Below are selected case studies from men who have acquired permanent side effects as a result of Finasteride use, who have posted their experiences online.
Some additional stories:
- Patient stories from AskAPatient.com
- User experiences from AskDocWeb.com
Note: There are also many similar stories across numerous websites and forums on the Internet, especially on hair loss forums.
Egyptian Pharmacist's Story
I'm an Egyptian pharmacist. Actually i came on here to search for something that i COULD NOT find its answer in the literature. I have been working in a community pharmacy that is close to a dermatologist clinician. Of course, Propecia, a drug that is used to treat male androgenetic alopecia, is a stuff that is dispensed alot in such pharmacy for young men who suffer from hair falling.
The frustrating thing is that i came across many patients who can't recover the sexual side effects of the drug for months and even years AFTER QUITTING. More than 3 young men i knew so far who can not restore their sexual life for months after quitting the posion. I searched the manufacturer's package insert which said the side effects should reverse after quitting. I don't know if Merck is lying.
One of the victims has been to every knowledgable andrologist in Egypt and every one decided that it is psychological, but after reviewing the blood work they all made sure of hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, that finally he decided to travel to doctor Eugene Shippen, the American famous andrologist. For my amazement, i found a workshop in chicago that was held in may 2007 which discussed "post propecia syndrome" among the topics: "Post propecia syndrome, rare but dangerous reactions to the 5 alpha reductase finasteride and possible treatment".
The more frustrating thing is that finasteride induced hypogonadism in those guys was resistant to hypothalamic stimulation by clomid and nolvadex. HCG showed no results and even TRT was completely ineffective. During my internet search i could find an American andrologist talking about finasteride inducing a difficult to treat form of hypogonadism.
I really wonder how can such a dangerous drug be marketed for cosmetic purposes. Had its use been restricted to benign prostatic hypertrophy or prostate cancer one could understand that there is a benefit that outweigh the risk; but unfortunately those poor souls who suffer had no health problem. They just had their hair falling.
Please people, don't dispense finasteride to young men unless you have warned them enough. I really started to doubt the data provided by pharmaceutical companies. Such hidden facts must get disclosed for the doctors and the patients.
I read your atricles on line about neuroscience and sexuality and also about the anygdala and sexuality. I am 24 male and I have suffered with a complete lack of desire for the last 3 years after having taken a drug called Propecia (for 5 months) for male pattern baldness. The drug inhibits the production of DHT in the body which can help to stop balding, but is known to also affect libido & impotency in some men. I was late going through puberty when I was younger so even though I took Propecia when I was 21, I think I had the pubertal stage of a 17 yr old.
I have been to just about every hormonal expert in America and I do not seem to have a problem nor do I respond at all to Testosterone injections . I had a very normal libido before I took the drug and now I have next to nothing, a sexual thought has not crossed my mind in years without me forcing it. I also have next to no visual stimulation at all and I fell very numbed emotionally (especially romantically obviously) as well a I have also seen a number of sexual psychologists ( Dr Perelman, if you have heard of him) who seem to think that I may have caused some neurological damage and there does not seem to be any significant emotional problem which could have caused this.
I believe after speaking with a number of doctors (yet no neurologists) that the lack of DHT at stage when my brain was still developing sexually may have caused some neurological deformation or damage, potentially to the amygdala. I was wondering if you could refer me to or tell me of a neurologist (preferrably in NYC) who may be at least willing to check if I have experienced any neurological damage or anything like that.
I am not concerned about the potential costs involved, this has been incredibly devastating to my life and I am willing to do just about anything to get to the bottom of it. I might also add that I know of hundreds of other men who have experienced the side effects of this drug permanently after stopping up to 7 years ago. We are trying to get attention for the issue, but it is a difficult problem to trace. Thank you for your time.
Long time reader, first time poster here. took propecia for a year back in 2005 for hair loss when I was 21 and have been dealing with the side effects ever since.
No more morning or spontaneous erections, ED, and problems with libido. I do feel better now then when I first figured out what the problem was and dropped propecia right away. When I stopped propecia I couldn't even ejaculate right, when I kissed a woman my dick wouldn't even move, tired all the time, major issues with brain fog and depression also.
I must say I feel more clear headed now, Im actually happy with my life, and feel more energetic as time has passed, but the sexual sides continue till this day. I cannot remember losing a single hair follicle since I stopped propecia and it's been over 3 years. I went from being practically bald at 21 to no hair loss since. I feel DHT and Estrogen are my main problems.
Back in 2006 after I stopped my levels came back at total t (200-800) 586 estrogen - (0-52) 35 and DHT - (25-75) was 35. Pretty decent total t levels but kinda high estrogen and low dht. After fumbling around with different doctors who didn't believe me I was then referred to Dr. Ricardo Munarizz in boston.
In 2008 he put me on clomid 25mg. a day which brought my total t to 888 over the normal t scale but also increased my progesterone levels over the max range 2x which then lowered my dht levels 15 on a (25-75) scale.
I felt stronger on clomid, increased ejaculate and slight pick up in libido. I felt it helped restore some normal levels in my body, did get twitchy eyes while on it one of the listed side effects but it stopped after I discontinued.
When I went back Dr. Munarizz he put me on androgel 5mg a day after I stressed to him that my issue is DHT and that my body could no longer produce normalized levels of it. I tried androgel for a month feeling very skeptical due to the fact that I recently got married and would like kids in the future.
On androgel my prostate started to rumble like it use to and started to have some better erections and orgasms i haven't had in years. I had problems ejaculating at the end of the one month use and stopped, looking back it was probably due to estrogen levels increasing in my body because I wasn't taking an AI.
I feel that long term TRT with armidex and frequent blood tests will be my only saving grace. After years of struggling I will now go back on TRT and try armidex 25mg 3 days for a 6 month period to see how i feel .
At this point I have nothing to lose I feel I have been patient with the chance of me recovering naturally after all these years. I feel that TRT is my only hope on getting DHT high enough to feel normal again. I wish everyone the best of luck in their pursuit to feel normal again.
41 years old, I resume my personal and dramatic clinic situation, as it has negatively developed during the time.
In 1999, with the prescription of a dermatologist and family doctor, I begun to take finasteride for alopecia (Propecia 1 mg./die, or Proscar 1,25 mg./die) until December 2007. During this period I didn’t have any problems or symptoms, except for an increase of anxiety and chronic fatigue in the last year that my logical fallacy hadn't correlated with the drug, but rather with work's care and other daily engagements. Anyway I decided to stop the treatment because, for two times, I did not obtain erection with my partner and had some obvious suspect. In that moment I didn’t feel depressed and went on regularly my daily activities.
In the first three months of 2008, after the interruption of treatment with finasteride, I begun to feel in my mind a strong loss of libido and sex drive, associated with lose weight, insomnia and tachycardia, all symptoms that I never experienced before. So I decided to check in my blood the clinical, lipid, haematology and hormonal levels, finding a deficit of LH and Free Testosterone (April 2008) that could have perhaps explain my problems. I remained instead astonished when, thirty days after, I repeated the blood test (LH, FSH, Prolactin, Estradiol, total and free Testosterone, DHT, Cortisol, SHBG, A.C.T.H., TSH, FT3, FT4 and IGF-1) and all the results were in range, but my libido was progressively disappeared and anxiety, chronic fatigue and difficulty focusing were jacking up.
Unfortunately it wasn’t all over. In September of 2008 I felt symptoms I didn’t believe possible, but were terribly real: strange sensations and pain in pelvic area and cramps to my penis with its contextual shrinkage, numbness and loss of fullness, blood flow and sensitivity. Obviously I begun to have serious problems of erectile dysfunction also with masturbation and was becoming crazy.
In January of 2009, after consulting several urologists, andrologists and endocrinologists and doing further tests on my blood, prostate and nervous conductions with negative results, I begun my personal research about unresolved finasteride side effects and found this forum, understanding that they can gravely unbalance all the sexual, mental and physical system of few and unlucky ex-consumers. Now I am on the opinion that my ill health could look like the one of a person with 5AR2 deficit or some kind of androgen insensitivity syndrome. With regard, I list my actual problems and symptoms.
1) Sexual problems and symptoms
I suffer of a complete loss of libido and sex drive and have a weak and nearly impossible erection, with insufficient rigidity and duration. My penis tissue is changed (contraction, shrinkage, wrinkled skin, absence of blood flow, total loss of fullness), testicular area has reduced and makes me feel burning skin sensation, gland penis and penis skin are totally insensitive to touch. I had besides a penis ventral curving because of spongious body’s fibrosis (see attached list of checks on date May 13, 2009 and July 28, 2009) and a reduced ejaculate’s power and quantity.
