Different Story, Same Symptoms

Ok… this is getting a bit unbelievable if you ask me… while I’m sure Saw Palmetto may have some negative effects on people IT IS NOT NEARLY AS POTENT AS FINASTERIDE, nor does it have nearly as bad a side effect profile.

For example: … d=10&gl=ca

Not sure why you seem to be hellbent on complaining about your issues here when you claim to have an appointment with Dr Shippen next month, why not just chill out and wait and see what he says.

I don’t think anyone has EVER heard of anyone having permanent issues from SP, no less in 9 days. Even if what you posted is true, you are probably the only case of such “permanent” SP-induced problems… personally, I find it very far-fetched.

Sorry man, this is my only place to vent my frustration and I’m an anxious dude to begin with… but the numb penis, ED, eye floaters, etc speak for themselves. They simply weren’t there prior to ingesting SP (especially when I was unknowingly ingesting 3200mg daily [that is a lot] when I thought I was taking 320mg). I’m trying to remain calm (Klonopin has been the only thing helping) but I have a lot of other stuff going on in my life and this series of events has come at the most inopportune time and has been completely overwhelming. I’ll try to refrain from posting until I visit Shippen.

Well my appointment with Dr. Shippen was yesterday and let me tell you, he is a hell of a doctor and I was extremely impressed by his vast knowledge of the human body. He was very glad to hear I avoided Propecia and felt that Saw Palmetto, despite the high amounts I took, is still less nasty of a drug than Finasteride. He’s never heard of a “Saw Palmetto case” and told me people use it all the time and it is widely available. He stated that, according to my urine analysis and blood tests, that my hormones are in normal range while guys on Propecia that come and see him have hormones that are way out of wack and difficult to treat. I responded well to the Clomid test so there doesn’t seem to be a problem with my HPTA.

He feels that because my hormones are OK that I should return to normal. When? I don’t know, but he was strongly against the notion that I have caused permanent damage to my body and will be a Propecia case even though I somewhat feel the opposite right now (penile tissue changes, ED, eye floaters, testicle discomfort, dryer skin, etc). I drove home without crying for the first time in awhile since one of the most knowledgeable doctors who has treated other Finasteride patients and aware of this problem told me that I will be OK. I really hope he’s right. I’m going to try to be positive and optimistic.

He felt my problems were more in the brain sector so to speak. He prescribed Selegiline, which is a transdermal gel used primarily for Parkinson patients, and Oxytocin. Oxytocin increases the feeling of orgasm and, based on my own research, is also known to increase 5AR activity (at least in rat studies) in the prostate, something Saw Palmetto inhibited. I’ll be receiving these prescriptions shortly and will see if I have any improvement. After six weeks time, I’ll have a phone consultation with Dr. Shippen and update him on my status and then go from there. The last two months have been a complete nightmare/rollercoaster for me - just look at my DHEA levels for crying out loud (Shippen said that was due to the overwhelming stress I was going through).

I’ve been getting some nocturnal (sleep) erections whenever I reach deep sleep. Still no morningwood and random erections and very hard to achieve one on my own. Speaking of sleep, it has somewhat improved - woke up at 5:45am today but was able to get back to bed vs. lie in bed awake. Still get very fatigued during the day though but coffee doesn’t give me as bad of a reaction as a month ago. I’m going to see Dr McCollough in a few weeks for my sexual dysfunction/prostate problems as the urologist I saw here was of no help. I’m concerned about if I have PD, veinous leakages, or other physical penile problems. The lingering testicle/groin discomfort is a nuisance, especially when I was driving for 3 hours each way to the doctor’s office. Anyway, I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress.

I’m happy to report that my sleep has somewhat improved as I no longer wake up in the middle of the night and unable to get to bed. I’ll wake up an hour before my alarm goes off sometimes but can still fall back to sleep. I started taking ZMA at night to see if that helps any (I definitely get some wacky dreams on it). I no longer need Tylenol PM nor Ambien though. The first few weeks were a living nightmare. Still can’t sleep in till noon like I used to nor do I drool (I used to drool in my sleep all the time before SP). Saliva production seems less compared to pre-SP.

