Google doesn’t lie. Just type in “Propecia” and the world’s largest search engine returns about 6,430,000 results for the hair growth drug.
The vast majority of those results tout how to buy cheap Propecia online. There’s also plentiful information on the generic form of the drug and whether a prescription is required to buy it online.
But there is a dearth of information on the growing controversy inside the medical, research and legal communities on Propecia’s safety, especially the brain altering drug’s persistent and permanent side effects. Propecia is manufactured by drug giant Merck & Co., with annual sales totaling well over $400 million.
A search of Merck’s official Propecia website (www.propecia.com) is not any help as the company has pulled all information on the drug from the Internet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not issued any warnings on the drug’s potential to cause irreversible sexual side effects, even though the agency’s European counterparts have warned of Propecia’s dangers.
Devoid of reliable information from Merck or the FDA, a number of law firms are now offering free educational brochures based in part on research studies published by doctors at the George Washington University and Boston University medical schools on Propecia’s dangerous side effects.
“Every day, I hear from men who say Propecia has shattered their lives,” says Alan Horwitz of the Ingerman & Horwitz LLP law firm (www.ihlaw.com). “In fact, we’ve received so many inquiries questioning Propecia‘s safety, we‘ve developed our own brochure highlighting what we have learned about the drug’s severe side effects.”
A number of other law firms across the country are also offering informational materials. The move comes amid a flurry of lawsuits filed on behalf on men who took the drug.
According to BreakingLawsuitNews.com, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will hear oral arguments on March 29 in San Diego regarding the centralization of all Propecia lawsuits. The online newsletter reports that more than 50 lawsuits have been filed in federal court stating that Merck failed to warn physicians and patients about the long-term side effects of Propecia.
“As my study shows, there are very real sexual health issues that are affecting a population of previously healthy men ranging in age from 21 to 46 years old who took Propecia,” says George Washington University Professor Michael S. Irwig, M.D. whose ground-breaking research was published last year in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Propecia is the brand name for the drug finasteride when it is prescribed in 1mg doses to treat male pattern baldness. (It is sold under the name Proscar when prescribed in 5mg doses to treat enlarged prostate.) The drug’s side effects include erectile dysfunction, impotence, greatly reduced libido, testicular pain, problems with orgasms and Gynecomastia – an over-development of the male.
In 2011, the drug was also linked to high-grade prostate cancer — a rare, fast-moving and very deadly form of the disease — as well as clinical depression and anxiety.
As devastating as these recent revelations are, millions of men who have been prescribed Propecia have no idea that they may be at risk and many doctors continue to prescribe Propecia unaware of the drug’s life-shattering side effects.