2) Pelvic problems and symptoms
I'm in torment for prostate and inguinal pain because of prostatitis (see attached list of checks on date July 24, 2009 – August 10, 2009 – September 5, 2009 – October 6, 2009), strong loss of fullness and movement’s capacity in the perineal muscles and weak urine flow.
3) Physical and nervous problems and symptoms
I experiment with tachycardia, muscle twitching to limbs, chronic fatigue, nervousness and impossibility of complete relaxation, joint and articular pain.
4) Mental problems and symptoms
I have difficulties of concentration and focusing, less memory and understanding capacity, extreme anxiety, panic attacks and strong depression. Contextually I feel lack of motivations, emotions for life, sense of reality and even troubles facing sun light.
All the problems I’ve just listed give the impression about the “torture” I must live every day. I feel my identity totally upset and the situation is very dramatic for my family too. I’m hopeless, on the contrary I’m afraid of further worsening because there are moments – especially in the morning – during which I can’t stand. I don’t know how I will be able to live the rest of my life, also because of sense to be in fault, with myself and the persons who love me, only for some stupid hair more.
During this nightmare I tried to keep my pseudo mental balance with tranquillizers (alprazolam) and antidepressants (paroxetine, escitalopram, mirtazapine), without appreciable results.
In September 2009 I tried to assume tamoxifen 10 mg./day and verified an immediate increase of LH, FSH and Testosterone in my blood test, but after 22 days I stopped the administration becouse my problems of libido, erection, depression and nervousness were further increasing instead of hold steady. I don’t know why, but I’m sure those problems were not a figment of my imagination and I have read it’s possible that, sometimes, Nolvadex determines them.
Recently I have contacted Dr. John Crisler, who has proposed to me an initial urine test for individualize a protocol of treatment, telling about surrenal fatigue and probable administration of cortisone (10 mg./day). I would ask if someone of members knows this doctor and tried some protocol with him. In this case, did you obtain some positive result?
Finally I would do some remark and question for the other members of forum.
1) I think to suffer of an enzyme 5AR2 deficiency in my brain and target tissue (prostate, genital skin, seminal vesicles, etc.) and, with regard, I would demand your attention and opinion about these issues:
a) the metabolite of DHT 3Alpha-diol G (androstenediol glucuronide) presents a blood level under the normal range (see attached blood test on date August 7, 2009). I think it means a low peripheral 5AR2 activity.
b) Progesterone blood levels are under the normal range (see attached blood tests on date April 22, 2009 – August 7, 2009). May be this problem is due to an over activity of surrenal glands which perceive a lack of conversion in allopregnanolone by 5AR2 activity.
2) It’s probable I’m suffering the consequences of an androgen receptor mutation or deactivation in my hypotalamus, nervous system and genital area (penis, prostate, pelvis, etc.). I really don’t know what to do for changing this horrible situation.
3) I’m very worry for spongious body’s fibrosis, loss of fullness and movement’s capacity in the perineal muscles and penis tissue changes. I’m sceptical that testosterone or DHT administration can take back to an acceptable functionality of these organs, also considering the negative effects of this administration, like aromatize into estrogen, testicular atrophy and affects on PSA, hematocrit or anxiety levels.
1) list of checks;
2) results of blood tests.
LIST OF CHECKS
• May 23, 2008 – Examination by endocrinologist (diagnosis of moderate bilateral gynecomas-tia)
• August 27, 2008 – Examination by urologist (diagnosis of right dimensions after prostate digital exploration)
• September 16, 2008 – Urine test and culture (negative results)
• December 27, 2008 – Genital and cortical nervous system test (normal report);
• February 10, 2009 – Penis ultrasound (normal report)
• May 13, 2009 – Erectile function test by prostaglandine E1 (diagnosis of cavernous body’s good rigidity, but only partial stiffening of glans penis and spongious body of the urethra)
• April 15, 2009 – Ejaculate test, with evidence of low quantity of sperm (1 ml., normal range 3-5), excess of anomalous forms of spermatozoas (40%, normal range 0-30%) and deficit of mobil spermatozoas (50%, normal range 60-80%)
• April 27, 2009 – Prostate ultrasound, with evidence of diameter 32x22x30 and ipoplasic seminal vesicles
• April 29, 2009 – Magnetic resonance of pelvis (normal report)
• May 4, 2009 – Electric stimulation of pelvis (normal report)
• May 13, 2009 – Testicular and penis ultrasounds, with evidence of two calcifications at the base of spongious body of the urethra
• July 24, 2009 – Examination by urologist (diagnosis of suspicious prostatitis after prostate digital exploration)
• July 28, 2009 – Examination by endocrinologist (diagnosis of ipoplasic penis and testicles, spongious body’s fibrosis and probable hypogonadotropic hypogonadism because of low LH and FSH production in relation with plight of androgen receptors)
• August 10, 2009 – Sperm culture (positive results for gamma-hemolytic streptococcus and enterococcus faecalis that confirm prostatitis)
• August 9, 2009 – Abdomen ultrasound (normal report for liver, spleen, kidneys and pancreas)
• August 24, 2009 – Magnetic resonance of brain, with evidence of congenital asymmetry of pituitary gland
• September 3, 2009 – Stimulating test of pituitary gland, with evidence of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism because of FSH blood levels were close to zero before gonadoreline injection
• September 5, 2009 – Examination by endocrinologist (diagnosis of suspicious prostatitis)
• October 6, 2009 – Examination by urologist (diagnosis of bacterial prostatitis and prescription of antibiotics (diameter 2,3 mm. e 1 mm.)
This is my Propecia story. - by JH /
BLOODTESTS, HORMONES & TREATMENT RESULTS:
First I would like to address a few things that I often see people who doubts my story get stuck on.
Up until I took propecia I was 100% healthy. I was not abusing alcohol, never touched drugs and I was not overweight. I was not taking any medicine except for a few painkillers for headacke maybe four times a year. I never had any psychical problems and actually I was often described as a psychically strong person. Im white causasion, 180 cm high and weighted 70 kg. I had normal bodyhair and beard but was thinning on top and had high tempels. I was happy and was enjoying life.
It all began back in year 2000 when I was 29 yo I decided to try propecia for my hairloss. Initially I had very few sideeffects, and I could see a difference on my hair after only a few months of use. I was regrowing my hair again, even on my temples. Of cause I was satisfied, and no way a few
sideeffects should make me stop it. All I had was a periodic nutacke, and some decreased libido. After some time I also noticed that both my acne and hair on my back seemed to disappear, and I just considered it an additional bonus. All in all I was a happy camper.
Then after about five months on propecia, I started to feel strange. Like I had trouble to concentrate, dizzyspells and felt fatigued. It was like I was in a tube of some kind, and everything seemed unreal and dim . You can compare it with a radio that are not completely tuned in to the station. Like I was lacking the abillity to tune in sharp on the world. Later I found a word that matches the feeling: "brain fog". I was simply spaced out and beside myself.
First I thought it would pass in a few days and I turned in sick. Then after 2 days on the couch with no improvement I decided to go to work anyway. That was when it really got scary, cause I realised that I couldn't work anymore. I’m a computerprogrammer and I couldn't concentrate on my work, and everything on the screen was just blurred.
Somehow I got through the day, and in the evening me and my wife and her siblings was at her parents for dinner. This was when my whole world crashed. I found out that I couldn’t follow the conversations. Basically I couldn’t handle being in a crowd cause it was to confusing for me. Of cause I got spooked, and we decided to leave and drive home. As I was sitting in the car, thinking about what just happened, I had a full-blown panic attack. I thought I should die right there and then and my wife drove me straight to the hospital. They did a bunch of tests and made 2 CT scans of my brain without finding anything unusual. I was later referred to an MRI scan and that was ok also. After that day my symptoms just got worse cause now I had to deal with the anxiety also. This was also at this time I started to have muscle twitches in my left foot.
A few days later I saw my regular doc, and she thought I should see a psychiatrist, as she thought my symptoms was because of stress. I agreed and went and saw him some time later because of the waiting time. Please notice that in all this time I spend seeing doctors, I was still a wreck and
regular had panic attacks. I also saw a neurologist but he kinda blew me off, cause I was able to stand on one leg and had normal reflexes.
Anyway, I saw the psychiatrist a bunch of times, learned to handle stress better and control my anxiety, but it was like he ignored the rest of my symptoms, and only dealt with the stress and anxiety problem. I was offered SSRI drugs, but refused cause I still thought this would be sorted out naturally in a matter of months.
After a half year since all this started I lost my job, and since I at this time thought it was my job that stressed me and made me ill, I didn’t care. I thought that now I could take my time to be well, without having a job waiting for me, and live a stressless life. It was just that, even without my job, and with help of my psychiatrist, I still wasn’t getting any better!
