Dogcat's Finasteride Story

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?)
Google

What is your current age, height, weight?
25, 66kg, 177cm

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

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

What condition was being treated with the drug?
hairloss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
9 months

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?
24

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
25

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
weaned down to 0.25 every other day for a month then stopped.

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
6 months

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
no sexual desire
ed
reduced sensation

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.

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

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

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

Misc
Prostate pain
Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears)
Hearing loss
Increased hair loss
Frequent urination
Lowered body temperature

Other (please explain)

It has been one month since i have stopped fin. I had been getting a slightly reduced libido and mild ed which slightly worried me.
I had tapered down from 0.25mg daily to 0.25mg every other day over the course of one month before finally quitting.
Within 4 days of quitting my libido and erections (both day time and nocturnal) had come back (actually was higher than usual)
This increase in libido lasted for about 10 days before completely crashing.

Now i get no spontaneous erections during the day or night.
Very low libido
Am able to get hard however, only with physical stimulation (and these are impossible to maintain unless there is a constant physical stimulus)

I have been experiencing these symptoms for 1 week now. And am really worried.
In your opinion do I have PFS.
Or should I wait for a few months to assess?

Give it 3 months.

Definitely give it a GOOD 3 months before you start thinking PFS indeed.

Ok. I’ll wait for a few months. Went to the GP yesterday who also advised me to wait for a while. I forgot to mention I’ve been experiencing insomnia, which has never been a problem for me before.
Hopefully things right themselves with time…

Just wondering. Why do people constantly quote the 3 month figure. Is just a random amount of time or based on something else?

We say that after 3 months symptoms can be considered persistent. The reality is that many people recover before and after that time.

1 Like

Hey all,

Providing a quick update.
About a week after the original post. I had gone to a party and ended up drinking a lot of alcohol. I met a girl there and we hit it off for a bit. We were holding hands throughout the party and I basically had a hard on for the better part of 3 hours.
After this I believed I was completely cured. I would get spontaneous erections, and morning erections were back too (however still somewhat rare). When i had sex, I was able to get hard without any effort what so ever.
However, this only lasted about a month. And recently, after a sexual encounter, I was unable to get hard. This got me a bit worried and I’ve began to notice that my morning erections have completely disappeared recently and so have my spontaneous erections.

If my original baseline was (in regard to sexual symptons) was 10%. I would say I’m currently at 25%. Whereas previously, it was 70%.

Sleep has recovered somewhat. I do wake up at least three or four times during the night. But I’m able to fall asleep again. And i regularly get about 7 hours of sleep a night.

Deppressive feelings are about 50% recovered.

It has now been about 6 weeks since my first crash.
And 8 weeks since I stopped taking fin.

Another update. Seems like things are getting worse. I’m still getting around 5-7 hours of sleep. But it’s extremely light and broken and I wake up pretty much every hour. Libido and erections are completely shot again. Not sure what’s going on, perhaps my body is trying to rebalance again :confused:

Hey all. Not much change since the previous post. Not sure why I recovered and then crashed again. Is there any hope that I will recover again? Tbh the sexual side effects are bad. But the insomnia is the worst, as it interferes with my basic day to day functioning. I just got a prescription for zopliclone from my GP. And am now being referred to an endocrinologist. It’s now been 9 weeks since I stopped taking Finasteride and 7 since since my crash.

Hey guys,

Any recommendations to deal with the insomnia? This is currently the most crippling side effect.

Hi dogcart,
I haven’t been in this forum in about 2 years but decided to check it out again and noticed your question. I developed PFS in May of 2018 after taking finasteride for a little over 2 months from January to March of 2018. Three months after PFS hit me I developed severe insomnia. It was awful, just like you are dealing with it. I couldn’t fall asleep and if I finally did, it was light sleep and I woke up 30 minutes later. One doctor recommended Ativan (lorazepam) and melatonin. This helped a little but after the effect of lorazepam would wear off, my anxiety was worse than ever. What later worked very well for my insomnia and anxiety was a combination of things I did based on recommendations from one of the doctors on pfsfoundation.org (Dr Berendt). That doctor recommended silexan. Silexan is made from the flowering stems of lavender plants. It is used extensively in Europe for treatment of anxiety. When he first recommended it I hadn’t heard about it and was hesitant to try it because a lot of things I had tried to help my PFS had made my symptoms worse. However I was desperate. I googled “silexan clinical trials” and found several studies where silexan was used for treatment of anxiety and seemed to have equal benefit like established antidepressants and anxiety meds but without the side effects. Usually silexan is used once a day but in one study they tried it twice a day and the benefit was greater. I decided to take silexan twice a day. In addition I started drinking chamomile tea before bed time. Within a week I started noticing mild improvements in my sleep and mood, and then week by week my sleep continued improving. Within about 5-6 weeks my sleep was back to normal.

