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Merck's Drug Propecia Linked To Sexual Dysfunction

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the bald-man's-dilemma dept.

Medicine 235

zaxios writes "Merck — the pharmaceutical giant previously featured on Slashdot for drawing up a 'hit list' of doctors that criticized its drug Vioxx, and creating a fake medical journal to endorse its products — is embroiled in a new scandal. USA Today is reporting on two new studies that show Propecia, Merck's $250 million prescription medication for baldness, can make men irreversibly impotent. Lawsuits have been filed in the United States and Canada from men claiming to have permanently lost their sexual function after taking the drug. All this is reminiscent of Merck's difficulties with Vioxx, a once $2.5-billion-a-year drug, which was withdrawn from the market in 2004 after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke in users."

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Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765742)

...Propecia is an anti-androgen! Duh.

Re:Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (3, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765814)

This is the correct answer.

Anyone that doesn't understand this shit should be suing their doctor for not telling them, not the drug company.

Re:Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (1)

codeAlDente (1643257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765872)

Nobody should be suing anybody, especially older, crisis-stricken men who don't want to be raising no childrens anyhow. Props to zaxios for calling out the Merck fraudsters.

Re:Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765894)

...which was withdrawn from the market in 2004 after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke in users.

So surely the current drug is a win/win, when you're impotent you get a MUCH lower incidence of users that stroke.

Re:Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766112)

Nobody should be suing anybody, especially older, crisis-stricken men who don't want to be raising no childrens anyhow.

Truly, there are waaaaay more old men with wood than pervs who want them. Though I suppose it's a boon to the sex workers.

Re:Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766170)

Truly, there are waaaaay more old men with wood than pervs who want them. Though I suppose it's a bone to the sex workers.

FTFY

Re:Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766158)

You can still want wood even if you don't want kids.

Re:Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766382)

The old, bald men want new hair to attract young women to have sex with, not to raise kids.

Re:Uh, of course it causes impotence, dumbasses... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766152)

>>Anyone that doesn't understand this shit should be suing their doctor for not telling them, not the drug company.

Yeah, I looked at propecia once (a friend was on it, but it certainly didn't seem to affect his sex drive), saw the mechanism of action and that was basically that. No way I was going to fuck with my body's hormone balance in order to keep (it doesn't even regrow) hair. It comes as absolutely no surprise to me that it can affect one's sex drive.

Rogaine, by comparison, was used as a drug to lower blood pressure, which is also something I could probably use, so I went with that instead.

Frankly this lawsuit shit.. (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766210)

Really needs to DIAF. I mean sure, if the drug company lies? Bust their asses, shut them down. but too many drugs, drugs that can save lives and make folks lives better, are being taken off the market not by lies but by douches that don't follow directions and that is total bullshit! If my doc explains the pros and cons of a drug and I agree to take it it should be between my doc and myself not some ambulance chasing scumbag!

I had this one personally bite me in the ass in the 80s. There was a drug called Tegison which was like a miracle cure for the form of psoriatic arthritis that left me crippled after a traumatic bike wreck triggered the recessive gene and caused my immune system to go haywire. No side effects, it was like heaven.

So what happened? Simple before they would even give you the drug you had to watch 30 minutes worth of films and sign a ton of agreements agreeing not to have children because it would cause flipper babies, so a couple of stupid whores watched the films, signed the papers and promptly got knocked up and then sued the company right out of existence by popping out a couple of mutants.

It didn't matter what they saw or signed, all it took was some scumbag lawyer showing pics of horribly fucked up kids (even though it was the bitch's fault and she should have been thrown in jail for doing that to a kid) and he got them an assload of money. Next thing you know OTHER women are showing up wanting a check (which means I have no doubt they purposely got preg on the drug to cash in) and the company simply quit making it rather than risk more suits. My pharmacist was nice enough to buy every single box he could possibly find when he heard, even going so far as to contact drug suppliers in South America, but eventually it dried up and it was nearly 6 years before they found anything else that would work.

That is 6 YEARS of pain I wouldn't have had to go through if those bitches and their leech wouldn't have been able to pull that shit (may they die of cancer) so it is time for some REAL reforms! I propose that there be an ironclad "no suing, do not pass go, GTFO" contract that any doctor be allowed to use with a drug, so bullshit lawsuits like the one that hurt me end for good. There were people willing to take the risk for what Vioxx did for them too, now they get to suffer thanks to a leech.

