Andrea from Italy

Where are you from (country)? Italy

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?) Google search

What is your current age, height, weight? 25 years, 182 cm, 70 kg

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)? Isotretinoin, Citalopram, Escitalopram, Saw palmetto, Finasteride.

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? Saw palmetto extract 320mg/day, Finasteride 1,25mg/day

What condition was being treated with the drug? Male pattern baldness

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? Saw palmetto about a year. Finasteride almost two weeks.

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug? 21 years. August 2015.

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? 22 years. October 2016.

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

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects? During first saw palmetto cycle in august 2015 I noticed only memory problem and a slow growth rate of beard. I suspended it in late august 2015 for about two weeks and then I massively crashed.
I restarted saw palmetto about a while until February 2016 when I took 1,25mg of finasteride for about 10 days. Testicular and chest pain and also penile shrinkage are occurred. Stopped finasteride I switched again to saw palmetto until October 2016. Exactly one month last pills of serenoa repens my heart started to racing and I developed insomnia.
What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

Put an X beside all that apply:

Complete Impotence RESOLVED
Loss of Morning Erections
Loss of Spontaneous Erections
Loss of Nocturnal Erections
Watery Ejaculate
Reduced Ejaculate
Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm RESOLVED
Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat FIXED WITH SSRI
Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought FIXED WITH REDBULL AND GLUCURONOLACTONE
Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency FIXED WITH SSRI
Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks RESOLVED
Severe Depression / Melancholy RESOLVED
Suicidal Thoughts RESOLVED

Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
Penis curvature / rotation on axis
Testicular Pain RESOLVED
Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
Weight Gain
Gynecomastia (male breasts)
Muscle Wastage
Joint Pain
Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

Prostate pain RESOLVED
Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems FIXED WITH TUDCA
Constipation / “Poo Pellets” FIXED WITH TUDCA
Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears) RESOLVED
Hearing loss
Increased hair loss I’M COMPLETELY BALD LOL
Frequent urination RESOLVED
Lowered body temperature FIXED WITH HCG AND ANASTROZOLE

Other (please explain)

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug? Betamethasone/Dexamethasone, Clomiphene and Anastrozole (used for 3 months, cured my insomnia), hCG and Anastrozole (COMPLETE FULL RECOVERY FOR 8 DAYS), Benzodiazepines, SSRI, TUDCA, Oxatomide.

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)? I have pre-drug blood tests and there are no particularly differences.

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.
I have used a lot of drugs in my life like isotretinoin (for me it was a miracle drug) to treat severe acne with no adverse reactions. I have used antidepressant SSRI to treat agoraphobia with excellent results and no adverse reactions, only low libido but resolved with the discontinuation.
I have never imagine that an herbal extract like saw palmetto could ruined my life :laughing:

The major issues remain on physical state.
I have pot belly and extreme bloating, penile shrinkage, muscle wastage and loss of muscle tone and workout with heavy weights doesn’t help. I have increased dramatically my strenght but my muscles don’t bump.
I have achieved only one complete recovery with hcG and anastrozole and for 8 days all symptoms disappeared (with an amazing muscle tone and insane libido). I was in GOD MODE.

Stay strong.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Best regards



hey andrea, i see we have some things in common, even hight and weight. what is the circumference of your stomach?..measured fasted in the morning in the biggest area of your stomach (like the belly equator,should be somwhere near the navel including love handles of course) i have 86cm,which is ridicolously high for my BMI of 22.
normaly a guy with thta BMI like 75-80cm and has more muscle.
BUT: the pot belly is a known symptom in benzo (and z drugs) usage.
this might be due to the musclerelaxant effects…or some metabolic issues as well but im not firm there.
if you gained muscle strength even if you take lorazepam, then we can conclude it doesnt relax your muscles too much,they still work well when they need to.
so the shrinkage and musce wastage (i got em too) is somewhere in the androgen-department. what is your T levels (free?)DHT?
but if all androgen levels are ok or good but still wastage and shrinkage happening its maybe the AR silenced/down.
did you check IGF-1 which is a very relevant factor for muscle growth?i had mine in the upper midrange once.

Hi. I’m very interested in your SSRI history, do you have a history of past use of SSRI, before Finasteride? Thank you!

Hey Andrea, welcome to I’d like to know why you took so many different meds, was it because of the onset of side effects by either ssri, finasterid or isotretinoin and you had a “i have nothing to lose anyway” mentality to become better or was it because you wanted to treat your acne, hairloss and depression simultaneously?, by the way by saying" Redbull" do you mean the energy drink?

Hi jakobi,
the circumference of my stomach is 94 cm. I have a RIDICULOUS pot belly.
Even if I eat only salad and drink water the pot belly doesn’t drop. I used benzo even before saw palmetto and finasteride with no problem.

