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Propecia

The Propecia injury lawsuit attorneys at the Drug Law Center are accepting cases from patients who suffered injuries caused by the medication used to treat male pattern baldness.

Introduction

Propecia RecallPropecia was first developed by Merck and Company in 1992 under the marketed name Proscar to treat BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) when taken at a prescribed dose of five milligrams. By 1997, the drug manufacturer remarketed the drug at a one-milligram dose and sold the synthetic compound under the name Propecia after an unexpected side effect of rejuvenating hair loss involving male pattern baldness was discovered.

Within the first year after its relaunch in the United States at a lower dosage, doctors had written prescriptions for more than 400,000 men to take the medication every day. While Merck had known that uses of the medication sold as Proscar at a higher dosage caused severe sexual side effects, early labels on Propecia packaging failed to uncover problems with sexual function that had been found in clinical trials. Early trials revealed that many of the serious side effects of sexual dysfunction, ejaculation disorder, and decreased libido persisted for weeks, months or years after the patient stopped taking the medication.

The most serious sexual side effects occurring in Propecia users who are otherwise in a healthy condition occur in men between 21 and 46 years of age. Many patients are experiencing adverse sexual reactions to the medication for forty months on average after ceasing treatment. To date, many injured patients who still suffering from sexual dysfunction have filed Propecia lawsuits in an effort to have Merck held financially responsible for the damages their defective medicine has caused.

History of Propecia

Merck and Company first developed Propecia (Finasteride), a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor urinary retention drug, as an effective treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland) under the brand name Proscar. In recent years, the drug manufacturer has re-marketed the medication to treat androgenic alopecia (male-pattern hair loss).

When the drug was first marketed as Proscar, it was designed to prevent the body’s natural mechanism of converting male testosterone hormone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a known hormone required for the development of BPH. Many adult men were prescribed the medication as an effective way to shrink their enlarged prostate gland. When prescribed at a five milligrams dosage, the finasteride drug is often recommended to be used in combination with other drugs as an effective solution for reducing the signs and symptoms of BPH to avoid a surgical alternative.

Alternatively, when the drug is used primarily as an effective cosmetic-remedy hair loss treatment, it is usually prescribed at a recommended dosage of one milligram of finasteride. No research to date has shown evidence suggesting that finasteride at five milligrams is any more effective at treating male pattern baldness then at a one-milligram dosage. At either dosage, both medications have been shown to cause erectile dysfunction in many adult males. Because of that, Merck has carried this warning on the medication’s label.

Propecia Related Severe Side Effects

For over more than a decade between 1998 and 2011, the FDA reviewed more than 400 reports that involve complaints of sexual dysfunction after taking Propecia. More than one out of every seven cases reported concerns of sexual dysfunction lasting three months or longer after the patient stopped taking the drug. When taken in higher doses (Proscar) more than half the reported cases of erectile dysfunction also involve decreased libido (diminished sexual drive) and other side effects including:

  • Impotence
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Tender or swollen breasts
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Decreased libido (diminished interest in having sex)
  • Headaches
  • Skin rash
  • Runny nose
  • Faintness or sensation of passing out

Many men have complained of serious sexual side effects while taking the medication that often continues after taking the drug has been stopped. In addition, many patients experienced male infertility due to the poor quality of sperm in their semen. That said, no definitive proof has ever been found to indicate that Proscar or Propecia could be the actual cause of the sexual-related problematic side effects.

Men still taking Proscar or Propecia should have a discussion with their physicians about any concern of sexual dysfunction because it is stated as a potential side effect on the warning label, even if the drug is taken in its generic form (finasteride).

Propecia Lawsuits

Since the launch of the male pattern baldness treatment medication was first brought to the medical marketplace, hundreds of Propecia lawsuits have been filed by men seeking financial recompense from its manufacturer Merck and Company. These suits have been filed in both state and federal court by plaintiffs claiming they continue to suffer from serious side effects including cognitive impairment, genital shrinkage, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and poor quality semen.

Many of the plaintiffs are claiming that Merck and Company was aware, or should have been aware, of the severity of many of the sexual adverse reactions and side effects that continue even months after the medication has been discontinued. These plaintiffs are claiming that the accompanying warning label from the drug manufacturer should have reflected the potential risks of sexual dysfunctions and sexual problems more accurately.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) released a 2011 report revealing that many men were continuing to have sexual disorders lasting the 40 months or longer after discontinuing the use of the medication. Since that time, Merck has gone to great lengths to update its warning labels to ensure it includes erectile dysfunction concerns that can occur after the treatment has been discontinued.