I honestly haven’t noticed much change from the Oxytocin nor the Selegiline, but I could be wrong. I went to McCullough in NYC a few weeks ago and he examined me, said it’s a waiting game - checked my prostate and it was OK. Didn’t find anything abnormal even though I pointed out the penile tissue changes. He said as long as I’m getting nocturnal erections (which I am) that I shouldn’t worry, especially since I can get it up for sex. Doesn’t think 9 days of SP would cause this much damage, but it’s been 3+ months since quitting.

Speaking of which, I had sex for the first time a couple of weeks ago since this incident. I amazingly didn’t have a problem getting it up although I felt my erection wasn’t 100%, but still, I was able to have sex successfully without assistance (I had a Viagra just in case), and hopefully won’t have to in the future. I even had time to put a condom on without losing it. I’m still not getting morning erections but at least I am getting nocturnal ones. Still having numbness issues though and tissue changes are still present (as well as a slight axis rotation, not 45 degrees, more like 5-10). The pain in my groin has finally subsided – it hurt the most when sitting down since I’m mostly sitting down all day but it is for the most part gone. Masturbation is more of a chore though and I’m trying to limit it.

I had sex again last weekend but lost my erection when I changed positions, but I was also drunk (and had performance anxiety because of this mess) so that probably played a major factor. I tried again the next morning and was able to perform successfully.

I need to make sure my adrenals are OK since my DHEA (especially) and Cortisol is over range. My endo recommended an adrenal MRI to be safe. DHEA is through the roof and I want to make sure I don’t have Cushing’s or an adrenal tumor, etc. Also doing a saliva DHEA/Cortisol 24 hour test and and a Dexamethasone Suppression test (my endo has been great about this, younger doctor who is intrigued by this after showing him my 24 hour urine results).

I get lower back pain where the adrenals are located so I’m concerned about that, although the pain has significantly decreased lately. Maybe the high DHEA/cortisol relates to my aging hands? They look so wrinkled (especially the fingers). After I get that straightened out, I’ll perhaps try Sustain Alpha or endoAMP, but I’m going to wait at least 6 months before trying another supplement (except ZMA since that’s just minerals, also take Centrum and Fish Oil). I also asked for Free T3 and T4 tests to make sure my thyroid is in check.

As long as I’m able to get it up for sex I guess there isn’t a major sexual problem, though I would like my penile sensitivity, libido, and morning/spontaneous erections back. My depression/anxiety has decreased significantly after knowing that I can at least perform. I’ll get bouts of depression, but because of all these symptoms, but at least the crying spells have diminished. I want to be who I used to be – a fun guy that likes to drink, outgoing, muscular, be social etc.

My appetite still isn’t great (but that could be because of the Wellbutrin since I read it can suppress appetite). The last couple of weeks have been the best I’ve felt since this whole thing. I’m not as physically/mentally sluggish and I can actually function at work and school. Hopefully things will improve with time. Maybe switching to name brand Wellbutrin XL helped as well (was on generic before). I’m nowhere near to what I used to be but substantial progress has been made.

The wrinkles under my eyes and smile lines around my face really annoy me - I didn’t have those just a few months ago and may consider creams and/or cosmetic surgery if they don’t go away… it looks weird when I smile now which I don’t like though many might not even notice it - but I shouldn’t have these aging features at 26. Hopefully my face regains its structure as Omni and ithappens have mentioned – I lost facial fat around the eyes/cheeks and people think I lost weight (which I did, but mostly muscle). Face isn’t as oily as it used to be but still produces oil, just not as much. Hair is dry and brittle.

I can at least know that I don’t have 100% ED as I once thought. Still, manual stimulation is tough and ejaculate volume isn’t what it used to be, but it is thick (too thick?) and not watery.

Trying to go to the gym more and regain my lost muscle mass but I talked to to.robin and he said I won’t make gains with over the range Cortisol since it hinders muscle growth. So basically it’s my adrenals I need to work on before anything else then take it from there. I have my birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and it may not be as sour as I originally thought it would be. I lost a ton of muscle mass (at least 10 pounds) but still go to the gym. I can still lift the same amount of weights, and was able to lift more after experimenting (which is strange). So I have the same strength but less muscle? Watch is still loose around my wrist and t-shirts aren’t as snug due to the loss of mass. Taking whey protein shakes (Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard – great stuff, much better than GNC) after workouts (did this before SP as well).

