Extreme side effects after a single topical dose of Saw Palmetto!

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)? New Zealand

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 and I have known about PFS from reddit

What is your current age, height, weight?29, 5’8", 65kg

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

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? topical dose (640mg once) on the head for 4 hours

What condition was being treated with the drug? Hair Loss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? 1 day

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?29

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?29 same day

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

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects? 2 days later

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Complete impotence is replaced with hard-flaccid. Prostate pain (pain in the bum and thighs).
Full strong erections sustained when seated or lying on y back, turns to hard flaccid when standing.
Had pains in my chest (start of gyno) currently stopped with Boron.

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.

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

Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
Slurring of Speech
Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[x ] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks - due to the current situation
Severe Depression / Melancholy
[ x] Suicidal Thoughts

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

[ x] 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)

The penis looks weird - like it looks like it has been pulled down and looks like its been filled with blood most of the time.
My prostate pain gets worse with gym.
Have a bit of ejaculation pain and dont feel the full orgasm.

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?

Boron - 6mg/day helped with stopping the chest pain related to gyno
Magnesium - 150mg/day
Vitamin D - 4000 UI

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)?

So when i had full ED my testesterone was (23.8 nmol/L), checked it 2 weeks ago (when i am hard flaccid standing up - 34.7nmol/L) ( week 1 and week 3) (range 9-29)

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.

So the worst mistake of my life happened on 4th of September 2021, when i applied Saw Palmetto to my head for four hours (got a headache afterwards so had to wash it off). The Saw Palmetto is from 2 oral capsules each 320mg (so 640mg in total). However, it was still oily when i had the shower so no way all of the saw palmetto got absorbed.

2 days later, I get full ED (shriveled penis), prostate pain, testicle pain, extreme burning pain while urinating and ejaculating and pain in the bum. No mental issues whatsoever.

The full ED was gone in 3 days and my morning and evening erections came back. However, the penis looks different (not smaller or bigger) just filled with blood all the time (looks longer when flaccid).

its been almost 5.5 weeks and symptoms have not improved fully. Testicle pain is gone and ED is gone however my penis is still looking weird and I still got prostate pain.

I had chest pains in week 4 which seemed to go down with Boron intake. ANother interesting fact is that my hair fall has stopped quite a bit (iused to loose around 50+ hairs a day now its around 10 per day).

I think my DHT has still not recovered and I am hoping to jump on to DIM to reduce the oestrogen (relatively high 110 pmol/L estradiol (<200range)). and I have been eating very clean. I am also planning to ‘jump start’ my DHT by starting creatine. The reason being, this whole hair loss started last year when i went to gym hard and started creatine. i suspect creatine caused large conversion of testosterone to DHT and thereby started my hair loss.

I cant go to gym cause it worsens my prostate pain and I seem to worse ED afterwards.
I am hoping any members here can give me advice? share experiences?

I would not use DIM as your estrogen isn’t even that high.

It’s risky business lowering estrogens to much, estrogen is not our enemy. In fact estrogen is very, very important for men.

Having 110 pmol/L while your T is 34.7 nmol/L is totally normal and not high.

But I can say Creatine helped me with a lot with my penile issues.


Don’t think you should go near DIM, it can be lethal with regards to your receptors and inhibit DHT

My recovery set back four months ago using just two DIM capsules.
My penis began to feel not right and two days later developed shrinkage again (recovered first time from it) It crashed me in the penal department.

Before this my body responded excellently to Vitamin D and Boron and 100% lead to me recovering penal shrinkage, now after taking DIM my body doesn’t respond to Vitamin D and Boron the way it did.

Four months later and I have only improved a little and I rue the day I went to my local supplement store and purchased DIM


Thanks man.

I wont use DIM. I sincerely hope you get better!

1 Like

Hi @Nexus9987

Greetings from across the ditch :slight_smile:

I’m sorry to hear about your current situation. As it’s only been five weeks, it’s likely that you could continue to improve and that your situation is only temporary. I know it’s hard right now, but I would encourage you not to take any further substances in attempts to recover. Give your body a chance to reset and don’t muddy the waters with anything else right now.

