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New Labels Protect Patients From Misfires

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New Labels Protect Patients From Misfires

Medical patients rely on accurate and up-to-date product labels for proper and effective use. However, an increasing number of drugs are being called on to renew their warning labels to provide the most recent information.

Now, some prescription medications produced by Merck are getting new labels as ordered by the Food and Drug Administration, Reuters reports. Proscar, which is used to rectify symptoms of an enlarged prostate, and Propecia, a hair-loss treatment, will be receiving new warning labels for their active ingredient, finasteride.

Following tests, finasteride was found to cause sexual side effects, including problems with the libido, the news source writes. Additionally, finasteride has proven to cause problems such as male infertility.

However, Reuters reports that the FDA has found only a small percentage of men experience sexual side effects. Clinical trials found that 3.8 percent of men taking Propecia reported one or more of the negative effects. Of men taking the placebo, 2.1 percent reported adverse effects.

"Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure," said Pamela Eisele, a Merck spokeswoman, according to The Seattle Times.