TESTOSTERONE (total) 4.7 ng/mL [1.9 - 7.9] before saw palmetto
TESTOSTERONE (free) 11.9 pg/mL [6.0 - 50.0] before saw palmetto

TESTOSTERONE (total) 5.1 ng/mL [1.9 - 7.9] one month after interruption of saw palmetto and finasteride
TESTOSTERONE (free) 9.5 pg/mL [6.0 - 50.0] one month after interruption of saw palmetto and finasteride
ESTRADIOL (E2) <20.0 pg/mL [20 - 47] one month after interruption of saw palmetto and finasteride
DHT 436 pg/mL [250 - 990] one month after interruption saw palmetto and finasteride

TESTOSTERONE (total) 4.0 ng/mL [1.9 - 7.9] one year ago after interruption after saw palmetto and finasteride and clomiphene and anastrozole protocol
TESTOSTERONE (free) 9.4 pg/mL [6.0 - 50.0] one year ago after interruption saw palmetto and finasteride and clomiphene and anastrozole protocol

Paradoxally at the end of treatment with clomiphene and anastrozole my T level declined.

I didn’t check IGF-1.

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Yeah. I used citalopram to treat agoraphobia with excellent results and no adverse reactions. (a few oral drops daily for 6 months during my nineteen)

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@Andrea assurdo che i livelli ormonali sono nella norma, come anche a me!
Pazzesco veramente, quindi è non diagnosticabile in laboratorio la sindrome?

I used oral isotretinoin to treat severe acne. I used to have papules, nodules and cysts. I was in a very bad situation with my horrible face. I had a lot of stress due to acne. ISOTRETINOIN SAVED ME. In my case it was a miraculous drug.
I used isotretinoin during my sixteen for one cycle of 6 months at maximum dosage daily.
In my nineteen I used citalopram to treat agoraphobia with excellent results and no particularly adverse reactions. (a few oral drops daily for 6 months)
Yeah with “RedBull” I mean the energy drink but another energy drink is almost the same in term of mental effects.

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Yeah. You can check everything but with a probability of 99% everything will be in range.
Only waste of time and money.

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Mio dio! Cazzo è terribile davvero sta sindrome di merda!

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Andrea, did you ever use Andractim (Dihydrotestosterone)?
Qualcuno dice cha ha dato miglioramenti al pene.

Yeah, I didn’t use it but I hear about.
Maybe in future I could try it.

You could check 3alpha diol. This is the best indicator.
Check progesterone, e2, shgb, lh, FSH, T3 and 4. Normally they are out of range or extreme high or low. At the same time, you know your problem.

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ok…thats also a high circumference. do u know if its intraabdominal fat (the “bad” visceral" or the more chubby outside which you can grab? i mean love handles eg look shit, but are more healthy than if it was all inside)
when i was on fin i was slim, but in winter i became chubby on the stomach and sides. now this has changed alot, im less chubby but the belly is bigger…so its inside. i read that androgens promote the storage of visceral fat (combined with stress hormones).
i find energy drinks also VERY helpful for clear mind, focus ,energy,and LESS anxiety.
a strong espresso (increases rather anxietey but makes my skin oily on the nose and head,so some androgenic activity happenin.

ma dai quanti italiani sono li?!?

ok i used andractim from belgium. i put it on several areas of the body. on the love handels (makes them smaller) on the shoulders and direct on the penis. andractim is very strong, makes me loose water after few hours, look more ripped. it makes the eyes less dry. mentally its much stronger than normal testosterone gel, big optimism,ridiclous confidence (too much, not coherent to my appearence,so its ridicolos) but also numb,alpha male asshole like behaviour. it shifted my odour. very strong erections and a true libido booster. never tried it longterm as it might worsen lipid levels of blood and shuts down HPA (not sure if more shutdown than normal testosterone)

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Thank you @noprop for the reply.
I checked another values.
Everything was fine.

TSH 1.32 uUI/mL [0.30 - 4.00]
FREE T4 10.0 pmol/L [7.9 - 17.0]
FSH 4.5 mUI/mL [1 - 14]
LH 4.7 mUI/mL [1.5 - 9.2]
ACTH 10.60 pg/mL [4.70 - 48.80]
CORTISOL 10 ug/dL [5 - 25]

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I didn’t check it with an abdominal MRI scan. Maybe I can try.
Yeah, energy drinks are very helpful for smart mind and YES they give me LESS anxiety. It’s incredible.
Exactly like you.
My skin becomes more oily (I have always oily skin even after the crash) and I develop eczema and pruritus (I used to have seborrheic and atopic dermatitis before crash).

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Grazie @jakobi, lo provo certamente!
Un saluto dall’italia!

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Your levels are not very fine. I am afraid.
Tsh is too low. Free T4 too low. FSH the same. ACTH very low. Research.
What cortisol test did you undergo? 24h? Saliva test? It should be.

Research what you can do.
Good luck.

Two endocrinologists, an urologist and also my dad (he is a doc) have seen my exams.
Everyone said that everything is fine.
I have done also a thyroid ultrasound examination and a penile doppler ultrasonography.
Everything is perfect.
Cortisol was assessed by blood exams at 8 a.m.
I can check everything. Nothing will be out of range.