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Post-Finasteride Syndrome To be Studied in Milan

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Washington, DCRecent headlines for Propecia finasteride have related to sexual dysfunction and decreased libido, with some patients complaining that these Propecia side effects do not disappear after the medication has been stopped. This is a serious outcome for young men at the height of their prime, who may have been prescribed Propecia for hair loss and had no idea about the troublesome and problematic adverse events involving impotence.

Many a Propecia lawsuit has been based on Propecia sexual dysfunction that persists after the medication has been stopped??"an event that constitutes a huge impact on a man’s sense of self at any age.

And now, it seems, there is another issue surrounding finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia. According to Joe and Terry Graedon, two doctors who author the syndicated People’s Pharmacy (Charlotte Observer, 11/26/12), finasteride has also been linked to depression.

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (09/12) published new research back in the Fall that suggested finasteride, even taken at the lower doses inherent with the treatment of hair loss, can trigger depression. What’s more, suggest the Graedons in referencing the research, the depression may continue following discontinuation of finasteride.

This appears to be a common thread amongst many Propecia lawsuit plaintiffs having sought Propecia help for hair loss, only to find that Propecia affected their libido and that problems continued long after the medication was stopped.

Add the potential for depression to the already depressing realization that a young man may be experiencing sexual dysfunction, and one would suggest a recipe for disaster. We are reminded of the research led by Dr. Michael Irwig of George Washington University in 2012. Digital Journal (08/15/12) referenced FOX News in reporting that Irwig interviewed 61 Propecia patients who took finasteride for hair loss.

Of those 61, according to the research, 22 reported symptoms of severe depression and five referenced thoughts of suicide. At a protest rally held outside the headquarters of Merck & Co. last year, two of the participants were the parents of a young man who had taken his own life allegedly due to Propecia impotence and the possibility of depression added to the mix. The couple is suing Merck, alleging wrongful death, in a Propecia lawsuit.

Lawyers Weekly USA (12/5/12) reported that the number of Propecia lawsuits consolidated into multidistrict litigation in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York had climbed to over 1000 heading into the Christmas season last year. There are also Propecia lawsuits in Canada

Plaintiffs allege that while the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated Merck to update its US labels to reference the possibility of sexual dysfunction and other Propecia side effects, European countries are much more progressive, with European labels for Propecia referencing the potential for Propecia impotence and other adverse reactions sooner than their US counterparts.

To that end, in the global fight against Propecia side effects in men, the University of Milan is hosting a conference next month in Italy to discuss various scientific developments linking finasteride to sexual, neurological and hormonal problems in men.

Such is the seriousness with which Propecia long term side effects is viewed, that it now has a name: Post-Finasteride Syndrome, or PFS. And therein lay the debate surrounding hair loss for men--is it better to accept the hair loss, or attempt to treat it and risk problems with Propecia sex drive, or depression even with a low Propecia dosage? While the debate rages, it remains a sad and mystifying issue.

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