I then started to think about if there was a connection with propecia and my problems, so I decided to stop propecia cold turkey, and so I did. This lasted for a little over a half year, and since I saw no improvement in my symptoms I started to take propecia again. Some time went by and I stopped seeing the psychiatrist. My anxiety has gotten a little better cause I now saw that my illness wouldn’t kill just now, but the rest of the symptoms wouldn’t leave.
Then maybe a year after I stopped with the psychiatrist I decided to give him another try, but he has stopped practising, and I had to see another one. She convinced me that seroxat (same as paxil) would help me and I gave it a try. It was a mixed experience, cause I felt my anxiety disappear, but I gained 20 pounds, and was getting even more spaced out, and had to sleep all day long. I stood it out for a whole year to give it a fair chance but it didn’t help me besides my anxiety, which already was improving before taking the SSRI.
In late 2003 I decided to stop taking seroxat. I did this without seeing the psychiatrist, cause I now was convinced that my symptoms was not something a psychiatrist could help me with. I made a plan for myself to withdraw it over 3 months, but even then the withdrawal symptoms was pretty damn horrible. I made it though and noticed that the anxiety didn’t come back. I started to run a few times a week to feel better and to get rid of the pounds I gained while on the seroxat. Spring 2004 was also the time I quit propecia again, cause now I wanted to stop taking drugs totally and see if my body should rebound be itself with help of exercise and healthy diet.
Actually this made me feel a little better. Maybe it was just because I knew I was doing my best to improve my health, but I felt (and still feel) that running 3-5 miles a few times a week gives me some more energy. The bad side of it, is that it takes so much motivation to do it, and thats not what I have a lot of.
In the beginning of 2005 I started to look into if others had similar symptoms from propecia, because I still had a idea about propecia starting all this. I found the www.propeciasideeffects.com website and the yahoo group and started reading. I was shocked to see how much my symptoms matched other former propecia users, and also those of hypogonadism.
Of cause I got a bloodtest done and it showed that I had low T, just within the reference values.
10.6 (8.0 - 30.0). My LH and FSH was also low, suggesting secondary hypogonadism. Just as I would have guessed from seeing the results of the other members of the propecia_side_effects group.
In one way I was happy to see numbers that showed a potential problem, but on the other side I knew it probably would be hard to convince doctors to believe the theory and treat me. Especially because it seems that doctors don't know that even low-value in-range numbers should be treated if it cause symptoms like mine. One really should read Dr. Eugene Shippen's book, he knows about this stuff.
When my doctor saw my results he claimed it was normal. I had to ask him for the numbers, and then I tried to convince him that he should refer me to an endo, but he wanted to do a second test first. Luckily my uncle is a doctor too, so he talked to an endo, and he agreed to see me, cause he also thought my numbers were too low. Then I told my doctor that this endo wanted to see me, and I got the referral. Later the other bloodtest came back at 8.0 (8.0-30.0) so it was even lower which didn’t surprise me, cause I felt particular crappy that day they did it.
After 2 weeks waiting time I saw the endo. I got a chance to tell him all about my theory about propecia causing this, and he said he wouldn't rule out that possibility even though he never heard of it before. He examined me, and I told him about my symptoms, but he wasn’t all that much for talking about treatments just yet. We did talk a bit about regular TRT and HCG though, but it seemed that he didn't knew the advantages from HCG over TRT, cause he said they would give same result and regular T would be cheaper. Usually he only use HCG to keep fertility. Besides that he claimed that my balls would only shrink on regular T if I overdo it.
Anyway, regardless of his opinion, he would agree to giving me HCG if I was warranted to treatment. Before he would treat me, he wanted a new bloodtest and an MRI first, cause he wanted to rule out a tumor, and see if I’m still low in T and LH/FSH.
I had the MRI and while I waited for the result, I tried to decide what treatment I would ask for in my next meeting with the endo. I came across some studied proving that the HPTA could be restarted with HCG and Clomid, so that became my plan, and I emailed my endo the studies. The MRI result came back OK (whew) and I had my next meeting with my endo. This was June 2005.
At first he started out by saying that since I was within reference and there was no tumor, I was OK, but after showing him the AACE guidelines and showing him some other documentation that I was too low, I convinced him to let me try Clomid. However I couldn’t convince him about the HCG, cause he wanted to see what Clomid alone would do for me, so I had a script for Clomid.
I started to take the Clomid right away. The plan was to take 100mg/day for 2 months, but after a week I started to have serious sideeffects in my eyes. I cut the dose in half, and 3 days later I cut it in half again down to 25mg/day. I had a bloodtest after the first week and it came back with T at 17nmol/l (8.0-30.0nmol/l) so it seemed it was working well for me.
After one month I had another bloodtest and by then my T was even higher. 35nmol (8.0-30.0). The funny thing was that I couldn’t feel a damn thing besides maybe a little more energy and bigger balls. The 2 months passed and I came off. The sideeffects in my eyes disappeared, except for some floaters in the left eye. (I still have the floaters now 9 month later).
One month after Clomid I had another bloodtest. T was now at 16.5nmol (8.0-30.0) and I still felt I had some more energy. It seemed that my HPTA had settled on a higher level. My endo and I agreed to retest in some time and take it from there.
Then in November, 3 months after stopping Clomid I had another bloodtest which came back at 16.9nmol/l (8.0-30.0), even higher than the previous. I had hoped it would be higher, indicating my T was rising, but it seemed pretty steady at about 16-17nmol/l.
In December I started to feel worse again, and for the first time in half a year I got a cold. (which I used to get all the time when my T was low). I suspected my T levels might have dropped, so in January I went in for another bloodtest which came back at 13.5nmol. Not good, and to make matters worse, the laboratory had decided to split the reference range in 2. One for the 20-30yo and one for the 30-50yo, and since I was 33 my new reference became: (8.0-22.0)
This was a week before my appointment with the endo, so I decided to ask him for a TRT trial since my T seemed to decline again. The day came and I went to see him. He took a look at my results and claimed I was smack in the middle of reference, which was just great. I suggested the TRT trial but was blown totally off. If I wanted we could meet again in a year!
As I walked out the door, I was pissed. This was supposed to be one of the best endos in the country, and he wouldn’t even consider that 13.5nmol/l (translates to 388ng/dl) was to low for me.
I felt hopeless and depressed for the rest of that day. However, the very next day I started to look on the bright side. I wasn’t constrained by doctors anymore. I was "free". The following days were spend by researching, and I decided to take that TRT trial by myself. The plan was to follow Dr. Johns protocol starting out with 100mg Testosteron pr. week and 250ui HCG the 2 days before the shot. I was hoping to get a bloodtest at my regular doc after a month to adjust T and E2 levels.
I bought all the stuff from the net, and found some info about how to inject yourself. Then in the middle of February 2006 I started TRT. In the first week, I noticed absolutely nothing, not even a placebo effect, but within the second week I think I’m starting to notice some small improvements.
I hope it will continue, and I finally will recover, but only time will tell…
Guess I'm just the next in line to be hit by this. Here's my resume so far...took fin for the first 3 weeks of Jan 2008 but got bad ED.
2 days after coming off I got a dizzy spell (bit like a rushing panic attack) but haven't had anything like that since then.
My problem is serious ED.
Balls shrunk by about half the size and have not returned, retracting penis, 100% limp at times (just drops 90 degrees to the left at the base) - 4 weeks after coming off I got ball ache about 3 to 4 on a pain scale of 10).
That went but still have low ejaculate volume, and in the past have had watery semen as well as very thick semen. I can get erect at times but it takes a lot of stimulation which has to be pretty much constant.
I've also had the very occasional odd twinge of light but unusual breast pain (guessed it was raised estrogen) but havent experienced that over the last 2 months. Blood test said T was ok. Viagra works (but I know it's not vascular anyway).
Penis gone narrower but regains its orginal all round size when fully erect - thank God.
You guys are doing a great job communicating like this...I think the likes of Mew etc have probably saved lives by running this forum because the whole thing is very destressing at times...
My journey with Propecia started about 2 years ago. I noticed thinning and was prescribed it to me by a doctor who told me it only had "2% side effects." With stats like that how could I say no?
Anyhow I started taking it for the next 6 months. All was okay and I was already living a great life as a single bachelor. My god I was on a HOT streak with the girls, I always was good but when I turned 25 I just went blazing. I was juggling 4 girls at the same time. Having sex with each of them sometimes multilpes times a week and then calling them in for office blowjobs, roadhead, and still had one night stands on the side etc etc.... Every girl I hooked up with told me the same thing: I had the sex drive of a 16yr old teen horn dog. I could drill girls night and day and keep going 3 sometimes 4 times after another. Sex was on my mind all the time. I had an insatiable appetite.
