Among the complaints about Propecia (and its more concentrated form, Proscar) are that the drug is linked to sexual dysfunction. This covers a range of symptoms, including diminished libido and erectile dysfunction.
One patient says his testosterone level dropped dramatically after using Propecia and he now takes weekly hormone replacement injections. “My testicles and penis have shrunk; I have ED [erectile dysfunction] and have begun injections to obtain an erection,” writes Frank P. (real name withheld). “My libido is non-existent and I have difficulty achieving an orgasm. I do not have any ejaculate upon orgasm. My sexual health is virtually ruined.”
The problem is not just physical, either. Some men report difficulties with cognitive ability. “I suffer memory loss, both short and long term memory,” writes Frank. “My cognitive ability has suffered immensely as I seem in a constant brain fog. I was once very articulate, but I have trouble remembering words and forming sentences. My spelling was excellent, and now it is dreadful.”
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Young and older men take Propecia to prevent hair loss, and men of all ages say they have suffered the sexual side effects, indicating that the sexual dysfunction is not simply attributable to the age of the patient.
“I am 22 years old and have taken Propecia for the last five years,” says Paul (real name withheld). “I have noticed increasing difficulty maintaining a hard erection and decreasing libido in the last 2 years.”
Merck has said it will vigorously defend itself against lawsuits regarding Propecia.