A new study found that men taking Propecia for baldness may experience sexual side effects that can last from four months to a year.
Researchers at George Washington University interviewed 54 men under the age of 40 who reported having side effects for three months or longer after taking Propecia (also known as finasteride) to treat their hair loss. None of the men reported having sexual, medical, or psychiatric problems prior to taking the medicine.
The amount of time the men took the medicine varied among the participants. The men reported experiencing side effects such as erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual drive, problems with orgasms, shrinking and painful genitals, and some neurological problems like anxiety and depression.
Ninety-six percent of the men said that the side effects lasted longer than a year after they stopped taking the medicine.
“Our findings make me suspicious that this drug may have done permanent damage to these men,” said Dr. Michael Irwig, the study’s author. “The chances that they will improve? I think it’s lower and lower the longer they have these side effects.”
Study participants were recruited through an online forum called PropeciaHelp, a place where men communicated about their side effects from the drug. Dr. Irwig believes since the participants were solely taken from the forum, the results do not include responses from men who experienced fewer and less pervasive side effects.
Propecia works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into a more powerful form known as DHT, which causes hair loss. Finasteride was originally developed in 1992 by Merck who used the drug to treat enlarged prostates. It was also initially marketed under the name Proscar.
In 1997, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Propecia and Merck recognized reports from men experiencing side effects during the drug’s clinical trials. The company said that the side effects were treated once the men stopped taking the drug.
Over a span of 13 years, the agency received 400 complaints of consumers reporting sexual dysfunction. Within those reports, nearly 60 men said that they experienced the side effects for longer than three months after they stopped taking the drug.
In 2011, the FDA ordered a label change for the drug to include a warning about long-lasting erectile dysfunction. They changed the label again in April to add problems with libido, ejaculation, and orgasm disorders.
Merck released a statement claiming that there was not enough evidence proving the relationship between Propecia and prolonged sexual dysfunction.
“Merck believes that Propecia (finasteride) has demonstrated safety and efficacy profiles and that the product labeling appropriately describes the benefits and risks of the drug to help inform prescribing,” the company wrote.
Researchers believe that doctors who are prescribing the drug are simply unaware of the on-going side effects.
“These things just get handed out left and right for any urinary symptoms,” said Dr. Ryan Terlecki, an assistant professor of urology at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Terlecki has prescribed the drug to patients with large prostates. He believes more research is needed before doctors can entirely pin the side effects on the drug.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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