Also, please if you haven’t already, report your symptoms to your regulator. That’s really important to ensure warning labels and information available for clinicians is improved. You should be able to do this online through the NZ regulator and it shouldn’t take long.

Take care and please keep us updated.


Prostate pain mostly gone - very happy about this
No mental side effects
Can get erections when watching porn without stimulation
Erections last longer when standing up without stimulation (- around a minute ), before it died as soon as i stood up,
Nocturnal and morning erections are back - not as strong as before (struggled to piss in the toilet before in the morning with erections)

Chest pain is slightly back - I reduced the dose of boron, probably affected this.
Erections are probably 80-90% in strength
Still cant start to get full erections standing up, only a hard flaccid (have to be seated on laying down to get one)
Have a bit of penis pain on the head of the penis and testicles (feels like prostatitis - burning feel when i pee, i suspect same applied to ejaculations)
Have night sweats now
Low libido likely due to psychologically iam bit concerned with ED.
Low hair fall (funny how this is a negative now since i took saw palmetto to stop this), DHT likely still low

Things I did:
Went full AIP (Auto Immune Protocol) diet (its been3 days). I have done this before for my alopecia aretea and it completely stopped it after 2 weeks.
Started on amino acids and working out with resistance bands (in lockdown atm so no gym)
Reverse kegals
Pelvic relaxation stretches
Increased Probiotic intake

Further Plan;
Potentially add ZInc? Heard this was a 5ar inhibitor though?
Add further BCAA, was thinking of adding Whey WPI but milk and soy are non AIP compliant.
Go to gym when it opens, keep up with amino acids
Get DHT and free testosterone tested,
Potentially add creatine to jump start DHT

Nice to hear you’re feeling a little better. Keep it up!

I’d swap that BCAA to EAA though, BCAA is 100% useless (look up the studies on it if you don’t believe me).

And about the Zinc, there is some data that in large doses it might be a 5ARI but the data isn’t very strong. It does however seem to be quite potent at inhibiting aromatse.

If you want to supplement with it I’d recommend a low dose. But if you’re not deficient I don’t think there is much benefit to it.

Other than that your plan sound great man!

1 Like

Hey Cbrandel,

Thanks for your input mate. How are you going?

Also I got to ask have you tried L-cartinite and L-Arginine?
I had the above amino acids for a day and my prostate pain pretty much went away on the same day.
My orgasms came back the next day and I realised my face is oily this morning when i woke up and my libido was relatively high. Also had 2 pimples.
Havent had pimples since the whole situation started 7 weeks ago

Hair fall is similar to before (somewhat the same)

Have you tried the above aminos? Feels like it activated something,

I honestly was feeling like I was recovering. I have been 2.5 months off Saw Palmetto (after 1 topical dose) and the only unresolved symptom I had was hard flaccid type symptom (erections not as hard standing up and pain while urinating). I was going to go to a PT and doing stretching which seemed to help a lot.

3 weeks ago a new symptom started, I had tingling in my finger tips and toes and that turned into intense burning (I couldn’t sleep for 3 days!). I was such a wreck. I have been to two neurologists but they cant seem to find the issue. All physical tests are normal.

Funny thing is this started 3 days after i started on whey protein and it seems to get better after 4-5 days. And I have seen that eating lactose (cheese) or red meat completely worsens the situation. Like literally 4-5 hours later, my symptoms would be doubled.

I am thinking my gut bacteria is screwed up and I am literally screwed. Is there anyway to test this?
No gastroenterologist believes me.

Thanks guys. I really think I might be unluckiest guy in this forum, getting persistent symptoms from 1 topical dose of saw palmetto.

1 Like

Jeez, that’s tough. I haven’t seen neuropathy mentioned here often, but I got it after doing chemotherapy. What helped in that case were l-glutamine (5-10 grams), but I can’t say if it’ll be the same for you.

1 Like