A new study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reports that hair-loss drug finasteride (Propecia) may be linked to more than just permanent sexual side effects. The study found that men who experienced sexual dysfunction even after stopping use of the drug also had high rates of depression.
The study reviewed a group of men who developed persistent sexual dysfunction that lasted a minimum of 3 months after the discontinuation of Propecia use. A total of 75% reported symptoms of depression in comparison to about 10% of men in the control group who had not taken the drug.
Symptoms were found to be moderate-to-severe in 64% of the former Propecia users. In the control group, none of the symptoms were moderate-to-severe.
It’s important to note the study found a correlation between Propecia and depression, not a direct causal relationship. The possibility exists that the side effect of sexual dysfunction may be the cause of the depression or vice versa. It’s possible that either side effect can lead to the other and further research is needed to verify the cause of the depression.
“Although the effects of finasteride in the human brain are poorly understood, clinicians, as well as potential finasteride users, should be aware of the serious potential risks of this medication especially as it is being used cosmetically to alter a normal age-related process,” said Michael S. Irwig, MD, of George Washington University in the MedPage Today article.
Propecia Side Effects
Propecia litigation has been growing since the number of men experiencing permanent sexual side effects has continued to increase. Specific sexual side effects associated with this hair-loss drug include:
- Gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) and breast tenderness
- Dimpling of the breast skin
- Inverted nipple
- Lump in the breast or under the arm
- Persistent crusting or scaling of the nipple
- Clear of bloody discharge from the nipple
- Sore on the skin of the breast that doesn’t heal
- Redness or swelling of the breast
- Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss in sexual ability, desire, drive or performance
- Decreased amount of semen
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Testicular pain
To learn more about the study linking Propecia to depression as well as permanent sexual side effects, view this link: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/Depression/34105. You can also explore information provided by the FDA since the increasing number of Propecia litigations and reports of permanent sexual side effects here: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm299754.htm.