I finally narrowed all the girls down to THE ONE. She was perfect in every way. We connectd on an emotional, spiritual level and of course we had matching sex drives to boot. We were like sex addicts on each others drug. About this time as I got serious with my gf I unexpectadly stopped taking Propecia. After 6 months I noticed no side effects but also noticed it did nothing for my hair. I was conviced it was pointless. After going off it cold turkey for a month or so I noticed something odd...
My Sex drive started plummeting! I had constant fatigue, erections were only semi hard or only lasted a few minutes at best and morning wood was a rare occurence. It wasn't instant but a gradual decline. Of course my gf noticed. How could she not? At first we just spiced things up more. Went more kinky. Got into more experimental sex thinking we just needed to try new things to get my libido going. It stayed the same.
I had not idea what was happening?!? A healthy 26 year old with hot gf and super high sex drive was vanishing before my eyes. I took action and assumed it was age catching up and I needed to boost my Testosterone levels. I hit the gym like a maniac. Did squats, dead lifts, ate more clean fruits and vegetables and stopped drinking alchoal and junk food. I changed myself on the outside. I put on muscle and confidence but the sex drive was still not coming back. I felt like others mentioned-- disconnected from my penis. Like it was just some shrivled up ball between my legs servinig no purpose.
By this time in the relationship it was beggining to strain us. I had a hot gf begging me to "Fuck her" but I had NO drive... I would want to cuddle and just talk to her about emotional issues. She did not understand what was going on and began to think I was cheating on her with other girls on the side. We got into fights, she bagn checking my emails/text messages and would blow up over any little thing because she was convinced I was sleeping with other women.
I got desperate. I did not want to lose this woman. The love of my life. I saw a doc and they put me on low dose of Cialis. Popped a pill every other day and noticed I had my hard erections back. I was back to normal physically. We would have sex but it felt mechanical. I felt no drive to actually do the deed. It felt disconnected having a ragining boner but not feeling any desire to do anything about it. My gf figured things were back to normal we talked of marriage, having childern one day and being together forever.
Then I tested going a week or few days without popping an ED pill and my penis shrivled up into a grape. I felt no desire to workout anymore and it began effecting my entire life. Afraid to tell anyone what was going on I went to see a sex therapist and she like most docs said it was a "mental block". At this point I was getting frustrated. Therapy sessions only made me worse off as I tired to emotionaly connect with my gf but could not get a erection or have ANY sexual desire. I felt lost, hopeless. She began to lose attraction and I knew the day would come we'd end up breaking up. It was hard to accept. Not because it did not work out between us but the reason why it didn't was because I wasn't able to sexually satisfy her or myself. Of all the reasons. This was the one I NEVER thought would end any of my relationships. The man every girl saw as a Sex God was now a sexless eunich.
Months have gone by now and its been almost a year since I stopped taking Propecia and no longer do Cialis. Nothing has changed. I can't remember the last time I had a morning erection and desires for sex are non existent. I get maybe one semi hard on every few days and masturbation is never on my mind. I've slept with a few women since then but the desire is just weak and the sex not very good.
I came upon this site today and was shocked that this long term sideffect is almost certianly due to messing up my brain/horomones by taking Propecia. I am ANGRY, frustrated and hopeless. I could not believe I got duped by the mega billion dollar drug companies that have effectivly runined my life on a physical, emotional and spirtual level. Had I known there was even a slight possiblity of this occuring I never would have popped a single pill.
Is there anything that can be done here guys? Can we sue the companies? Submit our stroies to the FDA? I've been telling my friends on Propecia to STOP now and spread the word on this posionious drug. For now I've read through the FAQ's and I hoping that with time like with others my body will heal itself. That is the only hope we have to hold onto.
Thank you for this forum. At least I know I'm not alone.
I am currently suffering sexual dysfunction like decreased penile sensitivity, difficulty getting/maintaining erections, decreased semen volume, watery semen, loss of spntaneous erections, and low libido.
I am 23 years old and have been taking Propecia for 3 years.
In the first two weeks that I started taking it, I experienced erectile dysfunction and low libido, but then I read that with continued use, the side effects go away. So I continued using it, and luckily, the side effects did completely go away and I have been using the drug for 3 years with no problems at all.
However, in June 2007, I started experiencing the sexual side effects again and could not even get an erection at all. So, I stopped the Propecia cold turkey. About 5 days later, I regained my libido and everything was fine as I had expected.
However, the side effects slowly returned and now 3 weeks after stopping Propecia, I have extremely low libido and if I can manage to get an erection, it feels numb with little sensation.
I am devastated. I can't recall a time in my entire life when Ive gone 3 days without wanting to masturbate. Porn doesnt turn me on anymore. Usually, I can't even go a day or two without having a crazy urge to masturbate or have sex.
I know this is abnormal, its not psychological, Im not stressed out about anything going on in my life, and I work out everyday. My diet is great.
Im going to see a urologist and endocrinologist tomorrow to get a hormone profile.
So it has been 6 months since I quit propecia. I used it for 3 years and quit once I had sexual side effects.
Since then, I have regained a partial ability to get an erection, but my libido has just barely budged. I masturbate 2-3 times a week, but I feel like I force myself. My penis feels numb and my ejaculate is so watery and only about 30% of what it used to be. Masturbating used to be euphoric for me, but now I can just do without it. I can go 4-5 days without even thinking about sex. That was unheard of for me before this incident. Its scary and I'm still struggling here.
My hormone levels were "normal" according to tests I took 4 months ago, but I never had them checked BEFORE I had the problem. So its difficult to tell without comparing the values to myself instead of to some standardized values. I'm currently not on any regimen.
All the doctors I see tell me its psychological. Its NOT. I have gone through some of the most difficult times in my life with NO effect on my reproductive health.
So its been 12 months now that I have quit propecia, and unfortunately there has been no improvement in my libido.
I have seen several endocrinlogists and urologists. They all say my prostate and health look fine. My blood and urine tests are fine and all come back within "normal" range. Yet I KNOW that my sex drive is gone. My semen is very watery too.
So, I started seeing an acupuncturist because I feel like I've tried everything else. I'm not holding my breath.
It ridiculous that I can go a week without having any urge to look at porn or anything. I would ejaculate twice a day before this all started happening in June 2007. WHAT IS GOING ON?? I don't know what else to look for that might be wrong in my body. I've been following this forum pretty closely over the past year and it doesn't seem like many people have recovered or found the reason as to why their libido has diminished. It's so hard to enjoy life without a sex drive.
Yes, I've been very open to the idea of this being a mental issue. However, depression/stress/anxiety have never affected my libido in any way. Even during the most depressing times of my life, I have always waken up to strong morning erections and and an insatiable sexual apetite. In fact, the most depressing times of my life were because I could not satisty my sexual hunger. My libido was too high and out of control (maybe because of propecia? A known side effect is increased libido in some users).
However, I lost my libido during one of the most relaxing, pleasant times of my life. I just couldn't understand it. I have lost all my morning erections too. Every morning of my life I would wake up and have to wait for my erection to come down to urinate. My semen is now extremely watery and literally 20% of the volume that it used to be.
If someone were to tell me right now that to get my libido back I would have to work as a janitor in a dangerous, poverty-stricken neighborhood the rest of my life, I would do it in a heart beat.
I started noticing some very slight thinning around the age of 19. My dermatologist recommended Propecia. She didn't warn me about the potential costs. I suppose it was my burden to research them, but the past is the past. It's not her fault.
Anyway, the Propecia worked great for the first 2 months. Full head of thick hair and no signs of thinning. However, I started to notice that my erection would only hit 80-90%. It was still functional, just a little odd: I didn't connect the dots and just figured it was a random occurrence that would go away soon.
One day, about 3 months after I began taking it, my dick died. It felt like the connection between my dick and brain had been severed.
I started looking around, panicking, and stumbled across the thousands of warnings from libidoless former users. Too late for me, it seemed.
About a month off the stuff I noticed a nice recovery. My libido was still somewhat low but I could constantly get a 70% hard-on. Within a week, that was gone completely and I was back to the start.
Three months later and my dick is no longer quite dead, but it is a shell of its former self. Sometimes I can get hard enough to get off, other times I can't. The worst part is I'll jerk off to test if I'm capable of doing it; it's never driven by sexual desire anymore. Masturbation reduced to no more than a pseudo-scientific gauging tool, how fucked up is that? I can't find a relationship because I have no sexual desire. My libido is basically gone, and even when I do get the occasional hard on, it's kind of numb feeling. I felt like I was improving about a week ago, but the last three days have been more or less flaccid.