This is the longest stretch I have made without breaking down hysterically (I rarely broke down before this) and hopefully that will continue, because frankly, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. This is utter torture for guys our age, in our prime, etc. All I know is that I’ll be a much stronger person when I hopefully recover from this nightmare. Things have slowly gotten better over time. I was literally suicidal the first two months and damn near psychotic. Hopefully more progress will be made. I’ve got morningwood 3-4 times within this span (specifically within the last month), albeit short-lived, but it’s still something to rave about.

One more thing… I had a nocturnal emission (wet dream) early Sunday morning. I haven’t had one of those since this whole thing started… I didn’t masturbate/have sex since the weekend before. I take it that this is a positive sign?

Symptoms that have improved:

  1. Sleep – able to fall asleep OK, no longer experiencing insomnia, still can’t sleep in like I used to (ZMA seems to help though), but can at least sleep somewhat normally
  2. Depression/Anxiety – Depression was rock bottom the first 2.5 months but I am slowly improving. Wellbutrin seems to help (no sexual sides like SSRIs, it boosts dopamine too). Klonopin has helped as well when I get really emotional about this. Hopefully I won’t need these meds too much longer.
  3. Nocturnal Erections – Get them on a near-nightly basis
  4. Joint pain (mostly in hands) has diminished
  5. Eyes are less dry (still not as watery as they used to be)
  6. Not emotionally flat/numb as previously though (I was crying hysterically on a daily basis over this for awhile, laughed pretty hard while watching “Grandma’s Boy” – underrated comedy btw)
  7. Dizziness is gone
  8. Brain fog is mostly gone (I can actually THINK, be somewhat witty in conversation like I used to)
  9. Constipation is gone (no more “poo pellets”)
  10. Motivation to do things has improved (due to lessened depression)
  11. Anxiety is not as pronounced but still get bouts here and there
  12. Hand tremors have subsided
  13. Able to concentrate better
  14. Crying spells have drastically diminished (again, due to lessened depression)
  15. Erectile dysfunction – able to have sex
  16. Testicular/groin pain is gone
  17. Kidney/adrenal pain has diminished/nearly gone (experience it for a minute or two when first getting in bed)
  18. Less sensitive to caffeine (would really mess me up the first couple of months) – only drink coffee when I need to though, otherwise I stick to water and/or diet/caffeine-free drinks

Symptoms still present:

  1. No morning/spontaneous erections (though had short-lived morningwood 3-4 times within the last month)
  2. Penile tissue changes, skin is darker
  3. Veins on penis
  4. Genital numbness
  5. Very low libido
  6. Dryer skin on face (face produces oil but not nearly as much)
  7. Premature aging (under/around eyes, hands) – skin seems “tighter”
  8. Abundance of eye floaters (a huge nuisance, especially when reading text and when outside)
  9. Loss of appetite (though Wellbutrin is reported to suppress appetite)
  10. Muscular atrophy (though this may have subsided, hopefully)
  11. Colder body temperature
  12. Loss of body hair (thighs especially)
  13. Dry scalp, dandruff (no sebum buildup)
  14. Dry, brittle hair
  15. Chronic Fatigue (especially in the afternoon)
  16. Don’t sweat as much
  17. Hair falling out at decreased rate
  18. Manual stimulation is still difficult and lose an erection fast
  19. Testicles seem to fluctuate in size and position (hang low or stay high)

I’ll post the results from the previously mentioned tests when I receive them.

yeah hang in there , i’ve had the same symptoms from saw p for the past 10 months now

the worst is the constant brain fog , it just doesn’t go away

i can have sex but i can lose the erection quickly (happens in masturbation also)

also digestive troubles , constant hunger , lost 8kg in past year etc

what would you say helped you get rid of the brain fog?

It’s been about five months since stopping Saw Palmetto and I’ve been trying to avoid this site as much as I can but I’ve been extremely depressed about my situation the last few days.

I’m off Wellbutrin as it was making things worse, amplifying my anxiety/depression etc.

I still don’t get morning/random erections and I’ll only get nocturnal erections once in a while. Still lacking genital sensitivity, ejaculate volume is low, and libido is barely zero. Tissue changes are still there and I feel like I’ve lost some length/girth (and I used to be a well-endowed guy which makes this really depressing).

Sleep is OK but still nowhere near where it used to be.

Tons of floaters still in my vision which makes going outside on a sunny day incredibly depressing. Reading text on a monitor is a lot more difficult thanks to this.

