Propecia Lawsuit 2011 News
One of the side effects of using Propecia (trade name for finasteride) is sexual dysfunction. If you have suffered from permanent side effects, please contact us for a free no-obligation consultation and the latest Propecia lawsuit 2011 news. However, the male pattern baldness drug’s manufacturer, Merck Pharmaceuticals, claims that only 2 percent of men using the medication experience it. Among those who do, the symptoms – including erectile dysfunction and diminished libido – are expected to vanish once use of the drug is discontinued. But several cases have surfaced in which men have suffered Propecia erectile dysfunction permanent side effects.
To date, there has been no class action lawsuit filed against the manufacturer in the U.S. But a number of individual Propecia lawsuit claims have been filed recently. Below, we’ll explain how the hair loss pill is believed to cause long-term erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual desire in the first place.
DHT And The Role Of Finasteride
DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is an androgen. Androgens are compounds that contribute to the stimulation of the male sex organs. There are several such compounds, though the most well-known is testosterone. DHT is the result of a biological process (called 5-alpha reduction) that converts testosterone into a more powerful androgen.
DHT is also the main contributor to male pattern hair loss. One of the areas in the body in which DHT is synthesized is in the hair follicles. The androgen is believed to block the delivery of nutrients to the follicles, thereby causing them to shrink. As this occurs, the hairs produced by them become thinner and less visible. They also have a shorter life.
Finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia, is an antiandrogen. The chemical inhibits an enzyme called type II 5-alpha reductase, which is a key factor in 5-alpha reduction, the process that converts testosterone into DHT. By inhibiting the action of this enzyme, finasteride prevents the synthesis of DHT. The result is that the hair follicles receive the nutrients they need, and begin to produce thicker, longer-lasting hair.
Possible Persistent Propecia Sexual Side Effects
Recall that DHT, as a potent androgen, is responsible for stimulating the male sex organs. Introducing finasteride into the body to block the conversion of testosterone to DHT can cause sexual dysfunction. Common side effects include an inability to achieve or sustain an erection, lower volume of semen, and a diminished sexual drive. Many men also experience testicular pain.
As already noted, Merck Pharmaceuticals claims that only 2 percent of men using the prescription hair loss treatment experience these side effects. Moreover, signs of sexual dysfunction typically go away once the medication is stopped. Multiple studies have found that these claims may be untrue.
For example, a study titled “Adverse Side Effects Of 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors Therapy” was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in March 2011. It revealed that approximately 15 percent of those using finasteride had experienced sexual side effects. It also showed evidence that these side effects persisted in some men long after the drug had been stopped.
Merck Propecia Lawsuit Claims Likely To Grow
Information regarding the risk of permanent Propecia side effects involving sexual dysfunction following use of the hair loss pill is relatively new in the U.S. While the warning labels used in Sweden and the UK have included this risk for years, the label used in the U.S. has not. This recently changed. Merck and Co. updated their U.S. label to include a note that some men may experience difficulty achieving an erection after stopping the medication. For many men, however, the warning comes too late.
The manufacturer of the male pattern hair loss treatment currently faces several lawsuits alleging that the risk of permanent sexual dysfunction was not adequately disclosed. Had some men known about the risk, they might have chosen not to use the hair loss pill. If Merck was aware of the danger, and withheld the information from the public, they should be held accountable for any resulting injuries.
If you suffer from permanent Propecia side effects, diminished sexual desire, or related problems, you may be able to file a claim against the drug maker. Contact an experienced Propecia lawsuit lawyer to discuss your legal options.