I'm lucky, I suppose. I haven't suffered any mental effects or other obvious physical effects that others complain of. I don't think I've suffered shrinkage, but it's hard to tell, seeing as I haven't had a full erection since about 4 months ago. I posted my blood test below but the doctor was more-or-less clueless about Finasteride and didn't check for all the proper things.
Is there hope with my levels and 3 months of usage, with only slight recovery 3 months after quiting? This shit is going to ruin my life. I've kept myself together pretty well emotionally but in the back of my mind I am terrified that I will never return to my former self. I used to be able to have sex three times a day. That's how it should be: I'm in the prime of my youth. I feel like my life has been stolen from me. It's not that sex is everything but being a defacto asexual does rob me of many of life's passions.
I just signed up for this forum and look forward to sharing what I know with everyone here to find a solution to our problems.
I first took propecia in my early 20s when i started to lose my hair. The doctor who prescribed it for me told me that only 2% of men have problems and those two percent went back to normal when they quit the drug. Thinking I had nothing to lose, I filled the prescription right away and began taking the medication.
Almost immediately I knew something was wrong. I lost interest in sex, no longer noticed attractive women and found it very difficult to get aroused. I stayed on the drug anyway because I really believed I would return to normal if I stopped.
Eventually the symptoms became too much to deal with after about a year and I stopped taking the drug for 2 years. In those 2 years I never recovered and I began to think it might be because of other things. I thought there was no way propecia could be causing the continued sexual dysfunction because I was no longer taking it. I spent years trying to get off drugs I was taking for seizures, hoping that would work and, having mistakenly ruled out the propecia as a problem I began taking it again until this summer.
Now I am off all medications and am continuing to suffer side effects and I am even learning about some new ones. So far here are all the things wrong:
I have very flat moods. I'm not depressed, not happy, not sad, just stuck in the middle
I am able to have orgasms but they are pleasure-free. I believe the term for this is sexual anhedonia
I have no dreams when I sleep
There is a complete absence of sexual fantasies for me
It is hard to feel or express love
I have a hard time laughing. When I am at comedy clubs I am the only one not laughing. I get the jokes, they just don't strike me as being funny.
A lot of hobbies and things that used to be interesting to me are no longer interesting.
I am now 33 years old and have spent the best years of my life crippled by this drug. I don't know if there are many people who have been crushed for a decade who have dug themselves out of this mess. I want to be able to feel alive again, I don't even care about my hair anymore.
I forgot to add that I also have severe memory issues. It's hard for me to concentrate or think clearly and my memory is definitely impaired. I used to be an amazing writer and be able to infuse a tremendous amount of emotion into my writing. Now I just feel empty and cold and am often at a loss of words when I try to express myself.
I started to use finasteride at the age of 22 because my hair loss increased. I thought as many of us here that finasteride is pretty safe drug and side effects happen only to small percentage of users, and if they happen, they disappear with longer use or after cessation, they disappear completely. But I was wrong.
First week on finasteride I noticed decreased libido and nothing changed till now. I also felt 4 times (2 times in first 2 weeks, 2 times in last 4 months on finasteride) pain in the area of penis, I'm not sure it that was pain in testicles of prostate. I had a feeling like I have to piss although I did that 2 minutes before. So I ignored sides (low libido) for very long time because I didn't find that as a problem if I can get an erection whenever I want and can have sex without any problem. But slowly, I lost nocturnal, morning and spontaneous erections. I wasn't looking even on that as on some huge problem, because still my sex life was normal.
In 2,5 years on fin I had several girlfriends and never had any erection problem till it happened 5 months ago. I started to have a problems with getting and maintaining erection with my last girlfriend, the hottest one. I ignored that for 4 months and then I decided to tell everything to my girlfriend and stop to use finasteride. She said she never thought that I have any problems with that, because when I couldn't get an erection (few times), I was a bit drunk and she thought that alcohol caused that. But I knew it was finasteride.
Now it's one month that I'm off finasteride. 3 days after cessation I felt recovery, I was horny all the time, had erections whole day, it wasn't normal. But 3 weeks later, sides came back. I also noticed some penis rotation on axis to left that I didn't notice when I was on finasteride, like it occurred post finasteride, after brief recovery.
Usually I sleep from 2 am to 10 am. Sometimes I wake up because I have to piss. Last few days I noticed that I have an erections (sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker) when I wake up around 6-7 pm, but when I wake up at 10 pm I do not have an erection. I also noticed that is much easier for me to get and maintain stronger erection in the morning than in the afternoon and evening.
I started to eat and live healthy at the same time as I started to take finasteride. I also worked out so I felt better and my look was better. My hair was stronger and darker, I gained some muscle weight and started to read and study a lot. So everyone said that I have changed a lot - to better. I was less interested in going out and drinking.
I had some anxiety problems before finasteride, but it seems like they become stronger on finasteride and happened more often. When I'm on the place where are a lot of people, I have some small panic attacks and I'm sweating a lot even if it is cold. Local buses full of people became a nightmare for me. I discontinued to go to my university lectures due to same reason. I'm not sure if that was caused by finasteride, because I had same problems before finasteride, but they were just less intense.
I have visited my doctor two days after I stopped with finasteride. I have asked him if it is possible to do some hormonal tests to see if everything is OK with me, bud he said that he even doesn't know what kind of tests should I do (he's not an endo, he's physician).
He gave me perscription for both, Propecia and Proscar. He said that probably it's all in my head because, as he said, he had more than 50 patients on finasteride and never any of them have reported any side effect. He also told me that he could send me to do some hormonal test only if I bring him some article from the internet where is written something like this: "After discontinuation of finasteride it's necessary to do these hormonal tests:...".
So I'm asking you guys, which study or article should I print and bring him to let him know that finasteride can cause serious problems and something where he could see what blood tests should I do? I know there is many studies on this forum, but I'm new here and a bit lost in all that, I need a time to investigate all that.
I would appreciate any respond and help.
I'm not coming here all freaked out about my three days of Proscar use (3 days use, 5 mg, quartered) and asking questions like "OMG, WHAT DO?????" I just want to tell my story of how I came to be in this boat.
My story begins like most of you all; I began thinning about three years ago at the age of 24. It didn't bother me all too much until the beginning of this year, so I went to see a dermatologist back in January. She "officially" diagnosed me with MPB, wrote me a prescription for Propecia, and gave me two weeks worth of the drug as a parting gift. Being the skeptical person I am by nature, I did a bit of research on the drug and was hit with a myriad of results detailing the side effects of the drug; however, all of them mentioned they would disappear after discontinuing the intake.
Being freaked out by the possible side effects (one guy on a forum I was reading actually reported "chunks" in his spunk), I resolved not to take the drug and let the pills and the prescription note sit on my desk until I graduated and moved out of my apartment, where I then threw them both away with the rest of the junk. At that point I resolved to accept my hair loss rather than face unnecessary side effects.
All was well until September when the whole hair loss issue started bugging me again. So, I went to see another dermatologist this past Tuesday (election day). I made sure to ask him questions about finasteride as I had done my research on the side effects. He told me out of all his patients he prescribed the drug, zero reported any side effects that are common with use.
He then reassured me the symptoms would disappear when use was discontinued as I had thought myself. Having read that Proscar was a pain in the ass to get a prescription for since it is treated for something completely different, the doctor (rather easily) prescribed a 5 mg dosage, quartered and taken daily. My health insurance allowed me to purchase thirty pills for a really low price, and I was allowed three refills. Regaining my hair was within my grasp. No more looking in the mirror and instantly becoming fixated on the thinness, provided I stayed on for at least a year.
So, you all are probably asking: Why did this idiot take the drug, even when he was aware of the possible side effects??? Well, I hadn't come across this forum yet and was under the false notion the side effects would disappear when the intake was discontinued. Also,I figured a decreased libido would be the least of my problems since I don't and have never been with that special someone. What's the point of a libido if you never use it, right??? I kept asking myself the question, is a head of hair worth my sex drive? How naive we lead ourselves to be all in the immature attempt at vanity...
Apparently, hair was more important than those spontaneous erections and morning wood, for I began taking the drug this past Wednesday (too focused on the election to begin on the same day).
Day 1 (Wed night/Thursday): I was watching an episode of the Simpsons when I popped a quartered pill. I didn't notice any effects whatsoever until I went to bed. While reading a book to lull myself to sleep, all of a sudden there was a strange sensation in my prostate. It didn't hurt, but I could feel it shrinking, so to speak.
