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“I Would Rather Lose Hair Than Suffer Propecia Side Effects”

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San Francisco, CAIt takes a brave man to talk about Propecia sexual dysfunction, and kudos to Colin for coming forward and discussing other Propecia side effects, including depression, anxiety and insomnia.

“I would rather lose my hair than live with this depression,” says Colin (not his real name), who started taking Propecia 10 years ago and quit last December 2012. Colin also suffers from Propecia sexual side effects. “I quit because I started having cognitive issues that I am sure are associated with Propecia. I wasn’t aware that these symptoms were added to the warning label in 2010 and to me that isn’t a good enough trade-off. I would rather lose my hair than develop depression, memory loss, insomnia and anxiety attacks.”

Colin, age 52, adds that nothing in his life has changed. He has a high-paying job that he loves. Nothing traumatic has occurred with family or friends and there is no history of depression in his family. Nor has he ever experienced any psychological issues.

“I started to research Propecia and came across a Propecia forum with so many people affected by these same side effects,” says Colin. “For instance, a DEA agent only took Propecia for a short time and he too developed insomnia, anxiety and depression. I think it has definitely affected me. If only I had known a medication for baldness could alter your brain chemistry in some way…Merck has downplayed the depression issue in their commercials by emphasizing sexual problems. Propecia depression can creep up on you slowly and I think that is what happened to me.

“And I have experienced the sexual dysfunction side effects: I noticed I didn’t get anymore morning or spontaneous erections and decreased ejaculation. I am married so it has also affected my wife. But the most devastating effect is depression.”

Colin was crying a lot and had suicidal thoughts, but he had the wherewithal to see his family doctor, who referred him to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist wanted to prescribe Prozac but Colin wanted none of that, believing that antidepressant drugs can create another host of problems. And his experience with Propecia has caused a general mistrust of all pharmaceuticals.

“I saw another psychiatrist who I thought would be more understanding: he was mentioned on the Propecia forum,” says Colin. “According to him, Propecia isn’t a bad drug, but if they put depression as a side effect, how could it be the least bit good? He prescribed more meds than the other doctor. I was out of there too.”

Colin finally found an MD who is helping him detox his body and deal with neurological issues by way of alternative medicine. He says it is hard to tell if he is getting better because he is still struggling with insomnia and anxiety. But he is being pro-active with a Propecia claim.

“I filled out a form for the FDA on Propecia adverse effects,” Colin adds. “And I have been in discussion with a Propecia attorney who explained the statute of limitations but said there is still time to file a claim. I am not really interested in pursuing the sexual dysfunction claims - I am concerned about the mental health issues that Propecia caused. And my attorney believes I have a claim against Merck.”

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