A lawsuit has been filed in California federal court on behalf of a widow whose husband committed suicide after using the hair loss drug Propecia. It is the first suit of its kind, and was filed on March 5 in California’s Southern District. Allegedly, Merck failed to warn that Propecia can lead to suicidal thoughts and depression.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s husband began using Propecia for male pattern baldness in May 2008. He discontinued the drug in 2012, but still suffered from a deep depression. He struggled with insomnia and depression the following year and stepped in front of an oncoming Amtrak train.
The plaintiff alleges that her husband started acting strangely in 2009, the year after he started taking Propecia. She states that they began to fight over trivial matters and the fights would escalate quickly. The plaintiff describes her husband as “unrecognizable” by 2011. The suit alleges that he experienced a total loss of sex drive, anxiety, depression, repetitious behavior and had a short temper. The suit also says he suffered from weight gain despite begin active and healthy. Towards the end of 2011, he had two panic attacks.
The couple decided that Propecia may be to blame for their diminished sex life, and he filled his last prescription in February 2012. However, the plaintiff says, he did not recover. According to the lawsuit, by May 2012 his behavior worsened and he would yell at family members. He allegedly suffered from severe insomnia, slept during the day and complained of muscle twitching and shaking in the legs. He quit his job from a company he helped build in January 2013. When he tried to get his job back three days later, the company refused. The lawsuit alleges that he grew more distant, confused and directionless in the months that followed.
Propecia did not carry any warning about depression or suicidal side effects until 2010, when Merck noted that there is a risk of developing depression. The suit pointed to studies showing a link between the drug and deep depression and suicidal ideation. The plaintiff stated that other drugs with a risk of depression and suicidal thoughts carry a warning on the label and in the drug safety information.
Read more at: Lawsuit Alleges Merck Hid Propecia Suicide Risk