Something told me that this is not right and I should immediately stop taking the drug, but I told myself I was being silly and tried my best in going to sleep while trying to ignore the activity taking place with my prostate. I did not sleep well that night; I woke up every hour as my subconscious mind tried its best to fight the drug with semi-erections. Each time I awoke, I was also strangely delirious and in some mind-altered state. Wednesday night/Thursday morning was not enjoyable; I hoped this was my body's way of getting accomodated with the drug and all would be normal in the future.
The next morning, the prostate sensation was taking place and kept me in a state of unease. It kind of felt like I had ejaculated, but without the orgasm and continously all day. As the day progressed, a low throbbing began to take place in my pelvic region, the moved to my penis, and finally to my testicles. Still telling myself that all this was my body getting used to the Finasteride and all would be normal in the future, I popped another quarter that night.
Day 2 (Thurs night/Friday): Again, the shrinking prostate sensation took hold as I was getting ready for bed, but I managed to sleep well last night, only waking once to relieve myself during another semi-erection.
The next morning I felt pretty normal. But I didn't feel like me. Usually I wake up revitalized and ready to take on the day. Today, however, I was blah. I work out often and consider myself in above average shape and kind of "pose" in the mirror before hopping in the shower. Today I just glanced at myself (also thought I looked fat) and stepped into the tub. During the ride to work I had a slight chest pain, but wrote it off as an upset stomach due to hunger; I eat breakfast at my desk. Sometimes I'm so hungry I can feel my stomach rumbling in my throat, so I thought this was the problem.
All day today, I just didn't feel like myself. No strange pains, no prostate tingling, but not myself. It finally occured to me that in these two days, not a lewd thought passed through my head and I hadn't had an erection. Could I really be content with a nonexistent libido for the rest of my life? So I decided to test myself when I got home. Under my YouTube profile, I have a number of videos that have me stiff in no time. Watching them, I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was as if my sex drive was literally taken from my mind. This was an hour after I had already taken my third quarter. I then searched for finasteride side effects (before I had just searched "propecia" side effects) and one of the first pages was about how a guy had taken the pill for about 6 months hand hadn't recovered a year later. I then came to this site.
I instantly dumped my last quarter and the other 29 pills in the garbage.
So, here I am now, 3.75 mg of finasteride taken over the course of three days. As to lingering side effects, who can say? I have a fresh 1.25 mg in my system as I am typing this. So I won't say that I won't have any lingering symptoms.
All I know now is that there are worse things in life than a hairless head.
MEDICAL CARE/PRACTITIONER TIMELINE
Started Prop end Jan 18th ’08
Perscribed by Dr. Mark Reisman (Kaiser Oakland, CA)
-Saw Dr. Reisman in Dermatology with regard to a skin problem.
-While there decided to ask about mildly thinning hair and Propecia
-Propecia was suggested over Rogain or anything topical
-Side effects or adverse effects/reactions were discussed
-The impression was given that there was no risk whatsoever
in using this drug
-It was suggested that I purchase from COSTO as it would be cheaper
-When purchasing from COSTO there was NO discussion of adverse
AFTER ≈ 2 MONTHS OF BEING ON PROPECIA AND EXPERIENCING SIDE EFFECTS:
I met with my original general practitioner, (primarily for another issue) Dr. Huynh (Kaiser Oakland, CA) sometime in March
- I was in the early stages of coming to terms with the side effects I was experiencing
-Dr. Huynh told me that what I was experiencing was “all in my head”
Continued use for a total of 3 months (Jan,Feb,March)-Severe side effects
-Read that sometimes side effects abate after continued use
-Bought 2nd 3 month prescription
-Used for approx 2 weeks
-Side effects too severe
-Found Prop Help website
AFTER DISCONTINUATION OF PROPECIA ≈ 3.5 MONTHS:
Discovered the Prop Help Website
- Was due to lose health benefits
-Called Dr. Reisman and explained my symptoms and research I had found
-Dr. Reisman responded with skepticism: “While what you are describing is possible it is highly improbable.”
-Dr. Reisman was informed that I was not sure what I was going to be able to do as I was going to lose my benefits but that I would drop off the medical research I downloaded from the Prop Help website to his office. I did not want others to have to go through what I was going through.
-No response from Dr. Reisman.
I scheduled an emergency care appointment with a different physician, Dr. Shah (Kaiser Oakland, CA)
- Met with Dr. Shah, who was extremely sympathetic and eager to help.
- Dr. Shah looked at the research I presented to her, scheduled blood work, and said she would contact an endocrinologist.
-Dr. Shah called me and said that before I see an endocrinologist I would need to get blood work done.
- I got the blood work done and thought my benefits expired.
I discovered my benefits did not yet expire so I chose a new general practitioner and scheduled an appointment with him- Dr. Dennis Ing (Kaiser Oakland, CA)
-Dr. Ing was receptive, looked at my blood work results, received the research from the Prop site, prescribed Levitra for the interim, and advised to wait and see how my body would adjust to my having stopped taking the medication before I start any other kind of treatment.
-My benefits ran out, I got a new job with benefits again and met with Dr. Ing once again to check-in. His assessment did not change but shortly after I emailed a request to see an Endocrinologist as 10 months had passed since I had stopped Propecia and I still had gynecomastia. He arranged for the appointment.
Jan 09 Met With Endocrinologist – Dr. Susan Y. Peng (Kaiser Oakland, CA)
-Dr. Peng was receptive, informative, supportive, and very helpful
- She, as well as Dr. Ing, continues to be supportive and helpful via email
-Admission of knowledge by her that Propecia is known as causing gynecomastia
*Was this information not available to Dr. Reisman?
-Discussion of tamoxifen – instructed to research and email thoughts.
-Request for blood work made and appointment for mammogram (changed to appointment with breast surgery)
-Blood work 2/16; Surgery appt 2/17
- After researching tamoxifen I think I will request a trial
-Met with surgeon and was advised against surgery as my gyno was not "severe" and it may not be covered by insurance at it may be deemed cosmetic by the med chiefs.
June 09 telephone appt with Dr. Peng and finalized Tamoxifen trial.
-Decided didn’t want to start trial as I was still working, (and was going to teach summer school) and knew side effects were going to make working difficult.
Aug 09 on disability for repetitive stress injury and able to take time for Tamoxifen trial; research legal options for malpractice in negligent prescription of medication.
-benefits expired again so trying to reapply to continue working with Dr.Peng.
-In doing more research on gyno and its use by steroid users/adolescent boys and older cancer patients, it becomes clear that if my case had been taken seriously earlier Tamoxifen could have been prescribed with little chance of side effects given my age, and the probability was very great the gyno could have been efficiently resolved .
-Dr. Ing should have moved for me to start a trial before the hardening of fibrous breast tissue. At this stage Tamox may be effective.
-Law offices I spoke with either only take on more severe cases, as awards in CA are capped, or are not sure as to whether or not I am within the statute of limitations.
I was 22 or 23 years old, can’t recall exactly. I went to a dermatologist to find out why my hair was falling out. In what seemed like a 4 minute office visit, he said it was male pattern baldness and prescribed Fin. I looked up the side effects at the time and the information I found was Merck’s official info (side effects in <1% of people, completely and totally reversible upon cessation). OK, NO PROBLEM!! So I start ingesting the poison. My hair stops falling out, I even grow some back. Great, the pill is doing what it’s supposed to… end of story.
Two years later, I remember having a brief episode of extreme confusion. It was memorable, but I kept operating pretty normally. Probably about 6 months later, I started having a very slow but steady decline in all of the areas I posted an X next to. I noticed more easily the mental side effects. The sexual side effects were there, but I guess I attributed them to my age maybe, and didn’t pay as much attention to them (because I never became fully impotent) so they allowed me to function (as in, MINIMALLY FUNCTIONAL, NOT optimum or normal function).
The mental sides were very worrisome. I have had my IQ tested at 142, which is pretty high (prior to taking fin). Little by little I felt less and less witty, less able to have complex thought, but it was such a slow and steady decline that it was hard to point the finger at any single day as being the difference maker. So from about the age of 25 I was well aware of my mental side effects. I search countless hours on the internet and am unable to find something similar to what I am experiencing. I suspect Finasteride all along but countless searches for fin side effects return nothing (except for Merck’s official side effects). I even choose to quit finasteride on two occasions because it is the only pill I take, hoping for a relief of symptoms. I would quit the pill 2 or 3 weeks and upon seeing absolutely no change for the better I resume taking the pill. (Now I know that it takes a minimum of a month to even leave the system… hindsight).
By the age of 26 I am full blown dysfunctional. I can’t carry even the simplest of conversations. I am stuttering. I can’t read newspaper articles designed for second grade reading levels. I have to use all of my energy to focus on even the simplest of tasks. My motoring skills are paltry. I can’t recognize names or faces for the life of me until it is way too late. I’m sleeping 12 hours a night and napping at lunch time. My penis feels disconnected from my body. I have a couple of sexual encounters where I am unable to get an erection. I’m spending nearly half my time trying to find the source of my problems. I am failing at work from a literally PHYSICAL inability to perform.