Whether a drug is worth the risk for the benefits should be up to the PATIENT, not some damned ambulance chaser!

Thought they knew that years ago (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765882)

If it wasn't Propecia, maybe it was a different anti-baldness pill, but I remember a coworker commenting about it back in the ?late 90s?. I don't remember whether he decided to take the pill or not, though.

Re:Thought they knew that years ago (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765982)

There's a similar problem with women's birth control pills:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/35663.php [medicalnewstoday.com]

Messing with hormones could also alter the sort of people you find attractive:
http://www.livescience.com/2781-pill-women-pick-bad-mates.html [livescience.com]

Re:Thought they knew that years ago (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766094)

If it wasn't Propecia, maybe it was a different anti-baldness pill, but I remember a coworker commenting about it back in the ?late 90s?. I don't remember whether he decided to take the pill or not, though.

Your coworker was probably commenting on the possibility of temporary impotence while taking the medication. That can be a common side effect with medication and especially when a person is on multiple medications at once.

Permanent impotence after you stop taking the medication is a big difference.

It's somewhat ironic that you can get that result from a lifestyle drug designed only to fill out your hair and highlights why medication should not be taken unless absolutely necessary. (And it sucks for the men taking it for enlarged prostate.)

Re:Thought they knew that years ago (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766130)

They need Viagrogaine -- gives you plenty of hair and what you need down there! What're you waiting for, loser?

Re:Thought they knew that years ago (5, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766140)

Unfortunately it only grows pubic hair. Would have been a hit in the 70s, but these days...

Re:Thought they knew that years ago (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766290)

Reminds me of "Don't mess with the Zohan"... somehow.....

Re:Thought they knew that years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766200)

You neglect to take into account the possibility that some men care about losing their hair than about being impotent. I probably do, for example.

Read more carefully: 'irreversible' impotence (4, Interesting)

zaxios (776027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766334)

Propecia is an antiandrogen, and has always been known to cause sexual dysfunction while the user was on the drug. What's significant about these new studies is that they show that sexual dysfunction can persist AFTER you stop taking Propecia. That contradicts what Merck has always said - their product guidance warns of sexual side effects but expressly states that they always stop after ceasing the drug - and the advice that doctors give to patients considering taking Propecia. That's why there's a lawsuit - no one was ever warned that these sexual side effects might be permanent.

In fact, it remains a mystery how the drug could have this effect: its half life is only a few days, and it really should be ceasing any effect within that time. At least one doctor (Dr Alan Jacobs, a neuroendocrinologist in NYC) is speculating that Propecia is inducing permanent changes to the expression of genes governing the androgen system. IANAD so I express no view on that.

If you want to learn more about this issue, go to propeciahelp.com. There are people there who have been suffering from post-Propecia symptoms - not just sexual dysfunction, but other symptoms associated with low testosterone like cognitive impairment, fatigue, etc - for upwards of 10 years after stopping Propecia. If that's not worth a big payout from a pharma company that expressly told that that all side effects would cease after taking the medication, I'm not sure what is.

So let me get this straight... (2)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765746)

You take a pill to cure baldness, ostensibly because you find your lack of hair hampers your ability to get laid. But after taking the pills you end up with a full head of hair and maybe even a woman because of it, and you're unable to perform?

Seems like you're damned if you do, damned if you dont...

Nah (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765754)

Self-confidence, social ability, and how you dress are more important than your hair.

Re:Nah (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765770)

Hey c'mon, everybody knows Picard got more than Riker, and just look at the hair HE had :D

Re:Nah (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765922)

Pure speculation. We know Riker got Troi, but Picard...well, all we know was he was an old, unmarried, childless Frenchie. You may presume that he got more alien tang, but such is never brought to light.

Re:Nah (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766030)

Pure speculation. We know Riker got Troi, but Picard...well, all we know was he was an old, unmarried, childless Frenchie. You may presume that he got more alien tang, but such is never brought to light.

Au contraire, mon frère!

Picard got Vash [memory-alpha.org] FTW.

(There was also Nella Daren [memory-alpha.org] , but I always thought she was fairly ordinary.)

Re:Nah (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766084)

Even so, Riker had a regular source; Picard had two flings. Personally, I'd take the former--a regular source that might get frequent headaches--than the irregular that might have some strange super-AIDS that the Federation hadn't zapped yet.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766040)

Seems to me this drug is the perfect punishment for rapists.

