Published in the January, 2013 edition of Expert Opinion on Drug Safety, an article by S. Gur and a team of researchers from Tulane University (New Orleans) titled “Effects of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors on erectile function, sexual desire and ejaculation.” provides important insight into the connection between finasteride (Propecia, Proscar, others) and adverse sexual side effects.

Finasteride belongs to a greater class of drugs known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARI), and are “commonly utilized for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).”  An example of such a drug is Proscar, which uses finasteride at 5mg daily doses.

To gather data, the team performed “A PubMed search … of all articles from 1990 to present, which reported any sexual side effects with finasteride or dutasteride.”  After statistical analysis, the team showed that “Clinical trials with 5ARI report prevalence rates of de novo erectile dysfunction of 5 – 9%. Decreased circulating dihydrotestosterone (DHT) resulting from 5ARI use is associated with diminished sexual desire and/or orgasm. The presence of adverse sexual effects is associated with decreased self-esteem, quality of life and ability to maintain an intimate relationship. Inhibition of 5ARI additionally influences progesterone and deoxycorticosterone levels and may alter psychological functions, including increased depression, melancholy and loss of general well being.”

Accordingly, the team recommends that “Patients receiving therapy with 5ARI should be counseled as to potential sexual and psychological adverse effects”, and suggests that “Future clinical studies are needed to further investigate the sexual side effects associated with this class of drugs.”

Due to the fact that many people have used these drugs unaware of the risk for sexual side effects, a number of Propecia lawsuits and Proscar lawsuits have been filed.  If you or a loved one used Propecia or Proscar and suffered sexual side effects, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Proscar lawyers and Propecia lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.

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