By 2015, the numbers of men filing a claim or lawsuit against Merck and Company for violations, failing to warn, negligence, breach of warranty, strict liability, fraudulent concealment, fraud, and defective design had reached 1500 plaintiffs and growing. More than 700 of these cases were filed as an MDL (multidistrict litigation) finasteride (Propecia) lawsuit case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Lawsuits

Lawyers know that many drug makers are more interested in protecting their product than ensuring the safety of the consumer. Even though Propecia is not known to cause death, it has a direct impact on the quality of life of men affected by diminished sexual interest, sexual dysfunction and the loss and the ability to maintain an erection. Their stories are real and so is the damage the medication has caused.

  • In Connecticut – A young Connecticut plaintiff is suing Merck and Company after filing a Propecia sexual dysfunction lawsuit. The man was first prescribed finasteride (the generic version of Propecia) at 26 years old by his physician to treat his male pattern baldness. He had taken the medication for 11 years and at some point started to suffer erectile dysfunction and other related sexual problems. This plaintiff is seeking financial compensation from Merck because of their failure to disclose that drug’s defect and the potential risk of developing Propecia side effects that could include sexual dysfunction.
  • In Illinois – A Champlain resident is suing Merck and Company after filing a Propecia lawsuit claiming that the main ingredient in the medication (finasteride) prescribed to treat his balding hair has caused him to suffer significant pain, cognitive impairment, and sexual dysfunction.
  • In Oklahoma – An Oklahoma plaintiff is claiming he is suffering Propecia sexual side effects that have lasted long after he stopped taking the drug. The plaintiff argues that the treatment for his male pattern baldness has resulted in Propecia cognitive impairment side effects. The man also says that had he been made more aware of the potential risks involved the medication, he never would have taken it.
  • In Utah – A Utah man has filed a Propecia lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and has become part of the multidistrict litigation case to be heard in New York. While the plaintiff will still face Merck and Company in an individual jury trial, the MDL case provides accessible shared resources with other Propecia victims who are suffering from similar side effects and adverse reactions.

Trial cases involving the first Propecia sexual dysfunction cases have yet to be heard in federal court. This is because evidence in front of a judge and jury in the MDL (multidistrict litigation) bellwether trials will not start until September 2017. This includes the more than 700 lawsuits consolidated in U.S. District Judge John Gleeson’s courtroom. Even though the outcome of the bellwether cases will not be binding on the claims and lawsuits filed by other Propecia victims, the trial outcomes allow the law firms handling their case to determine how every jury will likely respond to specific evidence and testimony in their case.

Hundreds of Patients Affected by Adverse Reactions

There has been a correlation between taking Propecia and developing sexual dysfunction, psychic disorders, diminished libido, and other conditions that negatively affect its users. Many of the sexual problems associated with Propecia might be permanent. Even though the drug maker has changed their Propecia warning labels, the updated warnings may be too little too late for many of the patients who have suffered serious side effects for years.

In addition to diminishing men’s sexual drive to the varying levels of testosterone, reducing the normal male hormone levels might lead to an increased vulnerability in developing certain types of cancers including an aggressive form of male prostate cancer. Common side effects not directly related to sexual function have been reported to include mental fogginess, memory loss, and depression.

We Can Fight Aggressively on Your Behalf

Most personal injury law firms lack the type of experience required to fight large pharmaceutical companies for the defective and recall products they have made that harm the consumer. However, as your legal representatives in a Propecia lawsuit, we ensure your rights are protected. If you have suffered an injury caused by the defective medication we know how to build and win your case to ensure a successful financial conclusion.

The reputable Propecia injury case lawyers at Drug Law Center can evaluate your claim through a comprehensive, no-obligation case evaluation at no charge to you. We understand the best way to prepare your lawsuit to ensure we obtain a beneficial settlement offer or bountiful trial award on your behalf. We accept no fees until we have recovered your financial recompense.

Our lawyers are known by drug companies, medical device makers, and insurance companies. Their lawyers understand that we represent our clients to the full extent possible and are ready and willing to go to trial to present evidence in front of a judge and jury when necessary. Because of that, these companies tend to offer the largest possible out-of-court settlement to avoid trial.

Contact us today so we can discuss your legal options and rights. All information you share with our law offices remains confidential. Let our legal team help you determine the amount of compensation your family is entitled to receive. Until the case is resolved, there are no fees.

Sources:
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/hair-implants
http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/finasteride-oral-route/description/drg-20063819
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/020180s037lbl.pdf
https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm299754.htm