Re:Nah (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766134)

I always remember Patrick Stewart for throwing that red shawl around his shoulders and asking, "Can I do this, or do I look like some sort of gay superhero?" in the film Jeffrey, as well as his roles as Picard and Captain Ahab. That man can seriously act.

Re:Nah (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766314)

Definitly.

And he even manages that when you watch Captain Ahab, you DONT think of the other captain.

Or compare the two "crewmember ages fast in alternate reality" episodes.

"The inner light" was fantasic acting. I completly forgot about the enterprise while watching this almost unrelated 45mins . And then take the VOY episode where 7of9 transforms into an old woman. Or rather transforms into y young woman with a grey wig and painted on wrinkels. That was one of the worst moments of acting on TV ever seen! (And I really enjoyed Knight Rider back when I was a kid)

Re:Nah (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765952)

comment left to un-do an unintentional mod.

Re:Nah (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766322)

And what about the other, obviously wig-wearing captain with the ripped shirts?

Re:Nah (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766364)

A toupée is not a wig, that is like comparing a tribble to a chinchilla.

Re:Nah (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765808)

I always think of this whenever the subject of hair loss/baldness comes up:

As for me, I'm approaching 50, don't have quite as much hair as I used to, and I'm now living with the most womderful (and goddamned gorgeous) woman it's ever been my pleasure to be with.

ExecSummary: Whenever one of those Hair Club For Men adverts comes on telly, I just laugh all the way to the bedroom. :)

Re:Nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765822)

Hair is way more important than clothes. Especially with younger girls.

Re:Nah (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765850)

Hell, is there not a claim that baldness is a signal of genetic strength? At least if one was living back among the trees, living long enough to start balding would indicate some level of disease resistance.

But then modern advertising have turned all the typical sexual signals topsy turvy...

Re:Nah (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765904)

Actually, since Propecia works by disrupting some kind of testosterone-related hormone -- which is presumably why it causes impotence in the long run -- baldness might very well be an indicator of virility.

Re:Nah (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765986)

baldness might very well be an indicator of virility

It is, and this has been proven since the 1970's! Men with less tetesterone usually keep a full head of hair - but they are often more "womanly". A great book on the subject is Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps [amazon.co.uk] . Sounds sexist, but it's very fact-based - women and men don't think alike, and this book explains even teh gay. It all comes down to how much of the 'correct' hormone your particular chomosome pair receives...

Re:Nah (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766064)

Yep, that was the word i was unable to recall. thanks.

Re:Nah (3, Informative)

pieterh (196118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766270)

It's not so much about genetic strength as about power. Here is the explanation in evolutionary psychology terms.

Male pattern baldness is an evolved feature that relies on hormonal pathways to trigger. Evolved, meaning it gives an advantage in terms of more success with women, more kids, kids who live longer, and do better.

Why would going prematurely bald give a man success? The reason is, IMO, about power. Men instinctively trust older men (who know more, have survived, are worth listening to). Premature baldness makes a man look older than he really is. That's a sneaky way to grab power. It demands intelligence, because unless you're smarter than your peers you can't fool them into following you. So there's an inherent association between baldness and smartness.

I once studied the 100 most powerful people in the UK (Economist report). 4 were women, 96 were men. Of the 96, a significant number were bald, but there was no correlation between baldness and age. I.e., as many younger men with power were as bald as older men.

Now, as to why men worry about losing their hair? I'd guess, insecurity. Going bald is a gambit, a risk. Obviously you lose attractiveness to women who are looking for a long term partner. You're unlikely to find a woman who wants to settle and raise a family. But if you can pull it off, and get men to follow you, you get power, and a lot of women find that irresistible.

So the anti-baldness industry caters to insecure men, just as the beauty industry caters to insecure women. Another reason for being proudly bald, it shows not only that you're a born leader of men, smarter than average, and the latest in a long line of winners, but also that you're confident.

Re:Nah (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766324)

Is there not a connection between stress and early balding as well?

Re:Nah (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765860)

The shape of your skull does matter more if you are bald though.

Some men look fine bald (good even) whereas others would be better off with hair hiding the shape of their skull.

Re:Nah (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765876)

Self-confidence, social ability, and how you dress are more important than your hair.

