Ryan Clark: Keep your hair, ruin your life -- how the hair growth medication Propecia broke his body: Post Finasteride Syndrome
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Ryan Clark had it all. Successful career. Great relationships. Healthy body.
When Ryan noticed a bit of hair loss, like many men, he took a common medication known as Propecia to promote hair growth.
Unbeknownst to Ryan, Propecia can cause post-finasteride syndrome - causing sexual, neurological, physical and cognitive adverse reactions - it is a condition with no known cure and few, if any, effective treatments.
In the ensuing years, Ryan’s body started to break down and unfamiliar and confusing symptoms manifested: anxiety, trouble sleeping, erectile dysfunction and memory problems.
But his doctors were not making the connection between Ryan’s symptoms and the hair growth medication -- even after Ryan developed testicular cancer -- very few physicians are even aware of post finasteride syndrome.
In our interview Ryan shares the heartbreaking losses he’s suffered to his health, his relationships and his career as a direct result of the medication -- and Ryan shares about how he’s finding meaning in helping and supporting other men who’ve had their lives ruined by a medication the health care system fails to recognize, let alone treat.
Connect with Ryan Clark
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I am always looking for guests to share their medical error experiences so we help bring awareness and make patients safer.
If you are a survivor, a victim’s surviving family member, a health care worker, advocate, researcher or policy maker and you would like to share your experiences, please send me an email with a brief description: RemediesPodcast@gmail.com
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Like me, many of my clients at Remedies Counseling have experienced the often devastating effects of medical error.
If you need a counsellor for your experience with medical error, or living with a chronic illness(es), I offer online video counseling appointments.
**For my health and life balance, I limit my number of counseling clients.**
Email me to learn more or book an appointment: RemediesOnlineCounseling@gmail.com
Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete
I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard.
I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships.
Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life.
I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life.
Counseling / Research
I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here.
Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions.
I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network.
I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada.
Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system.
My golden retriever Gladys is a constant source of love and joy. I hope to be well enough again one day to race triathlons again. Or even shovel the snow off the sidewalk.