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Propecia Sexual Dysfunction: Men Tend to Suffer in Silence

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South Wales, UKWhile lawsuits alleging sexual dysfunction stemming from use of Propecia finasteride have, indeed, been filed—there is speculation that more men are suffering than is generally realized, given the tendency for men struggling with impotency to suffer in silence.

Propecia is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a drug to treat both the prostate, as well as foster a reduction in the rate of hair loss in men suffering from male pattern baldness. However, various Propecia side effects have emerged—not the least of which are adverse reactions including insomnia, anxiety and loss of libido.

When the latter happens, men may perform clandestine online surfing to try and figure out what is going on. Beyond that, consulting a doctor or a lawyer to get to the bottom of it is often the last thing on their minds.

"By the time I see men at my clinics it's often really late in the day when their symptoms are affecting their quality of life," says Gareth Brown, a uro-andrologist and surgeon who runs a male genital and reproductive clinic in the United Kingdom.

"Even then, often they've only reached this point after being pressured by other family members or people close to them to attend and their family members have actually made the appointments for them. Quite a large portion of the men I end up seeing have been marched down to the clinic by their wife, girlfriend or other female family member to make sure that they attend the appointment."

Various lawsuits have suggested that Propecia clients had no idea that the finasteride they were taking to help stem hair loss would affect them in this fashion. The Propecia Web site, maintained by manufacturer Merck & Co., dutifully notes that a small number of men in the manufacturer's experience suffered Propecia sexual dysfunction, including "less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, and a decrease in the amount of semen," states Merck.

"These side effects went away in men who stopped taking PROPECIA [sic] because of them."

That's not always been the case for some. There have been reports that suggest some users of Propecia have found their Propecia sex drive has continued to be compromised long after stopping Propecia. James, a 26-year-old from the United Kingdom, noted that his libido failed to return after stopping Propecia, and testosterone therapy also proved a failure. A specialist offered the man a penile implant, so that he could resume having sex.

There is no mention on the Propecia Web site that suggests Propecia long-term side effects may, in rare cases, continue after Propecia is stopped. The suggestion, then, that men encountering sexual dysfunction and suspecting Propecia as the culprit will stop taking Propecia finasteride and fully expect their Propecia sex drive to return based on what they read on the Propecia Web site.

James knows otherwise.

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