The Myth is dead. Long live the Myth.

Re:Nah (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765902)

Self-confidence, social ability, and how you dress are more important than your hair.

For many people, losing their hair hurts their self-confidence, which hurts their social ability.
It shouldn't matter, but it doesn't.

Re:Nah (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765958)

Mostly because of a gadzillion commercials telling them they are complete losers who can never get laid again if they don't have hair. Some claim they should take a pill, others say they should have a wig glued on (but don't say it that plainly), a few suggest surgically moving their hair around and one or two even claim they should spraypaint their scalps hair colored. The only common thread is "you're a total loser, but if you give us eleventy jillion bucks you can resemble an actual human being again".

Re:Nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766078)

"Girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money..."

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

fivevoltforest (2012744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765762)

If the drug also made you grow facial hair, I would say that moustache rides would still be an option.

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765768)

But you're damned less if you don't. Chicks dig the Patrick Stewart look. It's true, I heard it on the internet.

Thought they knew that years ago (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765880)

If it wasn't Propecia, maybe it was a different anti-baldness pill, but I remember a coworker commenting about it back in the late 90s. I don't remember whether he decided to take the pill or not, though.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765884)

Seems like you're damned if you do, damned if you dont...

Unless your girl knows a thing or two about what causes baldness... like Christine Lavin [youtube.com] does...

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765968)

Seems like you're damned if you do, damned if you dont...

There are always options, the difference is in who profits.

From the fine slashdot summary:

Propecia ... can make men irreversibly impotent.

From the fine article:

In a small percentage of cases, symptoms persisted even after the medication was stopped.

For those men, "it's a life sentence," said lead researcher Abdulmaged M. Traish, a professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine.

"No sex. No desire. Potential depression," Traish added.

Translation: taking the drug takes the man's ability to have an erection away. Just stopping the drug isn't enough to restore normal function. There's no way for the pharmaceutical industry to earn $2.5 billion dollars a year on unpatentable nutritional therapy, acupuncture needles, botanicals, etc, so it is better for "Wall Street" to lose a few lawsuits and let men think that they're irreparably damaged than to put a chink in their own armor [urbandictionary.com] . (Reference for "Wall Street's" takeover of medical education, which mostly limits doctors' training to drugs & surgery: 100 years of medical robbery [mises.org] ).

I have a friend who uses acupuncture points to help men get their woodies back. She is developing several lines of informational products that show how to hold specific points to restore and enhance male sexual function. Her marketing advisor said to get this domain name: Energy Viagra For Long Lasting Sex [energyviag...ingsex.com] , that by the time the "blue pill" trademark holder comes after her she'll be famous and won't need to use that domain anymore.

"Energy Viagra" is for impotence... I think her premature ejaculation package is almost done...

Put an email address into the box and she'll be sure to let you know how to order her DVDs. :)

Acupuncture for impotence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766120)

I have a friend who uses acupuncture points to help men get their woodies back. ...

Sure. I'll just wait for the peer-reviewed study, thanks. Maybe you should contact the plaintiffs, though. I bet they'd try anything.

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766156)

That was the most elaborate viagra spam comment I've ever seen. I think we just reached the singularity.

oh yeah, completely forgot about the spammers (1)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766180)

Thanks for the comment. My friend is trying to figure out how to market her information. Like the other guy said, perhaps we should look up the plaintiffs in these lawsuits and send some letters.

Ironic (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765760)

At last! I can correctly use that word.

This drug really screws up female fertility (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765776)

20 years ago, I knew a lady who worked at Merck, about the time Propecia was "discovered". In reality, it was developed as a drug for another purpose (something to do with the prostate) and the hair growth was a side effect. She, and no other females, were allowed in the production area, as exposure caused irreversible infertility in females, and it was really bad for pregnant women.

Re:This drug really screws up female fertility (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765928)

IIRC many drugs were discovered this way - through a side effect they had while targeting a different problem.

The irony of it is that one wants to stop baldness to get more chicks, while the end result is putting themselves out of the genetic pool. Evolution is an evil bitch.

Re:This drug really screws up female fertility (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765946)

Kind of like the Gardisil vaccine which was announced for young girls - supposedly around the age of twelve - to prevent HPV and possible cancer, later in life. Dumbass parents were against it, however (not because it was rational to look into any testing that was actually done or anything, but because they thought that protecting their children for the rest of their lives by giving them a shot at twelve would cause them to immediately start fucking on the way out of the doctor's office).

