Here is an excerpt from a 2013 article appearing in Journal of Sexual Medicine titled “Neuroactive steroid levels are modified in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma of post-finasteride patients showing persistent sexual side effects and anxious/depressive symptomatology.”:
“Observations performed in a subset of subjects treated with finasteride (an inhibitor of the enzyme 5α-reductase) for male pattern hair loss seem to indicate that sexual dysfunction as well as anxious/depressive symptomatology may occur at the end of the treatment and continue after discontinuation.”
Finasteride is the active ingredient in the hair loss drug Propecia (Merck & Co., Inc.), and has been associated with sexual side effects that continue long after the drug is discontinued. Now, we see that such long-term sexual dysfunction may play a role in the development of two psychiatric ailments, anxiety and depression.
The authors of the above-referenced paper, led by R.C. Melcangi state “A possible hypothesis to explain depression symptoms after finasteride treatment might be impairment in the levels of neuroactive steroids”, and as such, this was the focus of their study.
While it was found that the “Severity and frequency of the anxious/depressive symptoms were quite variable; overall, all the subjects had a fairly complex and constant neuropsychiatric pattern” of those symptoms. And, “assessment of neuroactive steroid levels in patients showed some interindividual differences. However, the most important finding was the comparison of their neuroactive steroid levels with those of healthy controls. Indeed, decreased levels of tetrahydroprogesterone, isopregnanolone and dihydrotestosterone and increased levels of testosterone and 17β-estradiol were reported in cerebrospinal fluid of postfinasteride patients. Moreover, decreased levels of dihydroprogesterone and increased levels of 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol and 17β-estradiol were observed in plasma.”
Essentially, the hypothesis of the team was not falsified, and their explanation of how Propecia patients suffer anxiety and depression in the face of long-term sexual dysfunction is plausible. While this is very important, what may be more important is that individuals using Propecia be aware of these sexual side-effects and the risk for depression prior to taking the drug by way of clear and sufficient warning labels.
Since Merck & Co., Inc. failed time and again to provide such labels, a number of Propecia lawsuits are currently being filed. If you or a loved one used Propecia and suffered sexual side effects, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation from the manufacturer. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Propecia lawyers at the information provided below. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.
(855) 452 – 5529