The latter has been around since 1997, following approval of Propecia by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the condition. Akin to overweight Americans looking for the magic bullet that delivers easy and effective weight loss, men have been turning to formulations such as Propecia to restore their hair and their vanity. But a host of Propecia side effects have derailed the enthusiasm, given the potential for Propecia to impact the user at the heart of another closely-held source of male virility: sexual function.
As various marquee media have been reporting, finasteride has been leaving otherwise healthy young men with persistent impotence, together with diminished sex drive and depression. Various studies revealing Propecia sexual dysfunction have fuelled lawsuits, as men attempting to resolve one deficiency to their manhood have suffered setbacks in another, allegedly at the hands of Proscar and Propecia.
A frequent source of recent media reports on the problem has referenced an article published last month in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Lead researcher Abdulmaged M. Traish, a professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine, noted in comments to ABC News that while the overall percentage of study subjects reported problems with their Propecia sex drive ranging from five to 23 percent—those adverse reactions remained for half the respondents long after Propecia was stopped.
"We found out that we're really ignoring the important part, especially those in whom the problem becomes persistent," Traish said in an interview with ABC. "That's the group that everybody forgot. We have to worry about the consequences for people who are going to suffer—even after they discontinue the drug—from continuous loss of libido and potential depression."
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Meanwhile, those suffering from male pattern baldness who turned to finasteride in an attempt to resolve their hair loss may not have been aware of the potential for sexual dysfunction, according to several lawsuits filed. A Propecia class-action lawsuit was filed in Canada, in January.