In fact, Merck lobbied heavily to get the government to make the vaccine a requirement for any girl 11-12 years of age attending public school.

Anyway, it didn't take off. Partially due to the above and partially due to various other criticisms by the medical profession (such required vaccines typically being to prevent things casually spread, such as mumps; not sexually transmitted).

Anyway, that having not become the huge cash cow the drug industry was hoping for, it magically turned into a cancer-prevention drug for girls and boys the following year. If that doesn't take off, I'm sure they'll find that it's also a great on-going treatment for low blood pressure or erectile dysfunction or a fantastic food additive or something. Gotta keep finding a way to make money off of it, of course.

Re:This drug really screws up female fertility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765978)

Anyway, it didn't take off. Partially due to the above and partially due to various other criticisms by the medical profession (such required vaccines typically being to prevent things casually spread, such as mumps; not sexually transmitted).

Anyone who thinks STDs aren't spread "casually" is fooling themselves.

*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766002)

No, it's kind of nothing like that.

DHT is pretty much *the* cause of baldness. Finasteride bitchslaps DHT like Stallman bitchslaps closed source software.

Give you a guess as to what the T in DHT stands for. Yes, that's right, testosterone.

Finasteride does have a dual purpose - dealing with baldness, and dealing with prostate issues. Both of which are, in fact, exacerbated by DHT. Because it's dealing with sexual hormones and their biproducts, yes - there is indeed a risk of sexual side effects. Personally, I find that this being a shock to anyone to be pointedly absurd. Admittedly, I'm rather biased, having grown up in a medically inclined family. Call me crazy, but I tend to, yanno, look up what the hell pills I take actually do and what they can potentially affect.

Regardless of whether or not the symptoms list on the drug (which did include sexual side effects) was clear enough or not - well, sorry, there is at least no such nonsense as some 'big evil pharma switcheroo' going on.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766178)

You're right - milking as much as you can out of a drug in whatever way you can weasel it into addressing as many "problems" as possible is absolutely nothing at all like milking as much as you can out of a drug in whatever way you can weasel it into addressing as many "problems" as possible.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766232)

DHT is just one of the contributing factors. There are many causes of baldness and DHT plays important role in some of them - but it's not the only cause. For androgenic alopecia there are other factors such as environmental pollution, metabolic syndrome, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, thyroid problems, weak heart, extensive destructive stress, C-reactive protein, low SHBG, demodex folliculorum infection, out of order immunity response (thymus), exposure to radiation, lack of aerobic exercise, low amount of blood serum L-carnitine, disrupted NOX pathways (arginine, miNOXidil), low levels of superoxide dismutase and glutathione antioxidants, seborrheic dermatitis, or perhaps even genetically hardcoded amount of follicle cycles.

You want to have free testosterone for both improving your (spatial) brain function and having your hair OK - once FT gets converted to DHT by 5-alpha reductase enzyme (5-AR) you don't see any benefits from having testosterone, not even in sexual function. DHT is a contributing factor to both hair loss and prostate cancer. Having low FT and high DHT is the prevailing condition in old men, hence it is often called "old men" profile.

As for treatments, Propecia targets 5-AR - by impairing your body's ability to produce 5-AR - FT gets converted to DHT slower. However, hair follicles are able to convert FT to DHT too. Then there is an immunity system attack on these follicles causing common scalp redness and nobody understands why.

Minoxidil (Rogaine) targets disrupted NOx pathways in scalp, alcohol inside however damages scalp. Curcumin and L-Carnitine lower TNF-alpha and C-reactive protein. Thymus extracts could possibly benefit lower immunity response. Low-Level Laser Therapy can help heal microscopic wounds, increase superoxide dismutase release and perhaps also getting rid of demodex folliculorum infection. Vitamin E and selenium help getting seborrheic dermatitis in check (with the help of ketacenazole - Nizoral, sulphur shampoos, apple cider vinegar, onion juice or apple procyanidins). Refined sugar (e.g. sugar without fibre as in fruits and vegetables) exaggerates metabolic syndrome present often in balding men. Sexual abstinence helps to lower chemical stress levels.