I should point out that silexan does not improve symptoms immediately. In the studies it took about 2 weeks of taking silexan before patients noted improvement in anxiety. The improvements continued week by week. People have mentioned that lavender has estrogenic properties. I had no side effects and in the studies published, in all clinical trials silexan had the same side effects as placebo. There was no report on any adverse sexual or other side effects.

Of course I can not be sure it will help everyone but silexan was one of the very few things that have helped me in my battle with PFS. I am still taking it now and I am very grateful to Dr Berendt who recommended it to me. In the US it is sold in health food and other similar shops as well as Amazon as “CalmAid”, in Germany as “Lasea” and I believe in England as “Kalm”.

I am sorry for what you are going through. All of us who have developed PFS have been in hell. I will tell you however to be patient. I am now at 2.5 years in my battle with PFS and I would say that my symptoms have gradually decreased to where I am 70% back to my normal self. For me 2018 was hell, mental purgatory. I thought of death as a solution to my misery very often though I never seriously considered ending my life as I have a loving wife and children who depend on me. What made things worse was reading that PFS is a “permanent” condition. That caused me total despair. PFS is NOT permanent. After a 2018 of living in hell, 2019 was pure misery but it was a little better than 2018. There were times when I felt that I was alive. 2020 has been uncomfortable and many days have been painful but I have not had the severe symptoms I had in 2018 or even 2019. I have even had good days and days where I actually felt happy in 2020. Improvement is very, very, very, very, very slow but it is very, very real. Hang in there, don’t give up, don’t lose hope. Better days will come. I was in your shoes 2.5 years ago and thought that my life was over. Life is a lot better now and improving now. I hope silexan helps you and I hope that you and everyone of this forum has better days coming.

Sorry for the length of the reply. I tried to explain things as well a I could.

2 Likes

Thank you so much for your reply. It really means a lot to me, hearing your story. My condition is not great. But I would consider myself lucky as it seems that insomnia (on many days quite mild or no issue at all) and sexual problems are my only two issues. I just hope that time and healthy living will heal me.
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I will order some Silexan :slightly_smiling_face:.
Also I’m planning on staying away from this forum for the time being and just focusing on my life. As reading the comments on here often makes me depressed about my situation.

Hey all,

11 weeks since I stopped taking the poison.
Depression is gone which is good.
I can sleep decently for about 6-7 hours a night. However I do wake up frequently after about 4 hours of sleep.
Still no libido. Erectile function is about about 50% pre fin.

I have to say even when I had a 70% recovery during the first month, the only symptom to not improve was my libido. Even though during that time I would get spontaneous and morning erections. They were not really associated with sexual stimuli. The only time I got kind of horny after I stopped Finasteride was when I was holding hands with a girl at a party.

Hopefully my libido improves soon. However, if it doesn’t I’ve accepted that it’s not the end of the world.

Did you try silexan at the end?
I’m experiencing insomnia too. I wake up after 5 hours of sleep and cannot fall asleep again :frowning:
It’s quite frustrating (in addition to the sexual side effects)

Hi Alex,

I didn’t end up trying silexan, as my sides have begun improving again.
I usually do this routine before bed though, as I feel it benefits my sleep routine:

  • Eat 2 hours before sleeping (as i usually feel tired after eating)
  • Take a shower 30 minutes before bed (a warm shower helps relax my body)
  • Do not use my computer 1 hour before bed (due to blue light effects)
  • Sleep before 10:30pm every night to form a habit (except sometimes on weekends)
  • Practice mindfullness/breathing meditation if i struggle to sleep.

I found that these have helped my sleep, in addition to my natural recovery over time.