23 years old - Hoping I haven't ruined my life

Welcome to our community. Please fill in the following template as a way of introducing yourself, and helping others to understand your background and situation.

Where are you from (country)?

How did you find this forum (Google search – if so, what search terms? Via link from a forum or website – if so, what page? Other?)

What is your current age, height, weight?
23 6’3 190

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)?

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
1 mg/day

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Preventing beginning stages of MPB

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
About 5 weeks, missed my prescription for a month and then again for 3 weeks.

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
cold turkey

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
About 2 weeks after I restarted, quit once things added up.

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

Check the boxes that apply. You can save your post first, then interactively check/uncheck the boxes by clicking on them. If your symptoms change, please update your list.

[x] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[x] Erectile Dysfunction
[ ] Complete Impotence
[ ] Loss of Morning Erections
[x] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[ ] Watery Ejaculate
[ ] Reduced Ejaculate
[ ] Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

[x] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[ ] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ ] Confusion
[ ] Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
[ ] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[ ] Slurring of Speech
[ ] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[x] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ ] Severe Depression / Melancholy
[x] Suicidal Thoughts

[x] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[x] Testicular Pain
[x] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[x] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[x] Muscle Wastage - I lost about 10 pounds since cessation and muscles appear skinnier, but I’ve been making progress in the gym so I may be psyching myself out here.
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[ ] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

[ ] Prostate pain
[ ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[ ] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[ ] Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
[ ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[x] Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears) - new symptom I’ve been stressing about, but I think I’ve had this to some degree pre-fin.
[ ] Hearing loss
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[ ] Lowered body temperature

[x] Other (please explain)

  • Reduced sensations around body? Recently I experienced goosebumps and feet feel ticklish again.
  • Eyes are dry. I don’t feel satisfaction in taking out my contacts at night anymore.

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?

If you have pre or post-drug blood tests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (please post your test results in the “Blood Tests” section and link to them in your post)?

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.

First of all, I just want to say that I am sorry you’re reading this post because it most likely means you have been affected by this drug as well. I wouldn’t wish these side effects on my worst enemy. I am reluctant to make this post in fear that I’ll be looking back on it years later, but I’ve been browsing the forum and feel I may as well report my case and hopefully bring you all great updates along the way. At this point, I quit finasteride 29 days ago, so nearly a month ago.

I was stupid. My hair was barely thinning and everyone that I asked told me it looked perfectly fine. I was visiting my dermatologist for an unrelated reason (Vitiligo) and asked about my balding. She said I may be in the beginning stages, but nothing significant. So I asked about finasteride because my roommate has been taking it for months with good results. She said, “I don’t like prescribing it, but you can give it a try.” Neglecting to mention any possible side effects or why she doesn’t like prescribing it. Me being ignorant had done no research of my own, I simply did not understand what this pill does to the human body and I regret this lack of research every day. Had I had known this was a possibility there’s no way I would have touched this drug. I’m still struggling to accept that I took this pill, but oh well the past is the past.

I finished the first prescription with no side effects at all, but I got lazy and waited a few weeks to get my next refill. Three weeks into my second prescription and I had noticed some weird sides, but never equated it to finasteride until I had already crashed. I immediately threw away the rest and my nightmare began.

I first realized something was off when I hadn’t felt the urge to masturbate in about a week and when I went to do so there was no life in my penis. I was completely soft and still managed to ejaculate. It was horrifying and I went into a spiral from there. In hindsight, I also noticed some small amounts of anxiety and a bit less pleasureful sex with my girlfriend the week before this incident. At the time neither of those were concerning enough to think much of it, but looking back it had to be the finasteride. The first week was absolute hell, I was almost sure my life would end soon.

It’s worth mentioning that I have dealt with generalized anxiety disorder since I was around 14 years old. I began taking Prozac when I was 15 and had absolutely no issues with the drug. I know now that SSRIs can have similar debilitating effects, but similar to how finasteride is somehow some users saving grace, Prozac was mine. I tapered off Prozac last Summer and after a couple months enduring some withdrawal symptoms like headaches and brain zaps, I no longer needed it. My mental agony was so awful during the first week since quitting finasteride that I felt I had no choice but to begin a low dose of Prozac. I believe that this has helped immensely as I have been a bit more positive and feel like I can at least live my life to a diminished degree for the time being.

It does seem that my symptoms have slightly improved. During that first week, it was literally impossible to get an erection. I had virtually zero feeling anywhere on my penis. My skin felt very rubbery, I couldn’t feel any ticklish sensation, and I even pulled out some of my nose hairs with tweezers and felt very very muted pain if any. My eyes were so dry that my contacts would randomly fall out. I was unable to sleep. This was especially hard because all I wanted to do was sleep and make it to the next day. I think I got some sleep, but it was very strange. Like I would just lose track of time and roll around in bed for a few hours. At this time I had no appetite at all. I went from about 195 lbs to about 182 lbs at my lowest. The random panic attacks and constant suicidal thoughts were worse than anything I’d ever felt before. I had extreme anhedonia, I couldn’t even pass the time or distract myself with shows and podcasts I loved just a week ago. I also noticed that I had no smell or sweat in my armpits or balls. My poop was a bit weird at the time as well, very light and floating most of the time. I was a shell, pacing around the house wondering how this was possible and what I did to deserve this. I truly believe no human should be allowed to be subject to this trauma. When I fully recover I’ll still never be able to shake the trauma, that’s something I’m sure of.

