Propecia Side Effects: Court let Merck hide secrets about baldness drug's risks

Nelson Vergel

Use of the drug remains widespread. It is now sold as Propecia and, since 2013, in generic versions under the chemical name finasteride. Last year alone, finasteride was prescribed for hair loss more than 1.6 million times in the United States, according to healthcare data company IQVIA. U.S. President Donald Trump has taken it, according to summaries of his past two annual physical exams.

From 2009 to 2018, the FDA received about 5,000 reports of sexual side effects or mental health side effects – and in many cases, both – occurring in men who took Propecia. Of those, about 350 reported suicidal thoughts, and about 50 said a patient committed suicide. The data do not show whether the symptoms resolved after stopping the drug."

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