dr. Irwig. "Men took finasteride to stop or prevent hair loss and sometimes to improve their dating lives. And it actually ended up destroying their sexuality and self-esteem."

 

· In a 2011 study review in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, lead researcher Abdulmaged Traish, Ph.D., and his colleagues outlined extensive cause for concern. They concluded that animal and human studies strongly suggest that finasteride isn't limited to its target tissues but in fact can reduce DHT in many tissues, potentially affecting not only nerve-signaling pathways in the penis but also the ratio of male-to-female hormone levels circulating through a user's body. One study Traish cites found that men taking 1 milligram of finasteride daily had significantly higher levels of estradiol—the predominant female sex hormone—than men taking a placebo. Just as worrisome as the possible effects in body tissue is the growing evidence that finasteride can enter a man's brain and disrupt key chemicals therein. As Traish's study review details, once finasteride reaches brain tissue it affects the production of more hormones than just DHT. At particular risk, Traish believes, are neurosteroids—brain chemicals that play a role in reducing anxiety, enhancing memory, regrowing brain cells, and helping us sleep.There's yet another issue for men who already find themselves battling feelings of despair over their dissipated sex lives: At least two studies have shown that finasteride may cause the onset of depressive symptoms. And last year, researchers in Germany found that the drug inhibits the growth of new neurons in the brain's hippocampus ; this type of neurological "failure to thrive" has also been documented in people who suffer from clinical depression.  "The percentage of affected men may be small," acknowledges Traish, a researcher in the biochemistry and urology departments at Boston University's school of medicine, "but our research definitely concludes that PFS is real. For a subset of these men, the damage persistsmaybe forever—even after they go off the drug. We don't fully understand why, but it is as if something shuts off biologically, and stays that way."

 

· To the surprise of virtually no one, anger over Merck's actions has bubbled its way into the legal system. At least two class-action lawsuits—one in the United States and one in Canadahave been filed on behalf of PFS patients seeking damages for the harm they say Propecia has caused them.

 

· Among other problems, Mark still suffers from a lack of nocturnal erections, genital numbness, and dulled orgasm. His libido has flatlined altogether, along with his zest for life. His once-defined musculature has given way to breast enlargement, atrophied arms, and female-pattern fat distribution in his hips—"this," he says, "despite keeping the same diet and exercise levels I had before ever taking the drug." He has recently joined a class-action suit—not for personal gain, he says, but in the hope that continuing pressure will convince Merck to fund further research into PFS.

 

"What we do want," says Dr. Irwig, "is for patients and doctors alike to understand the potential risk of persistent problems that may not, in fact, be reversible when you stop this drug. Even if there's only one chance in 300 that it could happen to you, it's like playing with fire. If you're one of the 299 who don't have problems, that's great. But if you're the one who does, you're going to be kicking yourself for ever taking this medicine."

NOV 2011 - MEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE SPECIAL REPORT: "A HAIR-RAISING SIDE EFFECT"

Check newsstands for the December 2011 Men's Health issue (Ashton Kutcher cover, article on pg. 102-105).

Read FULL article online [7 pages]: http://www.menshealth.com/health/hair-raising-effect

default_horizontal_line

FEB 2012 - ARTICLE: DOCTORS LINK HAIR GROWTH DRUG TO SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION, DEPRESSION AND CANCER

Columnist John Peige of the Baltimore Courts Examiner has written a scathing report on the issue of persistent Finasteride side effects, the medical community's lack of awareness of the problem, class action lawsuits, and the need for more research to find a cure.


READ FULL ARTICLE:
http://www.examiner.com/courts-in-baltimore/doctors-link-hair-growth-drug-to-sexual-dysfunction-depression-and-cancer

 

Selected excerpts:

· Doctors at two of this country’s leading medical schools have linked the hair growth drug Propecia to prolonged and possibly irreversible male sexual dysfunction, clinical depression, breast cancer and high-grade prostate cancer.

 

· The drug was approved by the FDA in 1997 to promote hair growth in men suffering from male pattern baldness. As devastating as these revelations are, millions of men who have been prescribed the drug Propecia have no idea that they may be at risk. Even worse, many doctors continue to prescribe Propecia unaware of the drug’s shocking side effects.