So here we are. It’s been 29 days, the worst 29 days of my life I believe.

Sexually I can now achieve an erection consistently and some sensation has returned. It has short instances (seconds) of being nearly 100%, but then back to being muted. My glans have pretty consistent (reduced) sensitivity at this point. I feel my erection has gotten a bit thinner, although this could be me overthinking. I have noticed what I believe to be more prominent veins on my penis. Again I go back and forth on whether or not these were there before because honestly I never really stopped to analyze these things in the past. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good pictures of it saved to compare my current self to my past self. I got my first erection back when I was with my girlfriend a week after the crash. I did take 5 mg of Cialis earlier in the day, but was very happy to get an erection just from laying in bed with her. We were able to have sex (once at night and once in the morning), although it felt nowhere near as good as usual. I also lasted much longer because of this. Luckily my orgasms have also still felt very good and pretty powerful, but the act of sex itself leaves much to be desired still. We had sex twice the next weekend, the second time felt considerably better than the previous times we had sex since I quit Finasteride. I did use cialis these days as well in the mornings just to have a bit more confidence going into the act. She lives 2 hours away so we really only see each other on the weekends, which sucks because I do believe being with her not only keeps my mind off of things, but brings back some of my libido in the moment. The only regression is that I believe to have some hard flaccid symptoms sometimes, but these come and go. Today my flaccid looks and feels pretty normal. Other times my penis and testicles will feel veinier and dried out if that makes sense. So sexually I have improved no doubt. My urologist told me I could take cialis daily to ensure that blood is flowing down there, but I’ve really only been taking it as needed.

Physically I am still experiencing concerning symptoms and changes. The weight loss was very concerning. My weight was dipping by the day as I couldn’t really eat due to anxiety and no feeling of appetite. It seems to have leveled back to around 187-190, which is close to where I was at before. However, this does concern me because I feel as though I lost some muscle mass. This is where I don’t know if I’m overthinking or not. I have been keeping up in the gym and benched more than I ever had last week and my weights are keeping up with where they were pre-fin for the most part. I do, however, feel like my wrists and legs got skinnier. I also have blue veins on my arms, which appear to be more visible, but my anxiety has me fixated on them so again it’s hard to tell if this was always the way my veins looked or not. I am and always have been very pale so it’s a possibility that they’ve always been this way, but seeing similar reports makes me believe otherwise. I have also had some neck aches off and on. Does this seem like muscle wastage? Could this be from laying around for weeks not going to the gym while worrying about PFS? My skin reduced skin sensitivity is also still prevalent. It just feels weird, like I know I’m touching myself and I can feel it, but it’s just not the same and kind of detached. I have done my pain test again by pulling out nose hairs, which has become painful again to the point where I don’t want to continue with the test. I’ve taken this as a slight improvement along with my girlfriend touching me giving me chills and some ticklish sensation has returned to my feet. My face, thighs, upper back, back of arms, and base of penis are the areas that feel the most “rubbery.” This symptom has been playing a huge toll on my anxiety because it feels very freaky and makes me feel like I’m not in the same body, I hate it. My eyes still feel a bit numb as well, but my contacts haven’t randomly popped out in a while. I have regained B.O. in the gym consistently, and a small amount of that smell that your junk makes.

Mentally I am doing much better than that first week. I have regained some natural urges, though not the same strength as before. My stomach growls with a feeling of hunger now and I can eat what I need to in a day. Although I find that I do feel less satisfied after eating. I get a feeling of being tired again and have been able to get much better sleep and have normal dreams. Although I don’t get as much consistent sleep as I did before. Somedays I’ll only sleep 6-7 hours. I usually wake up around 3-4 hours after initially falling asleep, but now I don’t have much trouble falling back to sleep again. This is a significant improvement from maybe 2-3 hours of weird, anxiety-ridden, surface-level sleep. The anhedonia has also improved, I even got chills from watching a show the other day. But like most things, I feel my enjoyment is reduced, but this may be due to the fact that I’m constantly thinking about this horrible condition and how I feel. I did go out with friends for the first time last night and had some moments of laughter and fun. I also had a beer, which I believe made me feel shittier. Probably going to stay away from alcohol for a bit. Anxiety-wise, random panic attacks and nighttime anxiety have diminished. I still have a lot of anxiety, which is causing me to obsess over little things like my veins, skin, and so on. This makes it hard to tell which body changes are real, though I know for a fact this condition is real. As I mentioned previously I wasn’t even aware of the side effects and wasn’t looking out for them at all. My fear is that the Prozac is mentally the only thing holding me together. I’ll willingly accept a life sentence of Prozac if it means that I can continue my pre-fin life.

