- Where are you from (country)? USA
- How did you find this forum (Google search - Looking for recovery stories)
- What is your current age, height, weight? 37, 5ft 10in, 150 lbs.
- Do you excercise regularly? If so, what type of excercise? yes, twice a day now. Weightlift 4 times per week, heavy run 2 times per week, one day light cardio.
- What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)? Clean eats/Paleo primarily with some small concessions (Quinoa/Brown Rice)
- Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)? Hair loss prevention
- For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)? Took less than 6 months of pills over approximately 9 months (kept forgetting to take it)
- How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start Finasteride? 37
- How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? 37
- How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)? Cold Turkey
- What type of Finasteride did you use – Finasteride
- What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? 1mg every day, but often forgot to take, especially towards the end.
- How long into your use of Finasteride did you notice the onset of side effects? 9 months, triggered me stopping or perhaps me forgetting to take it so much at the end triggered the side effects, unsure.
- What side effects did you experience while on the drug that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?I am listing all side effects even those that aren’t present currently as they have been returning from time to time or I am not yet convinced I am in the clear from anything.
Put an X beside all that apply:
[x ] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[ ] Erectile Dysfunction
[x] Loss of Morning Erections
[x] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[x] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[ ] Watery Ejaculate
 Reduced Ejaculate
 Inability to Ejaculate / Orgasm
 Reduced Sperm Count / Motility
[x] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
Memory Loss / Forgetfullness
Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
 Slurring of Speech
 Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[x] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[x] Severe Depression / Melancholy
[x] Severe Insomnia
 Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
Penis curvature / rotation on axis
 Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[x] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
 Weight Gain
Gynecomastia (male breasts)
 Muscle Wastage
Dry / Dark Circles under eyes
[x] Nerve pain (forearms and calves primarily)
[x] Muscle twitching
 Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
 Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
Increased hair loss
[x] Lowered body temperature
[x] Loss of appetite/enjoyment of food
Other (please explain)
- What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug? No formal treatments, to be discussed below.
- If you have pre or post-Finasteride bloodtests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (pls post your test results in the “Blood Tests” section and link to them in your post)? None.
- Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience with Finasteride? No
- Tell us your story, in your own words, about your Finasteride usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
My story and RECOVERY:
I am an early sufferer, so I don’t know what use my story will be but if it helps anyone it will be worth posting. Also, I’m hopeful others may have some tips to help me get better.
My first side effects while still taking the drug was severe Muscle twitching, anxiety, loss of appetite, loss of enjoyment, and depression (constant horrible thoughts). Also, looking back I also had a symptom where when I was about to fall asleep a sudden wave of anxiety would instantly wake me along with a deep breath, after which I could typically fall asleep normally. This happened 1-2 months nightly leading up to my crash.
The depression and anxiety were absolutely crippling initially and continued for about 2 weeks relentlessly after which I seemed to get better for a period of 1-2 weeks. During this 2nd time frame I was admitted to the ER for shortness of breath and nerve pain on one side of my body (forearm and calf on right side). I now see that this was likely a panic attack. It was around this time I realized what was going on and the anxiety returned even worse than before along with depression and horrible thoughts at the same level. I moved my office outside and the only thing that made me feel even remotely better was exercise and being in the sun. I spent most waking hours in direct sunlight and walking/jogging when I just couldn’t take it anymore. During this time period, existence was pain. I just looked forward to sleep every night and all I could do was to try and make it through each day. It was during this timeframe that I started my no processed foods/no sugar/clean eats/paleo diet at the same time and started drinking a lot more water. During this 1-2 week period my appetite was nonexistent and I had to force food down using water. I started drinking a spinach/fresh fruit smoothie every morning with flax seed/chia seeds and collagen powder (mostly for glycine). This was something easy for me to eat and just a way to get nutrition. I also started an intense exercise regimen about this time since it was really the only thing that kept me going, with A LOT of time in the sun. I lost 20 lbs. within like 10 days.
I also started a regimen of edging during this time period? I read that masturbation could cause temporary loss in receptor activity but also read that sexual activity could boost testosterone, so I just thought what the hell? I did have waves where it was very difficult to get an erection, so this wasn’t always easy but I did a schedule twice a day. I would edge myself almost to orgasm then let myself cool down all the way then back up 3 times in the morning and 3 times at night. I also took cold showers, about 3 per day and always immediately prior to this. Otherwise I have been entirely abstinent, no orgasms.
