In the second quarter of 2012, the number of individuals who have filed lawsuits against Merck & Co. alleging Propecia or Proscar caused persistent adverse sexual side effects has grown by double digits. According to Merck & Co.’s quarterly report ending September 30, 2012, there are approximately 265 lawsuits involving approximately 415 plaintiffs. There has been a 32.5% rise in the number of lawsuits since the previous quarter ending June 30, 2012. Propecia’s profits are declining. The September 2012 quarterly report indicates sales dropped about 7%, $104 million from $112 million for the same 2011 period.
Propecia and Proscar are brand names for finasteride, a synthetic antiandrogen that prevents enzymes from converting testosterone to (DHT), also called androgen or male sex hormone. Propecia, Proscar, and other finasterides block DHT. It is believed that high levels of DHT are believed to be responsible for an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer. Additionally, it is believed that DHT causes hair follicles. Both Propecia and Proscar are manufactured by Merck & Co.
The medical thought was that there were minimal side effects from 5a-reductase inhibitor therapy. New information suggests that 5a-reductase inhibitor therapy may impair sexual function, sexual desire, and erectile function. Animal research studies suggest that 5a-reductase inhibitors may alter penile tissue and nitric oxide synthase function in penile tissue contributing to erectile dysfunction.
2012 saw the coining of a new disorder, “Post-finasteride Syndrome, (PFS).” PFS is characterized by sexual, hormonal, neurological, and psychological side effects. Some of these reported side effects include loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, penile shrinkage, gynecomastia, and depression.
Sexual side effects is an understatement and minimizes the serious injury that has become the reality of men who treated with these finasteride medications.Men who have taken the drug Propecia and suffered sexual problems may have a claim against Merck & Co., the manufacturer of Propecia. If a man has suffered any sexual related side effects while taking Propecia, he should investigate whether he has a viable claim for sexual related injuries. Consulting an attorney knowledgeable about the Propecia litigation is critical in investigating a potential claim. Oracle Law Group is actively investigating Propecia and offers a free consultation to men evaluating a potential claim. Call today for a free consultation.