Earlier this year, ABC news reported a tragic story of persistent sexual dysfunction following the use of the hair loss replacement drug Propecia. 30 year old Kevin Malley sought physician help for baldness and was given a prescription for Propecia. According to the story, Malley started Propecia in May 2011 and by October he was impotent with no sex drive whatsoever. His body changed and his genitals shrank. His doctor told him to stop taking Propecia and his side effects should vanish but they persisted.
Malley said before he took Propecia, he was a normal, ambitious guy and was engaged to be married. He attended school, worked out at the gym, went to work, had career goals, and had sex with his girlfriend. Malley’s fiancé broke off their engagement and he quit his employment. Malley stated that he sits in his room all day and does not talk to anyone. He sought treatment for his side effects but was told that there was nothing that could be done.
Malley is not alone: A recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that for some men, the sexual side effects of Propecia may last for months to years, even after they stop taking the drug. Researchers from George Washington University interviewed 54 men under age 40 who reported side effects for at least three months after taking Propecia, to treat their hair loss. None of the men in the study reported having any prior sexual, medical or psychiatric problems. These men reported side effects such as erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual drive, and problems with orgasms, shrinking and painful genitals, and even some neurological problems, such as depression, anxiety and mental fogginess. For 96 percent of the men, the sexual problems lasted for more than a year after they stopped taking the drug. The author of the study, Dr. Michael Irwig indicated that the longer the side effects persisted, the less likely the men will improve.
Propecia works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into a more potent form, called DHT, which contributes to hair loss and was approved in 1997 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In 2011, the FDA mandated a label change for Propecia and Proscar, warning that some patients reported erectile dysfunction that lasted after patients stopped taking it.
Propecia attorneys at the Oracle Law Group are currently investigating cases against the drug manufacturer Merck & Co for Propecia. The Oracle Law Group has experienced personal injury attorneys with over 28 years of experience in representing people injured from unsafe products. If you or a loved one has taken Propecia, please contact one of our experienced dangerous drug attorneys for a free consultation.