So now we’re about 3 weeks to month in and I started getting severe emotional blunting which occurs for around 1 week and then I start feeling like I’m recovering a little bit again (depression mostly gone, anxiety lessening, no emotional blunting) and then absolute terrifying insomnia sets in. I started waking up earlier and earlier the days leading up to this and then I simply had my ability to sleep removed. I didn’t sleep for 4 days straight initially and when I finally slept it wasn’t like normal sleep, it was more like I just lost track of time for an hour or two at a time. This persisted for about 2 weeks with another 4 day stretch of essentially no sleep mixed in before I got SOME reprieve.
During this time period, I stuck with my diet, cold shower/edging, and exercise regimen no matter how I felt. Anxiety and depression continued to come back in waves and insomnia slowly got slightly better 2-3 hours sleep standard with days of 4-5 hours or more (always very interrupted sleep). Appetite also started to return and seemed to strongly coincide with how I felt mentally and also with the quality of my sleep. Fast forward a few more weeks and I actually feel 90% normal, I get a few full nights sleep mixed in with a few nights of 4-5 hour or 6-7 hours. Anxiety and restless sleep are really my only symptoms for about a 2 week period. I feel so good that I falter and break my regimen. I cheated on my diet, quit my edging routine, I had sex twice on back to back days, and also broke my sleep routine. I had always tried to go to bed 9-10PM and keep a very set schedule, but stayed up late a few nights and even went to sleep at my parents house and broke routine. After this the following 1.5 weeks was terrible, but I went right back to my normal routine and the ship is mostly righted at this point except for the insomnia.
Here’s my routine and where I am currently (approximately 2 months in):
Exercise: Daily - Wake up 7:30AM and run/walk 2-3 miles depending how I feel. Shirt off always, full sun. 4 days a week of heavy lifting, rotating muscle groups - immediately after my morning jog. HIIT Sprint training twice a week when I’m not lifting, one day of light cardio. Afternoon around 5-6PM - I walk/jog another 1-2 miles when I’m not doing HIIT.
Diet: Somewhat of a fasting diet as I generally eat all my food between 10AM and 7PM. No caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no processed food, everything organic, handmade or fresh.
Breakfast Daily 9-10AM - 2 boiled eggs and fresh blended smoothie (Collagen powder, chia seeds, flax seed, spinach, pineapple, 1 banana, and grapes/watermelon/blueberries/blackberries/apples) Last ingredient is really whatever fruit is going bad I will freeze and use it in my smoothies. I also put 1/2 tsp tumeric and 1/4 tsp ginger powder.
Lunch - 1PM Clean eats/Paleo rotating. Carbs come entirely from potato/squash/corn/quinoa and brown rice occasionally. I eat a lot of fish and fresh vegetables/fruits.
Dinner - 6PM Clean eats/Paleo rotating. Carbs come entirely from potato/squash/corn/quinoa and brown rice occasionally. I eat a lot of fish and fresh vegetables/fruits. I force myself to eat a lot here as much as possible even if my appetite is lacking.
Throughout Day - I eat pumpkin seeds and pistachios throughout the day for magnesium. I try to eat quite a lot to get daily recommended value. I also drink lots of water up until dinner ( to avoid peeing at night) and Saffron Tea (3-4 cups early). I drink 1 cup chrysanthemum tea before sleeping.
Other: I still do my edging routine and am otherwise abstinent. I take cold showers throughout the day. I listen to comedy and things I enjoy (or used to enjoy) always when exercising etc. even when I don’t want to which is very often.
Current Status: I am past almost every symptom except anxiety and insomnia for the most part although they do come back in small waves occasionally. Anxiety comes in small waves as well, but seems less and less as days go on and I have some days of almost 100% reprieve. Insomnia is still rough though. Minimum now seems to be 2-3 hours which can go on for a full week at which point my body seems to give in and I’ll get a decent night’s sleep. Some days are better than others but this symptom is the worst by far.
I think my routine helps, although my only evidence is my recovery to date and the complete crash after I stopped for 1-2 days. I hope this helps someone, does anybody else have any similar remaining symptoms and tips to surmount them?