Propecia Decides Hairline or Healthy Sex Life

PropeciaChris and his wife have been trying to conceive since they married two years ago, just after he started taking Propecia for hair loss treatment.

“I stopped taking the drug but my sexual problems haven’t gone away and now we are concerned that these Propecia side effects might have ruined the chances of having a family,” he says.

Propecia Decides Hairline or Healthy Sex Life?Chris, age 31, was told that Propecia side effects such as erectile dysfunction are rare and if they do occur, such effects are temporary. “After I saw ads about Propecia lawsuits, I talked to my doctor. He told me to stop taking Propecia and my problems will subside,” says Chris.

“It takes much more to get aroused and sometimes I still can’t get hard. My biggest problem is that when I do ejaculate, nothing is there – zero sperm. I was never told that Propecia could cause long-term and chronic side effects. Sure, being bald is a drag but it’s nothing compared to these problems.”

Ironically, The Journal News for Westchester County, New York (April 14, 2015) wrote the following about Propecia:

[Propecia] can also cause birth defects if it is handled by a pregnant woman. It’s fine for a man to take the medicine while trying to conceive, but the pregnant wife should never handle the tablets.

The newspaper article does mention that “Sexual side effects, like impotence and low libido, can happen,” but it fails to add that Propecia can also cause some men like Chris and Jeremy (not his real name) to have “dry ejaculations, small amounts of ejaculations and erectile dysfunction.”

“Not only am I suffering physical complications from Propecia, I’m taking antidepressants because of my low libido,” he says.
“I’ve had problems getting sexually aroused. My girlfriend left and I haven’t had sex for more than a year. If these complications don’t go away, how will I ever get into a relationship? All because of my vanity…”

The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study in 2012 that found finasteride (Propecia) sexual side effects persisted for at least three months after otherwise healthy men stopped taking the drug.

The study, conducted at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, discovered that 94 percent of men taking finasteride developed low sexual desire, 92 percent suffered from erectile dysfunction and 69 percent experienced difficulty with orgasm.

Dr. Michael Irwig, an endocrinologist leading the study, said his research resulted in the FDA three years ago making Merck, the Propecia manufacturer, alter the labeling on Propecia.

Merck has included “persistent sexual side effects” on the Propecia label, but Irwig said it isn’t enough. Side effects also include serious depression and suicide. (A wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed against Merck.)

Another alarming Propecia study published in JAMA (April 2015) concluded that “Published reports of clinical trials provide insufficient information to establish the safety profile for finasteride [Propecia] in the treatment of Androgenic Alopecia (AGA),” which means excessive hair loss.

Toxicity information from clinical trials of finasteride in men with AGA is “very limited, is of poor quality, and seems to be systematically biased.” This study raises serious questions about Merck’s clinical trials prior to releasing its hair loss drug.

Chris says he is trying to be optimistic that his sex drive will return.

Meanwhile, he welcomes this opportunity to warn others about Propecia and to worry more about your health than your hairline.