 

· Many men have undergone costly and time-consuming medical tests and treatments that will not detect or treat the source of the problem. They are told there is no problem. “In fact, patients have been told to see psychiatrists and psychologists because the problems were in their head,” says Dr. Irwig.

 

· While labeling on the medication in the U.S. recently warned about reported cases of persistent erectile dysfunction, there is no reference to the other sexual side effects being persistent. Other countries, including the United Kingdom and Sweden, several years ago documented persistent risks and required the drug’s maker to include them in labeling. It is not known exactly what causes these side effects.

 

· What is known is that unlike the vast majority of drugs, whose side effects cease when you stop taking them, Dr. Irwig explains that “finasteride is different because it can actually change the brain’s chemistry. The enzyme 5 alpha reductase is present in many areas of the brain. It is rare for a drug to have the capability to persistently change the brain's chemistry.

 

· There is no known cure for men who have suffered from these severe symptoms that have destroyed their sexual function.

 

· Diagnosing these maladies is further complicated by the fact that the doctors who are prescribing Propecia are typically dermatologists and general practitioners. The doctors who are treating the symptoms of Propecia’s side effects are typically urologists and endocrinologists. Because of their diverse disciplines, they rarely have any cross interactions.

 

· The first class action lawsuits are now being filed. While individual lawsuits have been filed on the behalf of plaintiffs over the last several years, Dr. Irwig’s study and another recent review study on Propecia’s side effects in the Journal of Sexual Medicine by researchers at Boston University have now moved the discussion from an anecdotal one to one that has the credence of two of America’s most well-known medical schools.

 

Two weeks ago, class action suits were filed in California and Florida joining those already filed in other states. More lawsuits are expected to be filed shortly in other jurisdictions.

May 16, 2012

PROPECIA VICTIM LAUNCHES HUNGER STRIKE AT MERCK USA HEADQUARTERS 


Protester Suffering Erectile Dysfunction, Career Loss, Breakup with Fiancee, Requests Other Propecia Victims to Join Him In Protest.

 

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., May 16, 2012 

A 30-year-old Las Vegas man whose life was devastated by Propecia has launched a hunger
strike at Merck & Co.'s corporate headquarters
, in protest of the pharmaceutical giant's failure
to acknowledge the hair-loss drug's role in causing a battery of persistent side effects, including sexual dysfunction.

Kevin Malley, a former public-health researcher from Las Vegas, who flew to New Jersey from
his hometown on May 10,
ceased eating on May 13 at 3 p.m., and plans to continue going
without food indefinitely while camped across from
One Merck Drive.

"
I want Merck to see how their drug is destroying lives—and know that I'm just one of thousands
of victims suffering across the globe
," said Malley, who was prescribed Propecia last year by
his doctor, and took the controversial medication for five months until suffering complete erectile
dysfunction and loss of libido last winter.

"
Even now, eight months after quitting Propecia, my sexual dysfunction has not resolved itself,"
added Malley. "
I also suffered severe memory loss and disorientation, which made it nearly
impossible to concentrate on my work."

As a result of his physical and psychological ailments, Malley resigned from his research
position late last year. He has since taken a job as a waiter at a Las Vegas restaurant to make
ends meet.

Meanwhile, he and his fiancee broke off their engagement when she learned that his sexual
side effects appear to be permanent.
And while trying to come to grips with his condition, Malley
came across Propeciahelp.com, a support group for men suffering from persistent finasteride
side effects. There, he encountered many other men suffering similar fates long after quitting
the drug.

Malley has reported his case to the Food and Drug Administration via its MedWatch program.
And in January he called Merck's Adverse Reporting hotline (800-444-2080), but the company,
which enjoys annual Propecia sales of more than $440 million, told him, "
We don't have any
answers for you right now," he said.


Known clinically as "
Post-Finasteride Syndrome" (and so called for Propecia's generic name,
finasteride), the condition is marked by sexual, neurological, hormonal and physical side
effects—including impotence, Peyronie's disease, testosterone deficiency and depression—tha
t
do not resolve themselves after quitting Propecia, and may be irreversible.