So, overall, there are many components and relations between them are to a large extent unknown. Some of the aforementioned methods would work for somebody, but would cause nothing to someone else. All of them have sideeffects and one should decide if their danger is worth having a head full of hair.

balls takes a falls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765782)

A drug with anti-androgenic properties causes sexual dysfunction in men -- what a surprise!

Lesser of 2 hairy heads (1)

get_your_guns (1380583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765798)

I would gladly swap the hair on one head to the other head, too bad no pill for that.

hmmm. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765800)

the moral is, don't mess with your health if you can avoid it. we just don't know enough yet.....

Re:hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766118)

we just don't know enough yet.....

Oh, they know. It's just not profitable to let us know.

Not surprised (5, Interesting)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765806)

I'm transsexual and take testosterone blockers in order to help feminise my body, and changes in sex drive were quite noticeable. Propecia's active substance, finasteride, is essentially a testosterone blocker ( thou admittedly a weaker one than what I am taking ) so I'm not at all surprised it can have such side effects.

Re:Not surprised (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765824)

ok

Re:Not surprised (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765942)

I'm transsexual and take testosterone blockers in order to help feminise my body, and changes in sex drive were quite noticeable. Propecia's active substance, finasteride, is essentially a testosterone blocker ( thou admittedly a weaker one than what I am taking ) so I'm not at all surprised it can have such side effects.

LOL trannys are worse than gays.

Re:Not surprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766006)

LOL trannys are worse than gays.

LOL anonymous trolls are worse than trannys and queers.

Re:Not surprised (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766032)

LOL trannys are worse than gays.

All you have to contribute is ignorance?

I read quite a comprehensive study last year about the topic of transsexuality, I don't remember if it was here or some other site, but there were several brain surgeons who studied the brains of transsexual people. All of them noted that there were several differences in the brain that didn't match the physical gender they were supposed to belong to, and in fact did resemble more the brains of the opposite gender. The conclusion in the study was that transsexuality is indeed atleast partly a physical phenomenon and thus there is nothing that can be done about it and it isn't somehow the transsexual person's own fault.

It was quite an interesting read and somewhat eye-opening. And you definitely need some of the latter.

Same here (2)

Myria (562655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766026)

I'm transsexual and take testosterone blockers in order to help feminise my body, and changes in sex drive were quite noticeable. Propecia's active substance, finasteride, is essentially a testosterone blocker ( thou admittedly a weaker one than what I am taking ) so I'm not at all surprised it can have such side effects.

Same, though I'm on both finasteride and spironolactone. This is very much a desirable side effect for us. =)

I just hope that this doesn't result in a massive recall and them stopping making it. Finasteride in higher doses is used as part of a prostate cancer treatment regimen for analogous reasons to this "side effect", so hopefully the drug won't go away completely.

Re:Same here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766052)

Finasteride in higher doses is used as part of a prostate cancer treatment regimen for analogous reasons to this "side effect", so hopefully the drug won't go away completely.

It's actually much cheaper than Propecia too. I got a doc to write me a prescription for finastride and I used a pill cutter to take a quarter pill a day. It was 10x cheaper per mg than Propecia.

More relevant to this discusion - when the prescription ran out (took two years since 180 pills lasted for 720 days) I decided not to renew and for the first two weeks I had a raging hard-on like I was a teenager again and then my hair started to fall back out. If I could get the hard-on effect by qutting after just a week or two on the drug, I'd probably go for it. As for the hair? I just wear a hat now.

Re:Same here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766116)

No offense* girls(?), but: So you are the “women” here on Slashdot? Following the motto “If they don’t come, we’ll make them ourselves!” XD

I bet we’re very tolerant and friendly to transsexuals. After all we’re so horny, we’d bang anything that isn’t nailed to the floor. ;) (Ok, then again, maybe we’re “too” friendly, if you know what I mean.)

Re:Same here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766346)

If you have to say "no offense", you obviously already know what you're about to say is offensive, so why bother going ahead and saying it.

Re:Not surprised (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766354)

you freakshows should just learn to accept who and what you are, instead of helping to normalize a hatred of everything hetero-male in society. in your pursuit to promote your own acceptance, you trample on others'. no matter how much of that drug you take, you will never fool anyone into thinking you're anything but a transsexual. you will never be a woman. get over it.

Re:Not surprised (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766368)

Faggot.

