April 17, 2015 — Nearly 750 lawsuits involving persistent sexual side effects of Propecia have been filed in a centralized federal litigation in New York.
The lawsuits have been centralized under Judge John Gleeson in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2331) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Merck & Co., the manufacturer of Propecia, is accused of failing to adequately warn men about the risk of long-term sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction, that can persist long after Propecia is discontinued.
For years, the label on Propecia reassured men that sexual side effects were rare and would improve after stopping the medication:
“A small number of men experienced certain sexual side effects, such as less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen. Each of these side effects occurred in less than 2% of men and went away in men who stopped taking Propecia because of them.”
Unfortunately, a small subset of men say their sexual dysfunction did not resolve and may be permanent. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that side effects could last for months or even years after discontinuing Propecia.
The FDA issued a warning about persistent erectile dysfunction in 2011. The following year, the FDA updated the label again to include persistent libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm disorders.