February 28, 2019
Earlier this week, our neighbor to the north announced that Propecia and Proscar patients may be at risk for considering and attempting suicide, and mandated that the manufacturer update its product insert to reflect this potential danger.
The move by FDA-equivalent agency Health Canada (HC) comes just eight months after warning that “Rare cases of muscle-related disorders…have been reported in patients treated with finasteride.” What’s more, “In some cases, these disorders were found to be reversible with discontinuation of finasteride therapy.” (It seems safe to assume that if "some" reported cases returned to normal after quitting finasteride, other cases were persistent, and may possibly be permanent.)
HC’s latest finasteride action also comes just 25 days after French FDA-equivalent agency ANSM issued a letter to 100,000 health professionals reminding them that patients treated with finasteride are at risk for developing psychiatric disorders and persistent sexual disorders. (English translation here .)
On Feb. 26, HC issued a Summary Safety Review titled Proscar and Propecia (finasteride): Assessing the potential risk of suicidal thoughts and/or behavior (suicidal ideation), in which it notes:
Health Canada reviewed the potential risk of suicidal ideation with use of Proscar or Propecia (finasteride) due to reported cases of suicidal ideation and self-injury received in Canada and internationally. The cases led to the investigation of the possible relationship between finasteride use and suicidal ideation through a number of assessments.
We once again thank Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor for ensuring that Health Canada is taking proper action in response to adverse drug reaction reports filed by Canadian PFS patients.
Anyone living in the US who suffers from PFS should report his symptoms to the US Food and Drug Administration; anyone living outside the US who suffers from PFS should report his symptoms to the US Food and Drug Administration as well as to his national drug-regulatory agency, as directed on our Report Your Side Effects page.
If you or a loved one are suffering from PFS, and feeling depressed or unstable, please review our Frequently Asked Questions page as soon as possible. After that, don’t hesitate to contact the PFS Foundation via our Patient Support hotline: firstname.lastname@example.org