Cycled a Saw Palmetto supplement, my story

This is so that we can more easily track our symptoms and hopefully find patterns in our syndrome. This will also help others understand your background, and help us try to determine what are the most commonly experienced side effects after discontinuation of Finasteride.


  1. Where are you from (country)? USA

  2. 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?) Saw palmetto sides

  3. What is your current age, height, weight? 35, 6 ft, 170 lbs

  4. Do you excercise regularly? If so, what type of excercise? Very frequently, running, heavy lifting

  5. What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)? No processed foods or simple sugars

  6. Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)? Took a Palmettoplex suppmlement for Test boost, ( I didn’t need it, btw)

  7. For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)? Cycled product 3 days on, 3 days off, five cycles I believe.

  8. How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start Finasteride? 35

  9. How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? 35

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

  11. What type of Finasteride did you use – Propecia, Proscar, Fincar or other generic? Product contained Saw Palmetto, Nettle, Pygenium.

  12. What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? 160 mg SP powder, 160 mg b-sterol ( 45%), I think like 100mg of nettle and pygenium.

  13. How long into your use of Finasteride did you notice the onset of side effects? Couple of days, first cycyle, didn’t put 2 and 2 together.

  14. What side effects did you experience while on the drug that have yet to resolve since discontinuation? Sleep problems, ed, weak morning wood. Some anxiety and panic attacks.

Put an X beside all that apply:

[(Recovered] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[x ] Erectile Dysfunction
[ ] Complete Impotence
[(receovered but, weak, 25-50%) ] Loss of Morning Erections
[x ] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ (not as frequent or hard) ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[(recovered) ] Watery Ejaculate
[ (recovered)] Reduced Ejaculate
[ (recovered)] Inability to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

[(recovered) ] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[(recovered) ] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ (recovered)] Confusion
[ ] Memory Loss / Forgetfullness
[(recovered) ] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[(recovered) ] Slurring of Speech
[ (recovered)] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[ (recovering, has improved)] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ (recovered)] Severe Depression / Melancholy
[(recovered) ] Suicidal Thoughts

[x ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[ (recovered)] Testicular Pain
[ (recovered, 75%)] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[(recovering ] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ ] Muscle Wastage
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[ ] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

[ (recovered)] Prostate pain
[(recovered) ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[ ] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[ ] Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
[ ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[ ] Lowered body temperature

[x ] Other (please explain) Sleep problems, no sleep drive or trigger. Never a problem before.

  1. What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug? No treatments. Use sorghum and creatine regularly. Hoping for a nautural recovery.

  2. If you have pre or post-Finasteride bloodtests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (pls post your test results in the “Blood Tests” section and link to them in your post)? n/a

  3. Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience with Finasteride? n/a

  4. Tell us your story, in your own words, about your Finasteride usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
    I’ll try and keep this pithy. Took a supplement called PalmettoPlex. I took it for the T-boosting purposes and because i thought it would be good for my prostate. I didn’t need to take it. I was a perfectly healthy 35 y.o. overgrown kid. The immediate side effects were sleep disruption, jump in libido, and ball ache. I didn’t put 2 and 2 together at the time. Just thought the jump in libido (which was always off the charts anyway) was contributing to the sleep issue and ball ache (thought I was blue balling maybe). I cycled it 3 days on, 3 days off about 5 cycles I believe starting on Jan. 5, 2018. stopped on Jan. 25, 2018. As time went on, sleep problems got worse and morning wood got weaker. At this time, I was having a dispute with a girl which I thought was leading to decreased sleep and in turn, weak morning wood. Sleep got worse and AM wood disappeared. I eventually stopped. That first week i stopped, sleep was impossible. I was up for two straight nights, tired but no sleep drive. I then passed out after being up for 40 hours. When I woke up, my penis and balls had shrunken. My penis was cold, pale, lifeless, rubbery. Could not get any kind of blood flow. Balls had shrunk about 50%. Eventually, after a couple days i was able to achieve an erection. After another 2 days, I could have an orgasm but it took a lot of work. The second week after crashing (which I consider to be my penis shrinking) my libido went sky high again. Still couldn’t sleep, but I was having to masterbate all the time. Even through out the night while i laid there trying to sleep. That lasted about a week. Then ed crept in, along with brain fog and all the mental sides (panic, anxiety, etc.). My brain fog was consistent. Pretty much, if I was awake then i had brain fog, hard to concentrate, slurring words, ect. Brain fog slowly faded to where i only got it after I worked out or after ejaculating. The brain fog has disappeared now, about a month ago (beginning of May 2018, give or take a week). This is also when my morning wood came back. Not like it was , however. I used to wake up everyday with rock hard morning wood that only left after a shower. Of course I would lay in bed for an extra 20 min or so humping the mattress beforehand. I really hope i get that back!! I did have ball, perenium, and even shaft pain throughout Feb and March but that has subsided as well. my balls are at about 75%. Flaccid penis size is smaller (screams some sort of stress response to me) but if I can get it fully erect (which is difficult) I don’t notice and decrease in size. Orgasms still feel good, just hard to get hard. Still have sleep issues. Never been a problem before. I having to alternate sleeping pills. Hoping that improves as well. Sensitivity, feels like my flaccid penis is more sensitive than my soft erect penis. Sorghum and creatine have helped. Experimented with bone broth (high in glycine, 5-ar upregulator). I’m as strong and as big as I’ve ever been so androgens are working in that regard.