I’ve been able to maintain my strength and have been lifting heavier weights, though I haven’t noticed much of an increase in muscle mass, but still look like I’m in good shape even though I had ~5lbs more muscle before SP. Going to the gym is the only time when I feel like myself and forget about this mess.

I’ve been able to have sex without Viagra and seem to have better luck in the mornings than in the afternoon/evenings. Still takes a very long time to produce an erection on my own and I lose it very fast.

Fine lines under my eyes are still there and the bags under them seem to get worse instead of better.

Fingers are really bony and the skin around them looks like that of an 80 year old’s.

Face/neck has filled up but still lacking in the area around the eyes. Look much healthier than when I first quit SP. Face is starting to get more oily but still don’t have acne like I used to (but still have plenty on my back, ugh).

Still missing body hair on my thighs and I developed some dandruff around my sideburn/ear area. Hair on the scalp is dry and brittle and not oily like it used to be.

This experience has been completely traumatizing for someone my age who inadvertently took a high dose of SP extract, for 9 days no less. I avoided Fin after hearing about this site and all the sides but by the looks of it I probably would’ve been better taking Fin instead since SPE has a broader hormonal profile, but who knows.

This mistake (thinking that 320mg was less than the 500mg I was looking for) has made my life a living hell and while I’ve been coping with this a lot better than a few months ago, I feel like a broken man who ruined his life at the age of 27 because of something trivial like subtle hair loss. I fell victim to my heightened anxiety/depression about hair loss after being off Paxil for a few months since those feelings were blocked for nearly six years and wanted to do something to quell the nervousness. I try not to blame myself as I had no idea this would happen, plus I made a human error of using a much higher dose even though what I thought I was taking was less.

I just don’t understand how this happened after such a short period of time on an OTC supplement. My T levels were low (428) prior to taking SPE, probably because of long-term Paxil use which has been reported to lower testosterone levels. I can barely grow a beard and I’m starting to think my hair loss wasn’t DHT related after all even though it was minituarizing/thinning.

I also had grey pubic hair BEFORE taking SP as well as some minor tingling down below but never thought anything of it, really thought it was normal. My penis was also very small when flaccid, but again, thought this was normal since my erections were big and easy to produce. Turns out I might have had low T (fatigue, depression, low libido) all along and SPE was probably the last thing my body needed. If anything, it needed more T!

I’ll never know as Paxil wreaked its own havoc on my endocrine system but I assume it made me more susceptible to the mess I’m currently suffering from.

I just started taking 25mg of Clomid every other night per my urologist (and the approval of Dr Shippen) to see if this will help me. I don’t know how I’m managing a full-time job, grad school at night, and a relationship all ON TOP OF THIS, but I’m still, somehow, chugging along. If there was only one moment I could ever go back in time, it would be the day I purchased this supposed safe supplement.

I keep praying this isn’t permanent and that things will improve but as the weeks and months go by I’m really starting to lose hope about this.

re-reading through your posts here scares the crap out of me terp

personally i’m no closer to finding out the root of the problem than i was a year ago , i just tick things off that it can’t be

i’ve got an appointment with a specialist on september 4th but i don’t have much hope that he will find the cause of my problems.

the only tests that have come up abnormal for me are elevated WBC and elevated C-reactive-protein , it’d be good if you could get those checked out to see if we are fighting the same enemy.i’ll let you know if i have any more progress.

keep fighting!

Does saw palmetto have a half life in the body like finasteride does? Perhaps if you stayed away from all potential DHT/5AR blocking products for a period of time you’d get better.

I really don’t think it matters. The mechanism of action is basically the same as fin. So if you’re one of those guys that has a genetic sensitivity to this type of chemical alteration, you’re going to get symptoms. Half life or not.

No the mechanism of action is not the same as finasteride. Various studies have proposed different mechanisms of action, but some have been flawed. Because SP doesn’t affect serum PSA (prostate specific antigen), a mechanism of action different than finasteride is assumed, such as SP binding to the DHT itself or androgen receptors and blocking DHT that way, instead of binding to the 5AR enzyme itself.

I took saw palmetto myself concurrently with Propecia. I started it a aweek before Propecia, and had no problems with either of them until a little over two weeks after I started Propecia (three weeks after SP). I want to attribute my problems to Propecia, but can I 100%? No. But I still find it hard to believe a natural supplement can have LASTING effects.