I go and have a complete physical at a hospital which finds nothing wrong with me. The only relevant info my internet searches are returning is maybe like schizophrenia or brain tumor. I go see a neurologist, have an MRI, everything normal. The doctors “take a guess” that I’m anxious or having a crisis. I have never been anxious at all, quite the contrary… I take things very much in stride. Still no reprieve. Recurring thoughts of suicide if I am unable to return to normal, I also think that I may actually die at any time from this affliction.
Finally, the first nugget of info that seems to confirm my suspicion that Fin might be causing all this. Some lady posts the following on a doctor’s website:
“Hi I found your name on the web. My husband started taking finasteride Propecia in March of 2006. I started to notice a change in him right away looking back now in hindsight., He was tired fell asleep more often when putting kids to bed. Took in prompt to naps during the day. Had no real gusto for life that he used to have. In May of 2006 we were on a cruise had a simple argument and he jumped overboard. He could not swim. He had nothing in his life that was going wrong. He was very successful and loved to travel and live life to the fullest. I am trying to prepare a case to get a warning put on this product. It is not mention in any of the medical literature about the possible finasteride side effect of depression. If this had been noted we may have had an early idea that this medicine was not a good fit for my husband. Any help you could provide me would be greatly appreciated. Do you know of any clinical studies going on in the US regarding this link between depression and finasteride?”
That post sent chills down my spine. Maybe I wasn’t crazy. Maybe this drug was causing problems. Shortly before I turn 27 I finally find what I am looking for… www.propeciahelp.com. Immediately upon finding this website I find an exact description of everything I have been feeling that I could not justify. Even symptoms that I could not put into words, I just FELT THEM. Reading people’s experiences I have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that this is the source of my problems. I immediately quit fin. Since I learned it would take a month to even leave my system and then additional time for my body to attempt to recuperate, I choose to quit and reevaluate somewhere down the road.
Once 6 months had passed I chose to go to a doctor and explain everything to her. She briefly put me on progesterone which I chose to quit because I had a distinct feeling that it was not nearly addressing the problem. In these 13 months since I quit I have felt some recuperation, but definitely not to pre finasteride levels. My betterment has been in all areas, but marginal. I would estimate that I have recuperated to about 50%. I am more functional, but still feel a gaping difference between the way I was and the way I currently am. I am now considering a more proactive approach to try and jumpstart things without getting too dramatic. I don’t want to cause any more harm to my body. I am completely avoiding HRT unless it is the ONLY thing left. I am currently strongly considering the following options which have all been discussed here. I am still learning and allowing my intuition to guide me as to which one I might try first. The approaches under consideration and in no particular order are:
1 - HGH.
2 – Morphine to increase 5ARII in the Central Nervous System.
3 – High, irregular doses of DHT to see if it impacts mRNA transcription.
Specific medical tests are difficult to come by in my country (Nicaragua), but I am trying my best to get the appropriate testing. I have gotten many T, FSH, LH, Estradiol tests in the last year. I am about to check IGF BP3 and IGF-1, and am trying to find a way to test A Diol G. This is where I currently stand, better than when I was unknowingly killing myself, but a shadow of my former self.
Severe Side Effects
-No libido; No desire to masturbate, copulate etc.
-No morning erection
-Change in penis shape/size
-Pain in scrotum, prostate area
-Increase in tiny red blood “blisters” on body
-Detached feeling from sexual organs
- Severe gynecomastia
*painful enlarged breasts
*extremely sensitive nipples
-Noticeable lack of dreams? Change in sleep state? (Hard to pinpoint)
Off Of Propecia Since Mid-March
Since Summer 08 (w/ much work on the weight loss)
-Decrease in weight
-Decrease in breast size and sensitivity
-Penis regular shape/size
-Increase in libido and connection to sexual organs closer to “normal”
*though prescribed Levitra if needed -by Dr. Dennis Ing
-Morning erections are not as robust
-Increase in # of sexual dreams
-While general levels of libido have increased it feels different (hard to describe),not what it used to be – not as robust.
I started with Proscar 1mg/day early 2006 to combat my hair loss along with growth stimulants, as minoxidil solutions - rogaine/Regine. At that point, I was 20 years old and ready to fight off this plague that had bothered most of the my male relatives.
I took my precautions, went to the doctor, had his advice on the matter - he didn't want to prescribe this drug to a fairly young and well hormone balanced male.
My preparations was complete, I was a frequent poster at a big hair loss forum, we all share our experiences on different boards right? This time around I cared much about my genetic hair loss so I spent alot of time around there. (I still do, in hope for a cure) Meds are fine I heard, if you get sides, fight through it.. It will eventually get better, I thought.
Let's just say I understand my doctor very well this day..
3 months into Propecia my life was literally turn upside down, my dick was practically limp and flaccid all day, and the worst part was I didn't really care for it, since my sex drive more or less had ceased to exist.
- The ejaculations was all watery and there was no pleasure in it.
- I could not focus in school, my brain was all out of focus.
- Had trouble sleeping at night, didn't eat much either..
- Experienced my first real period of depression along with anxiety, everything felt like a challenge I couldn't deal with simple things in life such as communication with strangers.
- Stuttering/stammering also became a reality for me.
I literally felt like a child, my balls was gone(no guts) and was afraid of everything.
Developed gynecomastia over this period, yes bitch tits.
Never felt so broken before.
Now, 3 years later I can't say I'm all recovered, but the poison is no longer in my veins.
I guess my dick is ok, morning woods are absent along with spontanous erections, it can be summoned upon need tho - weaker than before ofcourse.
Still feel anxiety, but not nearly as strong as before. The depression is gone. Brain fog gone.
Stacking up cash for surgery.
Hey guys, I started in the fall of 2008 with 1mg/day of propecia prescribed by my long time dermatologist. I have a moderate receding hairline at the sides of the front (think Jack Nicholson) of my head. I didn't want to keep losing the hair, so I tried Propecia. All seemed fine for the first couple months, but I began to really experience changes a few months in.
My girlfriend and I went on a 10-day trip to the Cayman Islands to getaway at the end of February. I figured I would be as horny as possible, but I had hardly any desire for sex. We had some, but my girlfriend had to basically initiate whenever we did. This continued for the following months. Other things I began to notice aside from the low libido were much lower performance at the gym, little to no ejaculate when masturbating or having sex, excessive tiredness during the day and weight fluctuation.
I easily put on 15-20 lbs by April of 2009 (bringing my weight to about 230lbs), which doesn't make much sense since I workout 2-3 times a week, run around a lot on Friday (literally) and play paintball all day on Sundays. It didn't make sense, but I just figured I was eating too much or something. I never really addressed the eating problem, I just eat until I am about full. Now, I weigh 212lbs and I am still doing almost nothing different from what I was doing in January.
One thing is for sure, I can barely get through a weight lifting routine at the gym anymore; not the routine I was doing in January 2009, but a greatly reduced version of it. In January 2009, I could bench press 205lbs for 5 reps, 185 for 7 reps and 135lbs 15 reps or more (as a warm up). Now, I can barely get 125 up for 10 reps....pathetic, huh? Curls have been reduced from 35lbs to 25lbs, sit-ups used to be 100 reps at the beginning and the end of the workout, now it is 50 at the beginning and maybe 25 at the end if I am not already depleted and feel like a wet noodle.
I honestly think I am eating better now than ever; little to no candy and fast food, lots of protein and vegetables and fruit as a snack. I drink mostly water and juice, no coffee, soda or energy drinks at all, some beer, but no more than 3 or 4 a week. There is no reason why I am so drained of energy during these workouts except for that little pink pill I take every morning....
Fast forward to December 2009 and I have no desire for sex with my girlfriend despite her beauty (I know exactly what you are thinking, that she must be some nasty troll from the boonies or something...but she is actually very hot, all my friends stare at her and ask where I found her, she used to be a billboard/magazine model and a stage actor in Palm Springs, CA if that helps any). I don't really care about finding a job (although I am trying) or what is going on on a daily basis. I feel very numb about a lot of emotions. I would normally be excited about going out on saturday nights to dance and be active, but now all I want to do is watch a movie and go to sleep.I don't enjoy things like I used to. The most exciting thing I have done in recent memory was winning a new loader for my paintball guns on ebay.
I used to get erections so easily, at night, in the morning and even just sitting at my desk, but now they are NONEXISTENT.When I do end up watching porn and somehow get hard, I cannot ejaculate at all. I know this sounds crazy, but I used to have lots of ejaculate, my girlfriend called me Peter North because of how much was there. Now it is like the well is all dried up.
