Balding software engineer claims generic version of Propecia hair growth pills turned him into a WOMAN
16:41 GMT, 23 July 2012
A man who took pills to help cure his baldness has claimed they turned him into a woman.
While William McKee's hair failed to grow back the father of one said he developed breasts and his hips began to widen.
Months after he sensed his shape was changing he became a cross dresser and went by the name of Mandi as he wore woman's clothes.
Unexpected: William McKee claims that taking hair growth pills didn't work and instead made him develop breasts and widened hips, he now lives as Mandi
The former Silicon Valley entrepreneur said he did not have any hidden desire to be a cross dresser before taking a generic version of the hair growth pill called Propecia.
He claims the pills, which he took once a day for nine months, radically changed the hormonal balance of his body and he now is now considering a full sex change.
He said his baldness was hereditary and hoped the pills would restore his thinning hair.
But after almost a month on the pills he said his hair growth was 'minimal' but the feminine effects were 'pronounced.'
McKee said: 'My rock hard chest from the gym began to soften reaching the point where I had noticeable breasts even under my clothing.'
The 38-year-old, who has a five-year-old son, added: 'My shoulders were literally falling into a more feminine position, and my hips were loosening and becoming wider as on a woman's body.'
McKee said he started to cross dress and called himself Mandi as the pills meant he felt more female than male.
Cross dresser: McKee, center, said he started to cross dress and called himself Mandi as the pills meant he felt more female than male
He wears a blonde wig, makeup and tight dresses.
The cross dressing ended his ten year marriage and now as Mandi is considering getting breast enhancement and undergoing a full sex change.
'It felt like the 'me' that I've always known was not there anymore,' he told the New York Post.
Writing on his blog, Mandi says: 'I’m also transgender. I wasn’t always this way. I am early on my path of transitioning to live full-time as a woman, although for 9 months I did take 1 of the 2 most popular drugs that doctors prescribe to men who wish to become a woman.
'It’s called finasteride. Many of my transgender friends still take this drug today. In some men, the effects are irreversible.
'The thing is… I didn’t take finasteride to become a woman. I took it to prevent male-pattern hair loss (baldness) after seeing Merck’s ad campaign for years saying that Propecia (finasteride) can stop hair loss in men.'
McKee said as he transitioned from man to woman he considered suicide.
He writes: 'My entire life has fallen apart in a slow and agonizing downward spiral that led me on a roller coaster ride of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, a severe and disabling loss of focus and concentration, feminization of my body, loss of and inability to work, homelessness, social rejection and isolation, and a complete alteration of my body’s chemistry and self-identity.
'And it was more than just my life being affected. I was married to an amazing and beautiful woman who lost her husband, and I am father to an amazing 5 year-old-boy – who lost his dad.'
Hair-growth pills: Lawsuits filed in 27 states by men who say the wonder drug screwed up their sexuality have been linked together in Brooklyn federal court
Propecia inhibits the conversion of testosterone, resulting in increased estrogen.
Millions of men have used it since the 1990s, but it has been linked to sexual problems such as impotence, loss of libido and 'genital shrinkage' as well as cognitive impairment, or 'brain fog,' which McKee believes he also suffered.
Lawsuits filed in 27 states by men who say the wonder drug screwed up their sexuality have been linked together in Brooklyn federal court.
A spokesman for Merck, the drug’s maker, said, 'No causal relationship has been established between Propecia and persistent sexual side effects.'
Brooklyn attorney Marc Grossman, whose firm represents more than 300 former Propecia users, said many had breast growth.
He also said animal studies on Propecia showed an increased propensity for homosexuality.
Grossman estimates that more than 1,500 Propecia users will come forward but added, 'Many men are embarrassed to reveal their problems to anyone, including their doctors, so thousands more will go on living with the condition in private.'