The Swedish Medical Products Agency has been gathering reports on men who continue to experience sexual dysfunction side effect even after they stopped taking Propecia and Proscar, or finasteride as it’s also called.

Merck, the major pharmaceutical company who makes Propecia and Proscar has changed labeling in several European countries, alerting patients that sexual effects might be permanent. However, label information in the United States has not been changed.

Finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia is prescribed for male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Propecia is the brand name of the 1-milligram tablet and Proscar is the 5-milligramt tablet.

Known side effects include cognitive impairment, depression and various forms of sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction, reduced libido, and infertility. According to warnings, the sexual dysfunction side effects should “resolve after discontinued use of the drug.” But that may not be the case.

Merck clearly warns against pregnant women touching this drug. Research suggests that the active ingredient, finasteride, may cause abnormalities of a developing male baby’s genitalia.

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