On April 11, the Food and Drug Administration ordered Merck to revise the labeling on Propecia
to reflect mounting evidence that the medication can cause
continued sexual dysfunction long
after patients have stopped taking it
. Of the 421 Propecia-related sexual dysfunction cases
the FDA reviewed in its probe, 14 percent lasted longer than three months after patients
discontinued the drug.

On April 20, according to a report in The Examiner, the FDA began widening its probe into
Propecia, stating that the agency "will continue to vigilantly evaluate and analyze all reports that
are available on finasteride and take regulatory actions as warranted."

The FDA has also been actively encouraging victims to submit reports about "all adverse
reactions potentially caused by finasteride [including] cases of patients who developed
Peyronie’s [disease], anxiety, panic attacks, cognitive dysfunction, chronic insomnia, muscle
wasting and other persistent side effects
."

# # #

MEDIA & GENERAL CONTACT:

Kevin Malley
(702) 219-5632

Text Box: Contact details can be found at the very bottom of this page.
default_horizontal_line

CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED IN CANADA

VANCOUVER, January 24, 2011

 

Klein Lyons [law firm] has filed a class action lawsuit against Merck Frosst Canada and its affiliated companies on behalf of Canadian men who used Propecia or Proscar and suffered continuing sexual dysfunction.

 

CANADIANS: SIGN UP TO PARTICIPATE > 

Official Press Release

Official Notice of Claim

 

Propecia and Proscar are prescribed as a cosmetic treatment for male pattern hair loss also known as androgenic alopecia. The product monograph discloses that some men may experience sexual dysfunction but states that the symptoms disappear after cessation of the drug.

 

It is alleged that the drug manufacturers failed to adequately warn Canadian men of the risks associated with the drugs and that the warning remains inadequate to this day. The product information has already been changed in several European countries to include an adverse reaction warning of persistent erectile dysfunction after discontinuation.

 

If you or anyone close to you are suffering from medical problems caused by Propecia or Proscar, complete the Do You Qualify form. Your inquiry will be kept completely confidential.

Press Release: Class action filed against manufacturer of Propecia & Proscar

 

http://www.nationalpost.com/Class+action+filed+against+manufacturer+Propecia+Proscar/4157841/story.html

 

Lawsuit filed for men who suffer sexual dysfunction after using hair loss drug.

 

VANCOUVER, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - A class action was filed today in the Supreme Court of British Columbia by Vancouver resident, Michael Miller, against Merck Frosst Canada and its affiliated companies. The lawsuit has been brought on behalf of Canadian men who used Propecia or Proscar and suffered continuing sexual dysfunction. Propecia and Proscar are prescribed as a cosmetic treatment for male pattern hair loss also known as androgenic alopecia. The product monograph discloses that some men may experience sexual dysfunction but states that the symptoms disappear after cessation of the drug.

 

Mr. Miller, who is in his early 20s, was concerned when his hair started to thin in some areas. He was prescribed Proscar which he hoped would stop his hair from thinning. After about a month of use he noticed a drastic change in his behaviour, "I lost my interest in sex and I felt anxious in social situations for no particular reason," he says. While on the drug, his symptoms of sexual dysfunction increased as the months passed. When he could no longer bear the side effects, he stopped using Proscar but these symptoms didn't go away: "My sexual functioning has not recovered, I have seen specialists and have tried treatments but nothing has worked," says Mr. Miller.

 

According to Mr. Miller's lawyer, David Klein, "The product labels have been changed in several European countries to include a warning of persistent erectile dysfunction after discontinuation of the drug but this change has not been made on the Canadian product labels." It is alleged that the drug manufacturers failed to adequately warn Canadians of the true risks. Klein also says, "So far, more than 80 Canadian men have expressed an interest in participating in the class action. We believe there are many other men who will come forward now that the case has been filed in court."

 

Mr. Miller is represented by Klein Lyons, one of Canada's most experienced class action law firms.

 

 

REGISTER FOR POSSIBLE USA OR INTERNATIONAL PROPECIA & PROSCAR CLASS ACTION / MASS TORT LITIGATION

If you or a loved one are suffering negative sexual and other side effects from Propecia or Proscar that have NOT resolved even AFTER discontinuing the drug, you may qualify for damages that may be awarded in a possible U.S. or International class action, or mass tort lawsuit.