PalmettoPlex contains nettle and pygenium as well. Sometimes I wonder if I tested the product if some finasteride would show up. Those over counter sexual stimulants have been found to have Viagra. It is hard to imagine a herb doing this but here we are.

Anyway, it has been three months since my crash, then surge in libido, then milder crash. What do you guys give my chances of a full recovery? I was so tempted to try tribulus or even start the SP again but am trusting my body to do this. I have had morning wood for the last month (although weak). I didn’t have it the month before that. Any advice? What’s the latest on the PFS research?
Anyone know someone with a stroy like mine? Did they fully reocover?

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Hey man, my story is pretty much as close to yours as I could get. I had a bit more severe of a crash a few months after my initial mini crash. I’ve been decent. No where near my former self, but I am happy and life is worth living, I am slowly recovering.

How are you doing these days, would love to know about your progress

Just an update on my progress. I suffered from all the side effects accept muscle wasting, weight gain. I had suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, brain fog, insomnia etc. All the mental sides. Complete impotence, no sensitivity, shrunken genitals, no ejaculate, etc. All the sexual sides. Sexually, I’ve recovered to about 80%. I would say higher but my morning wood is always in flux. My EQ is about 80% as well. My ejaculate became watery, then dried up, then increased in volume but was very sticky and now is normal. Sensitivity about 80 % as well (from 0%). Penis morphology has improved as well. When I crashed, I developed two spider veins (one on each side of the shaft). The one on the right has disappeared and my flaccid size is almost near normal.

It’s this blasted insomnia that remains. Xanax works great for me. It has been a life saver but I can’t take Xanax forever. I’m sure if I could get my brain fixed I would be at 100%. Any stories like this? It’s like bunging jumping. I will dive off the platform (drift into sleep) but then the recoil happens and I’m pulled out of sleep after 30 secs or so. I then of course get an increased heart rate and sort of panicky.

Anyway, the things I’ve done consistently:
Lots of intense exercise (weights, sprints, basketball, etc)
Lots of walking
Intermittent fasting everyday for 12-13 hrs. I break the fast with sorghum water (3 big tablespoons) 1 mg creatine. I then wait about 30 min before I ingest food.
Lots of sunshine (even sunning my genitals, one study showed this to increase testosterone)
Trying to keep the faith

I have a new view on life. I’ve always been happy. I’m the guy that is happy and entertained watching the ants crawl or listening to the wind blow through the trees. But now I’m thinking about kids. I want a family. However, I won’t even try until I’m healthy. Hopefully, my brain will recover and body will stay strong.

When I do recover completely, I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. This syndrome is pure evil. One could easily create a horror movie over this.

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Be careful with prolonged Xanax use, ingesting it for 3 months or more can lead to a higher risk of developing alzheimers disease.

“Taking the drug for three to six months raised the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 32%, and taking it for more than six months boosted the risk by 84%.”

Also I don’t know how much you’re to able to sleep without meds but I posted a theory on improving sleep here, it might be of interest to you.

