How Bad Are Finasteride Side Effects for Men Using Propecia?

Just how serious can finasteride side effects get if hundreds of men are now filing lawsuits against the manufacturer?

And how successful is this drug anyway?

Propecia is one of the most highly profitable hair loss products ever, bringing in millions of dollars to the manufacturer (Merck) every year.

So, despite the many possible side effects (as you’ll see below) this product is still regarded as the treatment of choice for thousands of men with hair loss (androgenetic alopecia).

Does It Really Work?

The reason why so many men choose Propecia is almost certainly because it has FDA approval to treat hair loss following positive results in clinical trials:

Successful trials?

The official Propecia website states that results show finasteride can help hair grow on the crown of the head (vertex) and the middle front area.

Finasteride pills

But it also states that it’s "not known" whether or not it can help with a receding hairline. This, despite 5 years of clinical trials!

Anyway, those men who took part in the trials experienced the following:

1. A decrease in their rate of hair loss.

2. They managed to keep the hair they already had.

3. The appearance of their hair improved.

4. They could see new hair growing.

5. A reduction in bald spot size.

The official website states that 9 out of 10 men experienced these positive results.

But, I’m not so sure…

The website states that about half (48%) saw some hair regrowth and another 42% experienced no further hair loss. So, together this gives the 90% success rate.

However, 25% of those men taking a placebo (sugar pill) also had "no further hair loss". So this suggests it might only be 17% who managed to stop their hair loss from the actions of the drug (i.e., 42% minus 25%).

If you then add the 17% to the 48% (i.e., those who had some hair regrowth) you get 65%. So it seems more likely to me that approximately 2 out of 3 men will either stop their hair loss or experience some hair regrowth as well.

Sugar pill or Propecia pill?

But whichever way you look at the numbers, this drug did produce positive results, did get FDA approval, and did enter the market. This, alongside plenty of news coverage, press exposure and heavy marketing, meant that millions of men with hair loss started using finasteride.

And that’s a lot of potential lawsuits if serious side effects start to develop...

Finasteride Side Effects Using Propecia for Hair Loss

Reports on how common finasteride side effects are, do vary quite a bit. The official website states that each of the side effects occurred in less than 2% of the men in the trials.

But, in one small trial (54 men) it’s been reported that 96% had reproductive organ problems some months after they stopped taking the drug.

And in between these two extremes are other reports which state that the number of men who actually bother to report side effects is between just 5% and 10%. Which, of course, strongly suggests that many men feel embarrassed to report the side effects (which often involve erectile dysfunction) to their doctor.

Anyway, here’s a comprehensive list of the side effects that have been reported - I did intend to list them in increasing order of severity, but they all seem pretty bad to me!

  • Allergies to tablet ingredients (causing swelling, rashes, etc).

  • Eye problems – cataracts and floppy-iris syndrome. 

  • Interference with muscle growth.

  • Heart problems.

  • Depression. 

  • Decrease in libido.

  • Decrease in the volume of ejaculate.
  • Erectile dysfunction and impotence.

  • Development of penile curvature and reduction in penile size.

  • Scrotum pain.

  • Testicular pain and testicular degeneration.

  • Breast disorders – nipple discharge, pain, lumps, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), breast cancer.
Undesirable finasteride side effects

Note: Any side effects you do experience can continue even after you stop taking the drug. Obviously, if you experience any of these side effects you really do need to tell your doctor.

In my ebook "How Not to Stop Hair Loss" there are some pretty strong arguments from scientists, customers and myself against using this drug. This ebook also reveals quite a few secrets about other mainstream hair regrowth products and treatments, and why I think you should avoid them like the plague!

Propecia Lawsuits

After giving its approval for Propecia to treat hair loss, it then took twenty years for the FDA to report that there could be serious side effects from finasteride!

So that’s a surprisingly long time before both the warnings came out and the lawsuits against Merck began to appear.

But, appear they did!

Propecia lawsuit activity has now increased – hundreds of men have now joined dozens of class-action (i.e., group) lawsuits filed against the manufacturer Merck following the harm they claim this drug has caused them.

Lawsuit activity

And that so many are now beginning to take the fight to Merck (on the grounds of product liability) strongly suggests that they did not receive adequate warning about the potentially devastating side effects finasteride can cause. Today, Merck do post some such warnings on their Propecia website, but for how long this has been the case is not clear.

However, any manufacturer surely has a duty of care to its customers, and a responsibility to ensure that thorough testing for consumer safety is done before any new product enters the market.

Any man who took Propecia in the past who was unaware of the full list of potential finasteride side effects due to insufficient labeling, probably has a very strong case.

Other, more recent Propecia victims might have read all about the potential risks beforehand. But, because (official) statistics show there's only a very small percentage of men who suffer serious side effects, they thought they'd be safe.

Big mistake!

On the next page, learn all about Proscar and the risk of finasteride side effects to women and children.

This is page 1 of 3.

Read next page? Finasteride Side Effects: Proscar Problems.

Return to Hair Loss Product Reviews Index.

Note: Image for illustrative purposes only - actual Propecia pills not shown.

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