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New Warning for Finasteride

The Food and Drug Administration has modified the labeling information for the hair loss drug Propecia and the prostate medicine Proscar. Both drugs contain finasteride. The labels for both medications now specify that sexual difficulties associated with the drug may linger even after it is discontinued. Problems with libido have been reported with both medications.
The FDA has also required the manufacturer, Merck, to warn that some men taking either medicine have experienced infertility or poor semen quality. These apparent side effects seem to resolve after the drug is stopped. Prior to this change, erectile dysfunction was named in both labels as a potential side effect. The FDA announcement pointed out that only a small percentage of men using these drugs have experienced a sexual adverse event and emphasized that the agency considers finasteride safe and effective for the approved uses.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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