Jeeze (2)

seifried (12921) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765852)

With all the side effects these newer drugs seem to have (rushed warning at the end of the commercials, full page ads with a full page warning on the opposite side) and their cost and dubious effectiveness I really have to wonder how sane people are.

Re:Jeeze (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765948)

It's even worse: when my dad's health was deteriorating due to multiple heart/circulation/obesity problems, he had to take about 20 pills per day. Most of them were used to prevent the side effects of the main active ingredients. Sometimes you will see in the same pill both the active ingredient targeting the problem together with its side-effect inhibitor. It's a whack-a-mole situation.

However, risking your health to get some more hair on your scalp is totally insane. People may be stupid, but pharma companies are criminals to exploit their stupidity.

Re:Jeeze (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766092)

More scary warnings sell better. Cigarette companies figure that out a while ago, so has big pharma.

Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765866)

I remember the tv ads for this "drug." It was one of the first pharm commercials to give a long, long list of side effects and dire warnings.

Bald works for some guys, definitely not for others. Luck of the draw; not everybody is Patrick Stewart or even Jason Alexander. It's weird, but some head shapes / baldness patterns seem to speak to us at some primitive level, and even though they can seem *very* similar, some say "do not mate" and others say "yes mate." Of course there are similar observations one can make on a broad spectrum of individual features. (Why does "a big butt" work on "Jennifer Lopez", but on your mom it's a "fat ass"?)

Re:Surprised? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765996)

If your baldness pattern is unappealing, shave the rest off.

News for Nerds? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765878)

How is impotence relevant to the Slashdot demographic?

Re:News for Nerds? (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765932)

Impotence, not getting laid...it's the same thing to the human race.

Re:News for Nerds? (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766172)

How is impotence relevant to the Slashdot demographic?

Keyboarding, man!

Impotent WoW players have twice the keyboarding speed as regular WoW players. That's just unfair!

Not useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765886)

You can make a study to show anything you want, and it works both ways - pharmaceutical companies do it and so do independent researchers, intentionally or unintentionally. Would have to know details on the study, how well it was randomized, blinded, size of study, all kinds of shit.

Not that it's surprising - something that fucks with your hormones dampens sex drive, news at 11. I don't know why I as a juror would give some idiot taking hormone affecting drugs to keep his hair money because his dick went limp.

Call the CEO immediately! (3, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765898)

Put him in charge of the FDA

Re:Call the CEO immediately! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765992)

Why not? That's how the whole Sacchrine/Nutrasweet thing finally reached shelves.

Anyway, the Merck CEO also is on the board of Exxon, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the lead attorney for Merck
  a few years ago during all the lawsuits over its Vioxx drug (which was associated with increased heart attack and stroke risks).

Not interested in anything to cure baldness (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765924)

I had shoulder length hair as a teenager, then around my mid 20's I noticed it had thinned out a bit on top, and the long hair thing was starting to look a bit sad, so I cut it all off and now sport a #1 clipper cut. I know a bit about the sorts of hormone interaction that causes baldness and it seems kind of obvious that unless you can find something that specifically affects the hair folicle's(sp?) sensitivity to those hormones, the only other way is to tinker with the hormones themselves, and i'm not having any of that.

My other reason for cutting it all off was that I have exceptionally oily skin and it's much easier to get all the sebaceous cysts cut out with short hair, and I get a bunch of cool scars :)

Re:Not interested in anything to cure baldness (5, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766168)

My other reason for cutting it all off was that I have exceptionally oily skin and it's much easier to get all the sebaceous cysts cut out with short hair, and I get a bunch of cool scars :)

FINALLY! I thought a thread related to sexual function was bound to have some sexy anecdotes, but it took until this to find one.

I've actually been looking for a drug like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35765926)

I need something that will remove my libido. I'm tired of suffering and my wife is fucking useless.

Sales go up! (1)

billsayswow (1681722) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765954)

A full head of hair and no fear of unwanted impregnations? This is the perfect pill for a mid-life crisis! Now if only "owning a muscle car" could be a common side effect.

So THAT'S where my sperm went! (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765956)

I don't exactly find this surprising; A crappy pill that likely targets Didydrotestosterone causing damage to organs producing testosterone? You'd think they would have thought to take sperm samples or check the blood for the stuff or something...

