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Those men who are considering taking the drug finasteride should carefully consider the risk of sexual side effects, according to Consumer Reports. Finasteride is the active ingredient in Propecia and Proscar. Propecia is a medication used by men to combat hair loss. Proscar is used to shrink enlarged prostates.

The Food and Drug Administration recently added warnings to the labels that they have been associated with problems with orgasm, decreased libido, and other sexual issues that may continue after patients stop taking the medication. Last year, both labels were updated to add the possibility of erectile dysfunction. Men who are considering taking these drugs need to weigh their options and determine whether gain is worth the risk.

The FDA updated these labels because there were a good number of individual cases where the patient reported the problems to the FDA and it was linked to the drug company, Merck. Merck manufactures both Propecia and Proscar.

Propecia’s new label addresses the concern that patients who have used this medication in some cases reported decreased libido, problems with orgasm and problems with ejaculation. These issues continued to occur post-drug use; in some cases lasting beyond three months after the patient stopped ingesting the drug. Proscar’s new label informs users that patients who stopped taking the medication did report a decreased libido. In some cases, the side effect continued for at least several weeks.

Also, the newly updated labels on both Propecia and Proscar mention that there have been reports of male infertility while on the medication.

The risk of sexual issues, including erectile dysfunction and reduced libido, has long been associated with Propecia but was always touted as temporary. Men were told that the issues would go away as soon as Propecia use was discontinued. Two studies published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine have found that the sexual issues linked to Propecia may continue after use of the drug has stopped. The study published in the March 2011 issue revealed that 5 to 23 percent of men experienced sexual side effects. Even worse, according to the study’s author, the side effects did not subside for half of those men. If you are someone who is looking at one of these medications, take serious consideration in evaluating the side effects.

Our firm is working with men across the country who have been affected by Propecia and Proscar. If you have questions, we will be glad to see if we can help you. Our toll free number is (800) 641-0098 or you can reach us at to reach us via email.

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