Fin for ~1 year (post-crash?), 24yo

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 or hair loss forums, I can’t remember.

What is your current age, height, weight?
24, 179cm, 145lb

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

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
I took various doses of finasteride daily, sometimes 1mg, 0.5mg, 0.25mg or less. Most of the time I took 0.5mg daily.
I also stopped finasteride in July 2019 and switched to dutasteride 0.5mg daily. After 7 doses (3.5mg), I switched back to finasteride daily.

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Cosmetic hair loss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
1 year, 3 months

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?
23 years old, June 2018.

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
24 years old, 20 September 2019.

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
Slightly tapered off: I took 0.25mg for a month and on the last two days I took 0.125mg.

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
Within the first few weeks.

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, loss of spontaneous erections, loss of morning erections.

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.

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

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
Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Severe Depression / Melancholy
Suicidal Thoughts

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

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?

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)?
I have one blood test from during treatment that measured testosterone and estradiol which were normal, none from before. I plan to get one post treatment if side effects don’t resolve.

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?
̶I̶’̶m̶ ̶u̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶k̶e̶t̶o̶c̶o̶n̶a̶z̶o̶l̶e̶ ̶1̶%̶ ̶s̶h̶a̶m̶p̶o̶o̶ ̶t̶w̶i̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶w̶e̶e̶k̶.̶ I’d rather not use it but I get horrible sebhorreic dermatitis on my scalp and face if I don’t. I’m open to suggestions if anyone knows a better product.
I am ̶s̶t̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶u̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶m̶i̶n̶o̶x̶i̶d̶i̶l̶ ̶5̶%̶ ̶o̶n̶c̶e̶/̶d̶a̶y̶ ̶a̶n̶d taking Vitamin D3 3000IU (cholecalciferol).

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
I started finasteride in June of 2018. I noticed the sexual side effects within a couple weeks when I couldn’t get a second erection during a one night stand. I continued because I was convinced by hair loss forums and studies that the sides would resolve upon discontinuation. In July of this year, I temporarily stopped finasteride and switched to dutasteride 0.5mg daily. I took 7 doses for a total of 3.5mg and stopped when I felt a sensation of penile shrinkage (kind of like when you’re in cold water) and didn’t take any 5ARIs for a few days, then started finasteride again.

In September of this year, I noticed that I couldn’t achieve a full erection, or at least it was extremely difficult to. This scared me, because it meant I was getting worse on treatment despite the line that’s parroted on hair loss forums that “side effects disappear with continued usage.”

I stopped treatment on 20 September and on the 4th day of cessation, I noticed I could get full erections again just from thoughts or lying on my stomach and I felt my libido come back. I would say I was about 70% of what I remember being normal, pre-5ARIs. Then on the 9th day, all of those improvements suddenly disappeared like they never happened. Is this what’s meant by a “crash”? If so, it seems like I had mine quick.

Since then, there have been no changes. I think I get weak nocturnal erections, but that’s about it.

When should I get a blood test done? The 1 month mark?
I’m thinking of getting total testosterone, free testosterone, estradiol, DHT, SHBG, LH, and FSH. Should I bother with prolactin or any others?

I’ll update on any changes.

1 Like

Welcome to the forum! It is still very early for you so I would remain optimistic for recovery.

Prolactin is actually key. Elevated prolactin, even without PFS, causes low libido, ED, anxiety, inability to sleep, etc. So I would definitely get prolactin and progesterone - in addition to the others you mentioned.

Get off the Ketoconazole shampoo asap that stuff destroyed me and gave me PFS along with a few others here

1 Like

I would really like to get off ketoconazole, but my face and scalp gets covered in scales (google ‘sebhorreic dermatitis’) if I don’t use it. It looks like there’s another medicine called ciclopirox, but its mechanism of action isn’t understood. I could try switching to that.

Sibelio, I will try getting prolactin and progesterone done as well if I do get a blood test. This is gonna get expensive.

Try to see if there is safer alternatives but save yourself while you can that stuff needs to be banned far to harmful.

A 6 week update:

Unfortunately I’ve gotten worse :joy:

I sometimes get pain in what I assume to be my prostate while sleeping, a sharp darting pain, that isn’t too bad, but is definitely there and I’ve never had before. Also, since my crash I’ve still had normal colored semen but it has recently turned back to being watery like how it was while on finasteride.
In general, my libido has just gotten slowly worse over the weeks as well.
I have always had mild restless leg syndrome but it seems to have gotten worse, and I’ve gotten it in my arms now. I didn’t know that was even possible but it is.

I saw my GP to talk about my experience, he said he’s never had a patient have problems with finasteride and was perplexed. In his database or whatever on his laptop he said ~1% of people have sexual side effects and there are only case reports of persistent side effects that aren’t “validated”. The first thing he asks me is if I have depression, I told him my semen is literally water which seemed to get him to believe me.

He ordered some blood tests but only things he could justify to insurance. I know it’s missing some things, I’m probably going to get more blood tests later:

-----On finasteride----- (June 2019):
Vitamin D 25 Hydroxy: 36 ng/mL (30 - 80 ng/mL)
Estradiol: 28 pg/mL (14 - 60 pg/mL)
Total Testosterone: 834 ng/dL (280 - 800 ng/dL) (High)

-----Five weeks off finasteride----- (October 2019):
This isn’t everything, just what was out of range or I thought was relevant.
Red Blood Cell Count: 6.03 million/mcL (4.30 - 5.90 million/mcL) (High)
Hemoglobin: 18.3 gm/dL (13.0 -17.0 gm/dL) (Critical)
Hematocrit: 54.0% (39.0 - 51.0%) (High)
Platelet Count: 195 thou/mcL (150 - 400 thou/mcL)
Monocytes: 2.7% (4.0 - 12.0%) (Low)
Abs Monocytes: 0.2 thou/mcL (0.3 - 1.0 thou/mcL) (Low)
Erythropoietin: 4 munit/mL (4 -27 munit/mL)

Creatinine: 0.94 mg/dL (0.72 - 1.25 mg/dL)
Protein Total - Blood: 7.9 gm/dL (6.2 - 8.0 gm/dL)
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH): 1.44 mIU/mL (0.27 - 3.50 mIU/mL)
Luteinizing Hormone (LH): 3.7 mIU/mL (1.5 mIU/mL - 9.3 mIU/mL)
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): 0.9 mIU/mL (1.4 - 18.1 mIU/mL) (Low)
Total Testosterone: 716 ng/dL (300 - 1080 ng/dL)
% Free Testosterone: 1.5% (1.6 - 2.9%) (Low)
Calculated Free Testosterone: 111 pg/mL (47 - 244 pg/mL)
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG): 51 nmol/L (11 - 80 nmol/L)

Do I get an award for lowest FSH result?