More Men File Propecia Lawsuits Over Persistent Sexual Dysfunction

In recent weeks, a growing number of men have filed lawsuits alleging that they suffered infertility, impotence, erectile dysfunction and other permanent sexual problems due to side effects of Propecia, Merck’s prescription medication for treatment of male pattern hair loss. 

Vincent Mennella and his wife Karen filed a Propecia lawsuit against Merck in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on November 7, alleging that the company failed to warn consumers that Propecia could cause persistent or permanent sexual problems, as well as depression.

Another similar complaint is expected to be filed in New Jersey state court this month on behalf of 40 different plaintiffs who experienced similar sexual dysfunction from Propecia, according to a press release by a Wisconsin law firm.

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Menella began taking Propecia in 2008 for male pattern hair loss and began suffering severe sexual dysfunction and cognitive impairment, the lawsuit claims. His Propecia sexual problems allegedly continued even after he discontinued use of the drug.

Problems suffered by the 40 plaintiffs in the New Jersey filing are similar, including claims for erectile dysfunction, impotence, gynecomastia, loss of libido, genital shrinkage, penile fibrosis and depression.

These are the latest in a growing number of lawsuits over Propecia filed against Merck by men who say that the medication resulted in permanent sexual issues.

Although Merck has warned men in other countries that sexual side effects may be permanent, suits allege that the drug maker has downplayed the Propecia risks in the United States and continues to provide misleading information that suggests the problems will resolve when the medication is stopped.

Label warnings for Propecia in the U.S. indicate that the small number of men who experienced sexual side effects while taking the medication during clinical trials had the dysfunction resolve after stopping the medication. However, recent research and numerous post-marketing reports indicate that many men experience long-term Propecia impotence, infertility and other sexual dysfunction even after the medication is stopped.

In several European countries, Merck updated the Propecia warning label as early as 2008 to indicate that some men experienced persistent problems from Propecia. However, users and doctors in the United States still have not receive that warning. Propecia lawyers who are pursuing potential cases cite a number of doctors who say they have repeatedly told Merck that the sexual problems can be permanent, but have been rebuffed.

Propecia (finasteride) is approved for the treatment of male pattern baldness. It is a low-dose version of Proscar, approved in 1992 for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

In March, researchers from the U.S. published a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that found Propecia side effects were linked to sexual problems in men. Researchers indicated that the class of drugs known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors can cause loss of libido, depression erectile dysfunction, reduced semen production and growth of male breast tissue. They also agreed that in some cases these side effects appeared to be permanent.


  • PaulNovember 16, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    After all, that I have heard about this drug I don’t know if I would dare to touch it. It seems after using this drug you have to visit a doctor and then a Propecia attorney. After all of the problems with this drug i do not understand why is it on the market and how did it get there.

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