Online hairloss clinic conceals Finasteride side-effects

After seeing a lot of ads on Reddit for Essential Clinic, a “Canadian Online Hair Loss Clinic”, I decided to check out what information they provide about the side effects of finasteride.

Needless to say, there was no information about side effects on the main page.

You have to click on More Answers to Common Questions to get to a section with answers to many questions, among them on side effects, which states the following:

Finasteride side effects

Finasteride is generally safe but it can cause side effects. See finasteride’s safety information for more information on side effects.

Opening the link above about finasteride’s safety information, one sees the following on sexual side effects:

More common

Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
inability to have or keep an erection
loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance

Nothing is mentioned about persistent sexual side effects or persistent non-sexual side effects such as depression or suicidal thoughts.

It turns out this leaflet originates from the Mayo Clinic and obviously has serious discrepancies from the official FDA mandated patient information for finasteride.

Here is the same document on the Mayo Clinic site:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/finasteride-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20063819

I emailed Essential Clinic and asked them the following:

“Is Post-Finasteride Syndrome real?”

Their response was:

"Hi there

I assume you are most concerned about any sexual side effects of finasteride

Studies show less than 5% of men taking the drug may experience this side effect. Of those 5%, less than 2% experienced symptoms lasting over 3 months after stopping the drug."

Then I wrote:

Thanks! Can you please refer me to the place in the drug leaflet where this information is presented?

Their response was:

This article summarizes these findings the best: https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20120413/propecia-proscar-new-sexual-dysfunction-warnings

Opening the document they sent me, from WebMD, among other things one learns the following:

"Propecia, Proscar Sexual Side Effects Rare

There’s no definitive proof that either Propecia or Proscar actually causes these problems. But the FDA has received enough reports of these side effects to cause concern.

Even if the drugs do cause these sexual side effects, they’ve been reported in only a small number of men. For example, in Propecia clinical trials, 3.8% of men taking the drug and 2.1% of men getting an inactive placebo reported sexual problems.

Moreover, the warnings are based on relatively small numbers of reported problems."

I then asked the following:

Thanks! I am a little confused though because the information about persistent sexual side effects is not in the patient information (leaflet) you provide on your site, whereas it looks like the FDA has required that that information be included in the leaflet.

I did not receive an answer.

How are generic sellers (and hospitals such as the Mayo Clinic) able to circumvent using the official FDA mandated patient information for finasteride? I am quite perplexed. Are they required to use the official leaflet only when they send you the drug but for “marketing purposes” they don’t have to use it?

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Every hair loss clinic that peddle Finasteride lie about its side effects.

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I called this goof doctor out and he blocked me

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Called this pathetic hair surgeon out to and he disabled the comments

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The truth is bad for business.

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Yes very true, you would think if anything they wouldn’t want to prescribe Fin that way they would have a reason to make money off of the transplant surgery, they must be making good money for writing out prescriptions for this stuff.

Fin make hair transplants possible for a lot of people because its stops people going totally bald.

I was always told Mayo Clinic is non-profit, renowned, and a trustable source. Thanks for showing us that is not the case. I think I remember reading about isotretinoin on mayoclinic when I was on the drug, and continued it thinking my concerns were unfounded.

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I don’t think there is such a thing as non-profit. The doctors themselves are not non-profit. And the hospital administrators certainly aren’t.

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This doctor is also a fraud he disabled the comments on this video as well!

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Fucking Cunts…

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The truth is on our side. It may not have been widely accepted in time for us to achieve justice. I’m really unsure about how long it may be before there is a better understood medical treatment. But the truth is now out there and it is a matter of time before it percolates to decision makers in the medical industry.

It’s not so helpful to think of these guys as totally evil, even if they have done harm to others. I would say the vast majority of it was and continues to be unintentional, but there are some exceptions. Merck’s activities demonstrate a mens rea (guilty conscience) even if they didn’t think finasteride was causally tied to persistent side effects. They withheld information they were not allowed to because they knew it would scare of consumers.

In my opinion, the best way to deal with these doctors is to view them as stupid, dense, and slow to learn. But not evil. Don’t insult them, educate them. Occasionally getting angry can be useful but there is a specific time and place for anger and I’m still figuring that one out. Taking this approach is more persuasive and effective than channeling hatred, uncontrolled anger, and aggression which is more likely to get you blocked along with others. That will set us back in time.

The one thing I would say is that if you don’t think you can address these people calmly, articulately, and effectively, I would ask that you leave it to others. Going about it in a less effective way can cause the other person to clam up which isn’t good for any of us.

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Something that might be worth doing if someone has time is saving this stuff. I have a feeling they’ll want to backpedal in the future, given it’s not true, and simply take it down.

For instance, Manual, another company who are currently advertising on the image sharing service Snapchat, state that "Animal studies did not show negative effects on fertility". This is false given that animal experiments have entailed a deficiency in fertility and even measurable differences in fertility parameters of the offspring of treated animals (1,2).

1. Garcia et al, Morphometric-stereological and functional epididymal alterations and a decrease in fertility in rats treated with finasteride and after a 30-day post-treatment recovery period. 2012
2. Kolasa-Wołosiuk et al, Antioxidant enzyme expression of mRNA and protein in the epididymis of finasteride-treated male rat offspring during postnatal development, 2019
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