I think that about covers everything for now. If you have any questions please let me know. I’m scared, really scared. I’m a grad student, have a great girlfriend, and a lucrative side hustle that I manage with a friend. These last few weeks have made me scared that I may lose all of these things and that the world will move on without me. I’m trying to remain positive and I will continue to use “when I recover” rather than “if I recover.” I have a long list of things I will change about myself when I get there. Most importantly not taking my health for granted and never messing with cosmetic miracle drugs. I will donate to the PFS foundation soon because it’s the only way I know that I can maybe help all of you. Nobody deserves this. I am also making this post for visibility and will update it as often as I can as time goes on. Hopefully, I will quickly have good news to report for reassurance to those in a similar situation. I realize that these are still considered the early days, but after nearly a month it gets hard to even accept some improvements. Right now I am going to the gym 5 days a week, doing weight training, some cardio, and 15 minutes in the sauna afterward. I recently began taking a daily vitamin as well. 20 mg of Prozac. Cialis as needed. I do need to improve my diet, but I’m not sure what to stick to. It makes it tougher that it’s the dead of winter, my place is constantly cold and there’s not much opportunity to get sunlight, but I do feel good after going to the gym. Next week I’m hoping to begin gathering some tests. I think I want to get checked for SIBO as soon as possible.

Thank you for getting to this point. Please let me know what you think I should do from here. I’m sorry we’re all here. I believe we’ll all get better. I’ll be sure to update this post and after I recover will do my best to educate those around me on the dangers of this pill and help you all in any way I can.


Hey man,
I’m here because of a different drug but I have very similar symptoms. I know how it sucks and I’m sorry you were unlucky to experience it too. I was also in that state “Was it like this before? Am I overthinking?” And now I’m sure these drugs can induce such changes and if I feel something seems to be wrong, it surely is.
29 days is still too early to judge in my opinion, especially if you’re seeing some improvement already. So there’s a chance you might recover soon. I hope you do. If so, it would be just a tough lesson. If not, you gotta be ready for struggle. I believe this condition could be overcome and full recovery is possible.
Although I never tried finasteride, I’m still curious about your test results (in my case I’ve checked everything I could only think of and all the results were fine).

Take care

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Welp, unfortunately, something happened shortly after I made this post. Things were seeming to get better so I went out with friends and tried to live normally. I had a beer and I think this may have been a mistake. I woke up the next morning very bloated. But I had a very strong erection and was able to masturbate to completion in only a few minutes, very much like a pre-fin experience. Later that day, I went back to nearly complete numbness and ED. It actually put into perspective how much better I was getting. Idk what do you guys think this indicates? It’s now been exactly one month since I took that awful, evil, unbelievable pill. I also stopped the multivitamin that I started taking, I believe it could be another potential cause.

That’s messed up that your doc didn’t tell u why she doesn’t like prescribing it … I think your stopping and restarting is what caused the problem but don’t blame yourself for that mishap people stop and start medications all the time but unfortunately that’s not a good idea with fin I think. I know for sure Exercise is key so keep that up it’s the ultimate balancer… And yes it sucks but you should say goodbye to alcohol for a good while it’s the ultimate unbalancer (besides fin). You are young and your body will recalibrate, just give time some time, great username


Sorry to say this, but if it was possible to exercise pfs away, we’d know by now.

Some people end up exercise intolerant and actually feel worse after exercise.

In general I think it’s worth trying and may help to make people feel better, but at best we can’t say that it’s key to recovery. We can say some people felt it helped them, some felt it made them worse and some felt it did nothing.

Hey bro,

Your story is pretty similar to mine. I had only taken 7 doses of the stuff but in topical form rather than oral. I suffered ED for about a week – could ejaculate but only while soft. I could not for the life of me get it fully erect, it was very scary. That fortunately went away around the same amount of time as yours.

One of the major symptoms I had and currently am still stressing about is genital numbness. It has improved significantly over time, but I still suffer with overall low pleasure sensation around the head and low general sensation of my lower shaft. It still feels a bit like rubber, especially after waking up.

The best healer for me has been time. I’m nearly at 11 months and still pushing myself to recover. My diet has not been the best and I haven’t gone to the gym in a year, but I’m going to change those things. Gym isn’t the one-size-fits-all and true solution to this mess, but I think it’s beneficial to eat clean (mostly) and get some exercise in for general health, if you can.

I’d recommend you seek therapy. I never experienced severe depression/anxiety or suicidal ideation until after I crashed. Those really helped me become more accepting of the problem and being a bit more optimistic. I know you stated you had these problems way before Finasteride, but I think it may be worth seeing professional help to ensure quality mental health.

Best wishes, my friend. Recover strong in the next months. We’re also about the same age (24), so I know the struggles.


Haven’t posted in a while, how are you doing?