Propecia (finasteride) is prescribed to treat male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate. Propecia has been linked to persistent sexual dysfunction, depression, and an increased risk of developing prostate cancer and male breast cancer, as well as other side effects.

Propecia Uses

Propecia is prescribed to treat a specific type of hair loss in men called androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male pattern baldness. It is not used to treat hair loss in women or children and should not even be handled by children or pregnant women.

Propecia is also used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy, which is enlarged prostate gland.

Propecia is in a class of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. These medications block the production of a specific male hormone.

Sexual Side Effects

Propecia can cause the following sexual side effects:

  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Impotence
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Abnormal ejaculation

The sexual side effects of Propecia do not go away when you stop taking the drug. In a 2011 study, 20% of subjects reported continued sexual dysfunction more than six years after they stopped taking Propecia.

Other Side Effects

Other side effects of Propecia can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Memory loss
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Gynecomastia (male breasts)
  • Breast tenderness
  • Breast cancer
  • Increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer

High-grade prostate cancer spreads and grows faster than other types of prostate cancer.

Study Finds Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Linked to Propecia Sexual Dysfunction

A recent study titled “Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Thoughts Among Former Users of Finasteride With Persistent Sexual Side Effects,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatryin August, 2012.

Study author Michael S. Irwig, M.D., interviewed 61 former users of the drug who did not suffer from sexual dysfunction before they started taking finasteride, but were suffering with persistent sexual side effects after taking it.

The results were startling. 44% of former finasteride users reported having suicidal thoughts, 11% had mild symptoms of depression, 28% had moderate symptoms, and 36% had severe symptoms.

Of those in the control group, men with male pattern baldness who had never taken the drug, only three percent reported suicidal thoughts, 10% had mild symptoms of depression, and none had moderate or severe symptoms of depression.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by Propecia use, you may be entitled to compensation. Please, find a Propecia injury attorney in your area right away.