Although taking a benzodiazepine for a long time may or may not be good, the option of leaving insomnia untreated will very likely be worse.

It is unclear if the benzodiazepines themselves, in a small therapeutic dosage, cause neurodegenerative issues or if the people who took them were a population more prone to it since they already had anxiety and other issues - that’s why they took them in the first place.

There are a few seemingly causative associations with heavy and prolonged usage and increased fissures size in the brain. But those were case reports and heavy usage

So keep dosage as short and infrequent as possible,but in a way that still helps your sleep…at least until you find something better.

Have you tried eszopiclone? There is a study on it which fixed insomnia for the participants and the insomnia remained fixed after the 3 months of usage

Yeah I doubt that, sleeping 4 hours a night vs. alzheimers? It’s not even a question, take the 4 hours.

Some of the advice on this forum is terrible.

might as well take the (crappy) sleep

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It’s 84% if you use a benzo for 6 months meaning you’re more likely to get it. I skimmed those sleep articles and none of them indicated it was that high, benzos are more dangerous.

sleep deprivation has a ton of detrimental effects (beyond what was mentioned in those articles) which sucks because I tend to function better in all aspects with a few short hours of restful sleep vs longer hours of bad/ok quality sleep.

I think you’re just running off adrenaline or something when you sleep less. Yesterday I felt like I slept a lot and became really tired in the middle of the day versus today I didn’t sleep a lot but I’m not nearly as tired. It sucks either way though lol

I skimmed all the sleep articles on pubmed too.

You are in a bad spot if you don’t sleep, not just in terms of mental health, social relationships, but in terms of cardiovascular events and other peripheral sides - which benzodiazepines won’t cause.

Not sleeping is far more detrimental on your health than using a low dose infrequent benzodiazepine in a young person.

If you do this once in a while there is no issue. If you have a Chronic insomnia, like that, you won’t live to get Alzheimer’s.

Yeah you will, people live for decades on only 4 hours of sleep. Trump is 70 and still breathing.

Well, I dont think any of us is qualified to discuss about Trumps mental health, even though it is of worldwide concern. We don’t know if those 4 hours are actually using sleep aids like benzodiazepines, and we don’t know for how long he’s been doing it. Youre also assuming an anecdote as representative of the whole of population which isnt right.

In every study of sleep deprivation, 100% of the are associated with early death,increased neurodegenerative processes, increased cardiovascular events.

In every other epidimiological review I read on benzodiazepine usage, (including the one you linked) there was the doubt that a reversal causation could be taking place, and in others there was no increased risk. But lets say the risk is real, it is dose dependent, and OP is also doing a great job at reducing his risk with sports and keeping busy.

All these things have to be weighted in.

Yeah we do, the President’s medications are fully disclosed. You can google it.

And if he can still remember his family members he’s doing better than someone with Alzheimer’s.

Hi basementdweller, please can you say what improvements you’ve had sexually and how you achieved them. How long did it take to see improvements.

There are very few things in life that are worse than benzodiazepines, including Propecia. No-one should ever take a benzodiazepine for any reason, except perhaps for a couple of days maximum in extreme circumstances. Allan Frances, the author of DSM IV, perhaps the most famous psychiatrist in the world, has said that benzodiazepines have no role to play in modern medicine. Don’t believe it? Go to the benzo withdrawal forums, of which there are many. Watch the videos on YouTube. Millions of lives have been lost or destroyed due to benzodiazepines.

did you also have face fat loss?

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Propecia is far worse than an intermittent low dose Benzodiazepine. There’s people killing themselves for the torture they got post finasteride and I’m not referring to just regular suicidal ideation. The syndrome is much broader than that. There’s 40000 members in the benzo fórum, and 4000 on our community. If you think that a significant part of our society have taken a benzodiazepine at some point those are small numbers.

I’ve done a ton of research on this and a low dose infrequent, but therapeutic usage, is better than no therapy at all. But I’m curious what is your proposal for sleep myoclonies and loss of sleep?

I’m sure lots of people will be happy to hear, including health carers.

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Oh boy, where do I begin? I am just trying to help, ok? Trust me - you will regret taking the benzos. If I get time and am in the right mood I will try to start answering this.

For now I will just post this piece by Allen Frances, who, by the way, is a huge hypocrite but is incidentally right on the benzos.