This does not surprise (2)

enormouspenis (741718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765964)

me a bit. When I was in medical school on the wards the vioxx drug rep would bring us food and put on the most outrageous bullshit presentations. The data was all skewed, the studies were flawed and we knew the damn drug was a killer. We ate their food and took their "studies" apart. Heck, my pharm D professor told us in basic science classes never to prescribe it.

Prozac affects some people too (1)

State your name (1952310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765966)

I have a friend who was prescribed Prozac five years ago and was told by the psychiatrist that he may experience temporary loss of libido. My friend took the medication for a couple of months and decided that the feeling of apathy that the drug produces was worse than his depression and stopped the course. After a few weeks my friends libido had not returned to normal and my friend put this down to the depression. This condition persisted and my friend started reading on the internet that other people had experienced similar problems. My friend went through an agonising period deciding whether to go to the press with this information, providing his full name. The hurdle faced by anyone in this position is that people tend not to take users of anti-depressants seriously. It is easy to put someone who has taken mind altering drugs down as a nutter. The psychiatrist denied any knowledge of similar cases and it looks as if this affects a small percentage of users. My friend has improved slightly. This may be due to ageing, but I would urge anyone who does not really need to take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to stay away.

There may be potential... (1)

dalmor (231338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765976)

Seriously, I am not trolling. Nor do I want to get in any side arguments(the government will force people to take this yadda yadda...).

But if they could get this working as a voluntary drug for the real problem sex offenders who can't control themselves(i.e. like repeated child molesters), I think it could have benefits. Having an option for those that do want to stop but can't would be a good thing.

Re:There may be potential... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766114)

Already exists. [wikipedia.org]

Re:There may be potential... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766160)

Yea let's just rebrand the pharma corp from "causing permanent sexual dysfunction for profit" to "saviour of children". Do you by any chance work for PR at Merck?

Good faith (2)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35765998)

I think it's pretty unreasonable to expect that a pharma be able to test for all possible side affects of a given medication. Some of them don't seem to have side affects related to their main effect, so the scope of the test to look for all possible effects would have to be so broad it'd result in subject fatigue.

However, I present that in the hypothetical context of pharma operating in good faith. That is, I wouldn't want to hold up a potentially life saving drug just cause I had to test for every possible side effect, including very subjective ones.

In the current state, pharma isn't acting in good faith. They aggressively push drugs onto patients and doctors that don't really need them, their drugs may not work as claimed, and they don't seem to be acting out of medical principle so much as a "throw it against the wall" method of benefit discovery.

So therefore, I don't believe they should have the benefit of operating in good faith, and should be held accountable for everything that they do. If they want to have the license to operate in a free market, they should have to accept the liability of their aggressive risk taking too. If they weren't so aggressive in taking risk, I'd cut them more slack for the rare screwup. But I don't think they deserve that latitude any more.

Re:Good faith (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766132)

If they want to have the license to operate in a free market, they ...

... just buy it. The pharma industry is a mire of corruption and fraud.

At the prices they are demanding for their products, I damn well expect them not to have these serious, permanent side-effects.

woah-oah-oh. (0)

WizardMarnok (2032762) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766144)

You've lost that lovin' feeling, Whoa that lovin' feeling, You've lost that lovin' feeling, Now it's gone...gone...gone...wooah-oah-ooh

Impotence? Try any antidepressent. (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 3 years ago | (#35766216)

Most antidepressants will do that. It took me 4 hrs to empty my sack after taking that crap over a 3 month period.
I had no sexual desire. This was medical, prostate health.,
I stopped and finally got back my functionality, personality and reality. Don't take that shit! prosac, effexor and all the other SSRI crap will turn you into a pink cloud zombie.

Only 3-4% of the subjects affected (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35766340)

It should be noted that only 3-4% of the subjects (compared to the placebo) are affected at all. This is known and communicated since a long time. Although, admittedly the side effects after canceling the drug may be worse. Which, as far as I know, has not been much communicated in the past. As someone taking the drug for years now, I never felt any side effects while regularly taking it. Reducing the dose, however, may significantly confuse your body chemistry. In a way, it is an "interesting", purely physical, but not psychological, form of addiction.

Apart from that, these effects like loss of libido and depression are far more linked to the lifestyle, especially what I like to call the three columns of stability: a) regular sport, b) an orderly daily rhythm concerning sleep cycle, activity and eating as well as c) successfully performed projects be it job or hobby. The question with these studies is always how much do they account for changes concerning these columns in the probands lives?

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