I know there are a few guys on here that have experienced devastating sides from SP. Do you not believe them?

you mean like the doctors who do not believe fin has lasting effects?
you are no better than these people
take what you want , it’s you body

Look at the components of saw palmetto – free fatty acids, phytosterols, free fatty alcohols, and monoglycerines, and you’ll notice these are not things unique only to saw palmetto but rather found in all fruits/vegetables/grains. This is like saying rice caused my erectile dysfunction.

Ahhhh, no, it’s not at all like saying rice caused erectile dysfunction. If you would dig a little deeper you would see that ALL natural foods and plants have these components in them. What matters is how they are stacked and incorporated with each other that controls what effects they exert on the body. Some people can’t tolerate night shade plants. This is the family of plants that the lowly tomato belongs to. Are you saying that these people are telling stories too. I mean a tomatoe only contains free fatty acids, phytosterols, free fatty alcohols, and monoglycerines, how could that be? IT IS. Some people can’t tolerate wheat and/or gluten. Are they lying? You’re off base man. Seriously.

Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, so that means the leaves and stalk of the plant have alkaloids that are bad for people – but the fruit itself is not. Some people have allergies to various foods. I’m not overly familiar with those who cannot consume wheat/gluten, but I think it’s either an allergy or lack of a gene unable to process such.

Yes, a tomato might have the same components as saw palmetto but in different ratios, but I think I make a good point. It’s not as though saw palmetto has something unique to saw palmetto that is found in no other plant. I can’t verify people’s stories but I take things like that with a grain of salt, considering I know what the ingredients of saw palmetto are.

Your missing the point…

Saw palmetto is unique because it is saw palmetto. It has these ingredients together in a specific way as to exert some type of reaction from the body. Even though these things have most of the same ingredients, they are not the same. This should be obvious to you. A tomato is different from wheat because of the way it is arranged biochemically. Same goes for everything in nature if you really want to go down that route. I don’t understand what you don’t get about this and why believing saw palmetto causes sides is so difficult for you.

Its funny what one belive or not. Some ppl belive everything and some ppl are very sceptical to many things. I think i would have fallen in the later category b4 all of this.

For instance:
My mums sister is allergic to almonds or so she claims…
She cant even enter a house where some1 have just baked something with almonds in it. She has to make sure the airline companies do not serve peanuts on the flite she takes, thus she does not travel very much. Worst case she could die from this! she claims…
I always thought she was a whiner and really, how bad could it be?

Ive never been sensitive to anything my entire life. Hell my stomach/body could eat nails and spit em out the other end :slight_smile:

Today i cant even eat the wrong chocolatebar because of gluten allergy without having severe cramps and blood in stool if eventually i can have a bowel movement…

Today i fully understand her and ppl with reactions to the silliest of things.
Its cause i know better now. Ppl in general are not different from you, they just have different experiences and things affect us differently.

I know it’s been many years but does Terp or anyone else have any updates?

I’d also be curious to know what happened to terp03 or if there is anyone else out there suffering symptoms from Saw Palmetto.

I got the “bright idea” of taking Saw Palmetto instead of Finasteride to combat a receding hairline a few days ago, and was blindsided by the extent of the side effects as well as how long they have lasted (so far).

I took just one pill of Saw Palmetto (450 mg of the powder, not the extract), and the side effects started within 2 hours - brain fog, dizziness, racing heart, depression, total loss of interest in sex. At first, I wasn’t worried about it at all - I always seem to have the maximum side effects from any medication, and I assumed they would die down in a few hours. When I had trouble falling asleep that night, and woke up the next day still experiencing dizziness, brain fog, depression, and lack of libido, etc., I started to realize that something might actually be wrong. A little googling and I discovered the issues with finasteride/saw palmetto/DHT blockers and this forum.

From reading the recovery section, it seems like the length of use is related to recovery time, as people that have taken the drugs for years can take years to recover, those who took it for just a couple weeks can take 6+ months to recover, etc.

I’m not really worried that my body will never recover, but I am concerned that after several days of this I might be in for a month-long ride or longer until things settle down. I’ve always been sensitive to medication and I’m afraid that my adverse reaction is going to be way out of proportion to the actual amount of supplement that I’ve taken.

Did anyone else experience severe side effects from SP (or finasteride) and quit after one dose? If so, how long did it take you to get back to normal, or are you still experiencing the symptoms?

@Terp03 how are you doing bro?