A new report has found that Propecia has adverse sexual side effects which may become permanent.
This is not the first time similar links have been made with the popular hair drug. The drug, which was approved in 1997 to treat male pattern baldness, is part of a class of drugs known as 5 Alpha Reductase inhibitors. Propecia’s active ingredient can interfere with male hormones, including testosterone derivatives. In higher doses, the drug is sold under the brand name Proscar and is approved for a treatment for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) or urinary problems.
A Consumer Advocacy Group, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) reviewed 50,289 reports of fatal, disabling or other serious injuries received by the USFDA in the second quarter of 2012. They discovered that 46 of the 61 serious adverse events reported for the drug involved some sort of sexual problem. A reduction in sexual drive and sexual dysfunction were the most common side effects reported in pre-approved clinical trials conducted in the 1990’s for Propecia. Merck Manufacturers both Propecia and Proscar. The Company has long maintained that a causal relationship has not been established between either drug and reported sexual side effects.
In 2010, the Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study linking Propecia to persistent sexual dysfunction. The Researchers interviewed 71 propecia users who reported onset of sexual side effects such as low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, decreased arousal and orgasm problems. Participants who used propecia for an average of 28 months reported persistent sexual side effects lasting an average of 40 months from the time the drug was discontinued. Researchers had also suggested that Propecia use was linked to depression. In April 2012 US Health Authorities ordered new warnings for the propecia and proscar labels detailing possible long lasting male sexual side effects associated with the drug.