Extreme Anxiety and Finasteride

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)?
Czech Republic

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?)
reddit
r/tressless

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

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.)?
5 mg pill split into 1/4 every day

What condition was being treated with the drug?
androgenic alopecia

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

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?
24 years, september 2017

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
26 years, fall/winter 2019

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
cold turkey, although I was quitting and starting over again for a little while before stopping completely, because every specialist was trying to convince me it was not finasteride causing anxiety

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
around 2 years

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

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
Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
Erectile Dysfunction
Complete Impotence
Loss of Morning Erections
Loss of Spontaneous Erections
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
Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[ x] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Severe Depression / Melancholy
Suicidal Thoughts

Physical
Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
Penis curvature / rotation on axis
Testicular Pain
Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
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)

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
I was taking a lot of antidepressants, benzodiazepines, pregabalin, L-theanine, N-acetylcystein but nothing seemed to resolve the issue

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.

I was taking finasteride 1.25mg daily for two years. No obvious side effects. I had no sexual side effects that I was aware of - nothing that scares people. At that time, I would recommend the pill to everyone fearing hair loss. After two years I started having extreme anxiety, and I was attributing it to real life stress ( which I had a lot of in that time, because my father had terminal cancer and there was a bully at my workplace). Unfortunately, anxiety was so severe that I started looking up for other causes since real life stuff started to steadily resolve itself (the bully was fired; father died at home, not in the hospital) . Unfortunately, anxiety grew stronger. Once I realized anxiety is a recognized side effect of finasteride I stopped taking it. I started taking anti-anxiety meds and visiting therapist, but my anxiety did not react to any conventional treatment. My therapist and psychiatrist were puzzled with me, because I had no accompanying anxious thoughts so it was difficult to get to the root of the issue. Just pure anxiety, seemingly unrelating to anything. They were convinced it must have been from trauma I have suffered during the year. And they convinced me too. It has taken me 9 months to get back to 80-90% normal.

Fast forward, I was doing fine, I was happy, but my hair started thinning again. I was wary to start finasteride again, but I was not convinced about the finasteride being behind my anxiety since anxiety stuck with me for months after the last dose of fin so I became impulsive. I wanted to try microdosing 0.25mg but I only had 5mg tablets so I thought I would go with 1.25 mg 3x week. I took one dose, started feeling anxious. Then after two days I tried even lower dose than 1/4 of the pill. My anxiety came back with vengeance. It has been almost a month and the anxiety is growing.

My psychiatrist said that if you could tell if the patient is having an anxiety side effect from a drug or its all in their head, he would get a Nobel price. I know I can’t be 100% sure finasteride is a cause behind my anxiety, but I strongly feel it is not in my head and it’s hell of suspicious that I was happy and one pill changes everything.

Finasteride inhibits the production of neurosteroids responsible for dealing with anxiety. This is no coincidence. I suggest you stop finasteride as soon as you can.

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I stopped it after two doses. First time I took finasteride it took 9 months for anxiety to go away, but I was taking it for two years. I hope this time I will not have to wait another 9 months because I have to work and it is difficult to concentrate with so much anxiety. Do you think topical finasteride would be a safer option?

I’d say, lay off the finasteride, because eventually it would probably cause other symptoms anyway, and even though I’m no medical specialist, I’m pretty sure that topical finasteride is still entering your body, still entering your bloodstream, and will still cause negative effects. Let your hair go it’s natural route; if you want an alternative to hair loss then a hairpiece is by far the safer choice.

I doubt you’ll be having anxiety for 9 months, especially if you follow therapeutic guides, and keep stress low. Just be thankful you haven’t gotten other physical and mental sides, drop the finasteride and move on with your life, knowing you saved yourself from foolishly playing god with your hormones.

Take care.

Don’t be stupid. How many chances do you want? Even topical fin causes side effects. Let it go. You’re playing with absolute fire.

Agree with everyone else clearly you’re sensitive to finasteride. It’s a long term treatment , thinking you will somehow avoid side effects after using finasteride for years is just asinine. Finasteride goes systemic from topical application there are studies on it. Repeated exposure and then withdrawal in sensitive individuals is as others have said playing with fire.

You have to understand your psychiatrist is probably fairly ignorant regarding finasteride and its possible impacts on your brain seeing as its a dermatological treatment for hair loss. All his information would come from the clinical trial data for finasteride that did not even access (for the most part) finasteride’s impact on mood or the brain. There is published literature that clearly indicates finasteride’s safety trial data is completely inadequate. Only people regularly prescribing finasteride would be aware of this if at all.

“I was happy and one pill changes everything.” seems fairly clear to me

Thank you everyone. I subconsciously know all of this but needed to hear it from someone else. It is difficult losing hair and not being able to use the most efficient weapon. It feels like fighting a lost battle. You have given me much to reflect on.

I know I should not touch the stuff again - more so when the same thing happened twice - but I do wonder whether I would be able to be side free and keep hair with the topical. I know that if I tried it for the third time there is a high chance the same thing with anxiety would happen again, sooner or later, and I would be risking too much - my health, my career, my relationship. Guess I need a therapist more than a finasteride.

Brother, listen. I was self-consious about my hair loss too. Now I have PFS because of it. If I could go back in time and have my old-self back and lose all my hair, I totally would. I don’t even care about my hair anymore. It’s a confidence thing.

Hair doesn’t make you who you are, its just about your ego.

I have post Finasteride syndrome from Topical Minoxidil. I’m 18 and crashed on Minoxidil. For nearly a year my dick has barely functioned at the age of 18.

NEVER touch Finasteride again. There is no such thing as a topical treatment, everything goes systemic.

reporting after a few days. I feel even worse, anxiety is unbearable and I am barely managing. It’s the same shit like the last time I quit fin. I am definitely not trying topical finasteride, in fact, I am staying the fuck away from this drug. I need some hope that this will be a shorter recovery that the last time because the anxiety is insane.

Anxiety is making me crawl out of skin. I can’t barely function without Xanax. I hope it will get better like it did the last time. I don’t want to live this.

Is there anyone who can comfort me somehow? I am a horrible mess, thinking about suicide every day. I just can’t live like this.

I was totally like you… Severe depression and suicidal thoughts all day. Almost finished in hospital. I’m much better now and can normally function. Do you have somebody to talk to or even cry?

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I’m so sorry to read of what you’re going through @Opus. Please have a read of this

Mental side effects vs physical side effects

2 Likes

Xanax probably isn’t making things better.

It’s the only thing keeping me alive. Nothing else helps with anxiety. It’s vile and vicious, makes me crawl out of my skin, curl and hide in a bed.

try bacopa for anxiety its supposed to help with gaba

I have an amazing partner who understands me and who I can cry to.

One thing that actually helps me is NAC. High doses dissolved in water.

Reporting after 3 days. Not much change. I still feel horrible, but I incorporated some light jogging every day into my routine.