 

* USA Citizens:Register under the "USA" section at http://www.propeciaclassaction.com

* Non-US Citizens:If you do not live in the U.S., register under the “International” section at http://www.propeciaclassaction.com to be informed of possible international litigation.


Your contact details will be forwarded to a lawyer and maintained in strict confidence.
A redacted version of your contact information (to protect confidentiality) may be used for litigation and epidemiology purposes. You may be contacted in the future for litigation or scientific purpose as the process unfolds.

The time has come for your voice to be heard -- take action and register your contact details for a possible USA class action litigation & International database via http://ww.propeciaclassaction.com, today.

--------------

DISCLAIMER: We are not able to provide personal legal advice to any individual with the post-finasteride syndrome. Circumstances related to medical presentation and applicable statute of limitations vary from one individual to the next.

Each post-finasteride patient should consult their own personal attorney before making any decisions related to engaging legal representation or becoming a plaintiff in a damages claim pursuant to an individual, class action or mass tort litigation.

default_horizontal_linedefault_horizontal_line


NEW STUDY PUBLISHED
"Persistent sexual side effects of Finasteride: Could they be permanent?
"

Dr. Irwig's new 2012 study raises even more concerns that Finasteride can cause persistent side effects across sexual, physical and neurological domains.

This is a follow-up to his March 2011 paper titled "
Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride for Male Pattern Hair Loss".

View new 2012 study abstract

View selected excerpts on Propeciahelp.com homepage




MEDIA AWARENESS

NBC Today Show TV Broadcast

ABC News Article

Time Magazine

Mail Online UK

The Sun

Additional articles on Google News


- Stay tuned for even more developments, including a possible TV
ABC World News report (featuring an interview with Dr. Alan Jacobs about persistent Finasteride side effects. Dr. Jacobs has blogged about the problem here, here and here).

August 28, 2012

NEW POST-FINASTERIDE SYNDROME FOUNDATION OFFERS HOPE TO PROPECIA VICTIMS


FULL ARTICLE: http://www.examiner.com/article/new-post-finasteride-syndrome-foundation-offers-hope-for-propecia-victims

 

The Post-Finasteride Syndrome Foundation today announced the launch of its website, PFSFoundation.org, which will help raise funds for medical research into treatments for post-finasteride syndrome (PFS), while promoting awareness of the condition.

 

Financial contributions to the foundation can be made via PFSFoundation.org, which also houses published research, research goals, and media reports about PFS. To date, individual donors have promised hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to the foundation, Dr. Santmann told The Examiner.

 

· Established in July 2012, the PFS Foundation is based in Somerset, N.J. The announcement of the PFS Foundation follows two new studies by Dr. Michael Irwig of George Washington University on the controversial medication's long-terms dangers.  

pfsf-website

The Post-Finasteride Syndrome Foundation website can be found at www.PFSFoundation.org

· The foundation also announced the election of Dr. John Santmann as CEO, Dr. Rosemary McGeady as general counsel, and Matthew Weintraub, R.N., as vice president.

· "From the increasing number of PFS cases being reported to the FDA, it's likely that we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of how many men have been rendered impotent by finasteride, let alone beset by other severe side effects that don't resolve themselves months and even years after quitting the drug," said Dr. Santmann, an emergency department physician by training, who earned his M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and his B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University.

· "Now, with the foundation's website serving as a focal point for the scientific community, we aim to facilitate research at universities and hospitals in the U.S. and abroad," added Dr. Santmann. "Through these initiatives, we're seeking to identify the underlying biologic mechanisms of PFS and, hopefully, develop effective treatments."

 

PFS is characterized by sexual, neurological, hormonal and psychological side effects that persist in men who have taken the prescription drug finasteride to treat hair loss (under the brand name Propecia and generics), or enlarged prostates (Proscar and generics).

Among the symptoms endured by thousands of PFS victims across the globe are erectile dysfunction, genital shrinkage, Peyronie's disease, gynecomastia, loss of libido, severe depression and cognitive impairment.