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Family Indicates Man Committed Suicide Because of Propecia

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An emergency room doctor alleges that his son committed suicide because of Propecia side effects, after he was left impotent by Merck’s medication for treatment of male hair loss.

Dr. John Santmann joined a protest over Propecia last month outside of Merck & Co.’s New Jersey headquarters, which was designed to bring attention to the company’s inaction in addressing problems with Propecia, which could include permanent erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and depression.

Randy Santmann killed himself in 2008, at the age of 22, after taking Propecia for three years and developing sexual problems from the medication that continued at least six months after he stopped using the drug, according to his family.

Propecia (finasteride) is a prescription medication approved to help restore natural hair loss that occurs in some men. While the warning label has indicated that some men developed erectile dysfunction and other sexual side effects, until recently, the drug maker suggested that such problems resolve when the medication is no longer used.

Although Merck updated the warnings provided in several other countries to indicate that some men reported suffering persistent sexual side effects from Propecia after the hair-loss drug was no longer used, they resisted updating the warnings provided in the United States until April 2012.

A number of men throughout the United States are now pursuing a Propecia lawsuit against Merck for failing to adequately warn about the risks associated with the medication.  Many plaintiffs allege that if they had been provided with accurate information about the risk of long-term sexual dysfunction, they never would have taken the prescription drug to help restore hair loss and improve their appearance.

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