I know I just stopped using it today and I hope to Christ I regain my Mojo and all the other stuff, but after reading all these other stories I am really nervous..... I will report back how I feel as the days go by now that I stopped using it. Hope this helps, guys.
Alright, I have been off Propecia for just under one full month and here is an update on how I feel:
Not too much is different, but there have been some changes. I am starting to get erections back now, but they are still tough to make happen when I would like them (such as when my girlfriend and I are laying in bed). I am occasionally starting to get them back at random times like sitting at the office, driving around in my car and sitting at a movie theater. At least this lets me know my cock is still getting blood flow...
Libido (Mojo) is still gone for the most part, little to no desire for sex unless I am looking at porn or something. Cumshots are still like a dry well, occasionally a little trickle, but mostly always nothing. This feels like the worst of all the side effects....
My performance at the gym is still at a reduced level, but there was a recent glimmer of hope when I bench pressed 135lbs for 12 reps and wasn't completely juiced afterwords. I was able to get through my reduced routine with a bit more endurance then before, so hopefully that is a taste of things to come.
Overall, I would say a few erections are showing up on the map and my strength seems to be leveling out instead of dropping. I weigh about 210lbs, so I am back to my old jean size that I was when I started taking it. Other than that, no real changes.
I really feel deceived about Merk's claim that side affects are restored soon after stopping use. I really feel like a retard for even caring about my hair enough to risk my nut's performance like this.
I am reading about getting a testosterone shot to help get me back to normal. I figure that since Finesteride (Propecia) messes with Testosterone, I may want get some more to replace what seems to be missing as of late. Still just in the thought stage, I won't do it until I read more and consult a doctor.
Lets see what happens during this next month.....
I started losing my hair in the front on the sides when I was probably around 21, but it didnt become that noticeable until I was around 24-25 to where I started becoming a little insecure about it. Found out about propecia when I looked up hair loss on google, and figured if I could take a pill and keep my hair or at least slow down the loss of it, why not. I believed the "only 2% had side effects" and that the side effects stop on cessation of taking the drug BS from Merck. Started taking 1mg daily and don't remember noticing anything much different, although I did stop having morning wood and spontaneous erections but its weird because its almost like I didn't even take that much notice, I didn't feel anything close to like I do now, I figured I would still be able to perform fine if the occasion came up.
I used to look at porn or play video games with my roomates and stuff like that but once I started propecia I started feeling way more motivated to do constructive things instead, I started working out everyday lifting weights and got pretty bulked out, I was in the best shape of my life, and felt way more confident than I ever had been. Usually I would avoid confrontations before but now I felt like I could stand up to anybody that messed with me and throw down with them, before I never felt like that, I used to get picked on a lot coming up and would just take it. At the time I didn't think propecia had anything to do with that, I just thought it was because I started lifting weights, but after reading stuff on here I think the propecia maybe boosted my testosterone levels. My roomates also said I was being way more aggressive and agitated about stuff. But to me it just seemed like I was finally standing up for myself and calling them out on stuff that would piss me off. Like coming home from the bar at 2 AM being all loud and me getting woke up.
The main side effect that I actually felt and noticed and attributed to the drug though at the actual time I was taking it, was after a few months when I would take a piss, it didnt feel the same when I was "done" and there would still be piss dribbling out my dick. Like my bladder wasnt completely emptying or something. Even after I started noticing it I still kept taking the drug for probably another month or two because the hair loss forums that I was going to said you need to take it for a full year to know whether its working for you or not, so I tried to continue taking it, but the piss leakage got worse and worse to the point where I couldn't take it anymore (take a piss and then pull up my pants and feel a bunch of piss leak out) so I just quit taking it cold turkey at that point, I figured once I stopped taking it that everything would return to normal.
Also as far as sexual sides while I was on it, I started seeing this girl after we met at a party and the first time we messed around she gave me a hand job and I came super quick, like immediately. That had never happened to me before when I was with a girl. Before I could hold it, now it felt like I didnt have any control over it. My dick wasn't as hard as it used to be also. But later when we had sex a couple times I wasnt that into it. Almost the opposite effect. Before just having a girl there naked next to me my dick would be ROCK hard. Like way harder than it would be looking at porn. I was able to have sex and everything but it definitely wasn't the same as it was before, my dick didn't feel as hard and I couldn't really feel it, couldn't even really feel how tight she was or anything. That was the first time I really realized that it was messing with me sexually, this was probably 3 months before I quit taking it.
Another side effect that I didn't realize was from propecia at the time was a couple times when I was at work, I couldn't remember the name of people that I work with, and I work with them everyday, and theres only 3 other people I work with. I would eventually remember but it was like when you first meet somebody and you forget their name, and it takes you a while to remember, it was like that, when it should have just been immediate. I thought it was weird at the time but I never attributed it to the propecia until way later on this site when I was reading about "brain fog", and that totally clicks, I also felt the difficulty putting my thoughts into words sometimes too. This went away after I stopped taking it though and only happened a few times while I was on it.
Maybe a week or two after I stopped taking it, one day I got super horny for no apparent reason, and went and looked up porn for the first time in forever. It was weird too because I hadn't felt that way the entire time I was on it, even when I messed around with that girl that "horny" feeling wasn't really there. That day was the last time I have had that feeling. Ever since then I barely ever get morning erections and when I do theyre usually not even that hard and go away pretty quick. Same thing with nocturnal erections, and spontaneous. On the rare occasion that I do get a spontaneous one it feels like its a super slowed response and just gets maybe like 15-20% hardness. Before it would get super hard like right away. If I look at porn, somedays it will get close to fully erect without touching it, but then other days it wont get hard at all unless I give it a lot of manual stimulation.
Also there seems to be no in-between stage, like my dick gets hard looking at porn, but it wont stay hard unless I constantly mess with it, and the only way it gets all the way hard is if I get it to where I feel like I'm just about to come, then back off, then it will start to get limp again. Before when I would look at porn or have sex there was like an in-between stage where my dick would just be hard, on its own, and there would be precum during that stage too, which is also absent now. Now its just like I can make myself come or I can just stop and have my dick go limp. Also when I do orgasm it just feels like a "biological event" now, it just has this emptiness to it.
I messed with one girl since I stopped taking it and it was pretty much a disaster, she started giving me a BJ and I felt like I was going to come right away and had to pull her off me. She got on top of me and it was pretty much the same thing, felt like I was going to come super easy even though I couldnt really feel anything and my dick was only semihard. Also no horniness or pleasurable feeling (she came on to me and I was trying to accommodate her as much as possible) and that same no "dick hard on its own" stage.
Anyways to summarize the side effects I still have 5 yrs since quitting:
- ZERO sex drive, never feel horny
- Decreased penile/scrotum/testicle size
- Dick feels disconnected
- No morning/spontaneous/nocturnal erections (do get them sometimes but very rarely)
- Dick is always tiny (doesnt change throughout day)
- Balls also hanging low most of the time
- Premature ejaculation/Erectile disfunction
- Still have leakage after pissing
- Constipation (dont know if its fin related though)
Took propecia for just over a 1 year for hair loss when i was 28. Before taking it I had NO sexually problems.
I was healthy, strong libo, regular sex, no problem with erections. Then and now I eat healthy, have very little junk food, am in decent shape, no drug use, drink only on the weekends (but sometimes drink a little too much then).
After taking propecia for about 11 months I noticed that my erections were not as strong when I was with my gf. Somtimes during sex they were getting softer and not staying all the way hard. This was NEVER a problem before. So I decided to taper off and quit all together just over 2 months later.
My sexual drive took a massive dive about a month into the tapering off. Erections happend once or twice a week instead of everyday. This has continued for about 17 months since then.
I was having hard time getting an erection when in bed with women, and when i did it wasn't the same hardness, and after cumming I was done for the whole night. Before if I came, I could be ready to go again in 20 minutes.
I thought it was getting a little better this fall, erections were a little harder (though still after cumming I could not get hard again), but now it seems to gotten really bad again. I had a sad sexually experience being with a girl who was ready and helping me out, and I could not get hard, ugh.
I wish I had known everything (and about this forum) before taking this garbage (how can they even be allowed to sell it!?). I read Merck's warning that users can suffer sexual side effects I knew that but they gave the impression that it could ONLY happen when taking it, NOT after you stop. No I find out that sexually side effects might be permanent.
I am now 30, less than 3 years ago I had high libido, no erection problems, after taking propecia for a little over a year and then quiting for over 1 1/2 years I very low libo, and hardtime having and maintianing erections and decreased ejaculate.
Like everyone else I just want to go back to the way it was before.