Is there a chance I wont develop PFS after 5 years of using finasteride?

Hi everyone. I am currently in a state of high anxiety and I am at a crossroads. I started to take finesteride in November 2014, so I’ve been on it for about 5.4 years now. At the time I don’t believe I noticed any symptoms, but in hindsight I believe that I have been experiencing them for years. I couldnt tell you exactly when but I maybe noticed it about a year ago. For these last 5 years I have heavily smoked marijuana which probably marked and offset some of my symptoms.

After I came from a vacation in mexico about 3 weeks ago I made the decision to finally quite my marijuana habit. Since then I have really started to notice my side effects. I have absolutely no libido and have a hard time maintaining an erection. The only time in the last 5 years that I had a problem with sex was about a year ago when I hooked up with a girl. I lost my erection during intercourse which I attributed to “whiskey dick”. I figured that my instant loss of libido was attributed to me quiting weed cold Turkey, but that was 3 weeks ago. While in Mexico I met this amazing girl, a girl that I fell absolutely head over heals for. We have corresponded and are going to try to make this work somehow. But now I am stuck in this limbo of anxiety and uncertainty due to the recent symptoms that i have started to feel.

I just do not understand how I have experienced this onslaught of side effects after seamingly not experiencing them for over 5 years. I forgot to mention that I have experienced moments of great depression over the years but I have experienced depression all my life so I’m not sure if it’s due to the finesteride.

I am at a crossroads because I do not know what I should do. I know that I must immediately stop using finesteride, but I am scared of potentially experiencing the crash. I do not have any other side effects as I feel I am cognitively sharp, perhaps more than ever since quiting weed. I currently have a high position at corporate of a grocery store. I have recently purchased a home so I am paying a mortgage. My biggest fear is experiencing a crash that will debilitate me to the point of loosing this position that I have worked so hard to get to, and potentially losing everything including my house.

My question is am I pretty much guaranteed to experience fps at this point since I’ve been on propecia for 5 years and have ignored my symptoms for all these years? Is it still possible that once I stop taking the medication I will not experience any crashes and just recover from my sides? This has been a source of a lot of anxiety as I do not know what I should do. I am suppose to visit this girl in mid March which is also causing me anxiety especially because of my sexual dysfunction. Or is it even possible that my symptoms are due to perhaps other stress in my life?

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Nobody here can give you a confident answer because we don’t understand why any of us have PFS to begin with. I believe there are cases of guys who took propecia for many years and once they stopped is when they got pfs whole others here took 1 pill and got it. I will say from my experience though that I smoked weed while taking propecia and after getting pfs for years and I also stopped for a year and didn’t notice much of a difference. Weed does give me a slight libido and sensitivity boost but that’s about it.


I guess more than anything I’m terrified about the unknown, about not knowing if I have screwed up my body by taking fin for all these years despite me ignoring all the signs. At this point I’m expecting the worse cause I know whatever damage fin has done to me has already been done. I’m just devastated that it happened to me after I meant this wonderful girl.

I mean you haven’t stopped taking propecia from the sound of it. If you stop you very well may recover

I’m not gonna lie, it’s a tough position for you to be in, as the discontinuation of it really is like playing Russian roulette.
You almost need to plan ahead and make a contingency for these issues ,just in case they arise- especially if you have bought a house , have a stable job, are potentially dating a girl you really like etc
Not saying you will crash - I took finasteride for 4 years and didn’t have a crash per se, as I already had symptoms developing whilst I was on the drug as you mentioned you have started getting some too so we are probably in a similar field .
As a person who has taken many medications and drugs in their life from Benzos to Opiates, SSRI, TCAs etc I would say from best advice this is truly one drug to stop taking, when you can . There are other options to maintain hair out there instead of propecia. It’s probably a case of just biting the bullet sooner rather than later?

In your opinion do you think I’m more likely now to fps seeing that I’ve probably had these symptoms for 3-4 years. I just feel that because of this my gut feeling is telling me I’m screwed. Have you heard of anyone being in a similar position to me and making a full recovery? I feel so devastated and alone because theres no one that can relate to me right now.

It sounds like you had the symptoms all along. I’d say drop the finasteride and see if that helps. If you continue on the finasteride the damage will be even greater and may take you longer to recover or may not recover at all.

If I truly had symptoms for most of the time I’ve been on fin, then I should probably be expecting the worse then. I’m so angry at myself for being so vain and for being so obsess about my hair. I wish I had discovered this forum before i started taking it as my hairloss wasn’t that bad. But most of all I’ve devastated because I’m most likely will lose this girl. I should probably tell her what’s going on, what’s probably going to happen in the coming months/years. Just utterly devastated. I’ve suffered for various reasons throughout my adult life and just when I thought I was seeing the light in the end of the tunnel I’m back in my despair

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Don’t expect the worse beforehand. Drop the fin now and see if your body normalizes.

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I don’t know if I agree with the above advice, and I myself have had PFS since 1998.

If there is a crash that is the beginning of PFS proper, it happens after the person takes his last finasteride pill–for some it is a few weeks, others around 30 days, others months, and a few people over a year (all this from what I read on this forum).

But if you could taper VERY SLOWLY over the course of months, by decreasing the milligrams a tiny bit by tiny bit, then MAYBE you would be able to come off it more safely instead of stopping finasteride cold turkey which is how 99% of us have stopped taking it, including me.

You could use a compounding pharmacy to create lower and lower doses of finasteride to taper down slowly.

There is some research that says that the dose of finasteride does not matter, but we don’t have enough research to really prove that. Could you get PFS by stopping the pill totally one day versus tapering off super slowly? Maybe, maybe not.

If you are a highly organized person you could keep a really detailed record of all the doses from now til you are at 0 milligrams, and also keep record of how you are feeling with each stepdown change of dose.

Realize though that anxiety over all of this makes it worse, and taking a medicine for anxiety is often the thing that makes it worse, especially serotonin class of drugs.

if i were u i would drop that shit instantly, + try to stay away from drama for a good 6-9 months

I think I’m starting to really crash. I’ve felt a nagging pain in my left testicle that is persistent and wont go away and I’m noticing that I’m not peeing as frequently as I usually do, and when I do i noticed it’s a “darker” color than usual. I felt a burning sensation in my urethra. Pretty sure I’m experiencing prostatitis but I’m not a doctor so what do I really know. I also talked to the girl I’ve been talking to and shes been verybunderstsnding and supportive, but she doesnt know the full extent of pfs and how it can be a lifelong condition. The ball ache is really starting to confirm my suspicions based on what I have read.

Go get checked for STDs–that will rule out a cause of darker urine, burning sensation, etc.

The ball ache seems to have gone away somewhat. I’m also now noticing a loss of sensitivity in my penis. Today is my 2nd day of not taking fin. I know I should be postive right now but it’s the stress and anxiety is starting to eat away at me now and it’s starting to affect my work performance since all my thoughts are consumed by this. Part of me is hopeful that maybe my symptoms are psychological, but now I don’t know now. If this does become pfs I dont k now how I’ll be able to function at all.

Man you will turn gray of all the worrying :smiley:

It takes around 5 days for 5AR enzyme to be produced by body again after finasteride leaves the system.

So in couple of days you can experience some testicular pain, but this should subside in a matter of days. After that you should wait couple of months to really see whats going on.

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I’ve now noticed a total loss of sensitivity on my penis and any stimulation only produces a very weak erection. I’m starting to lose hope since om now starting to experience all the typical fps symptoms and I havent been sleeping much if at all. So I pretty sure I’m crashing now. I don’t know how you guys are strong enough to live this way, but I dont tjink I’ll be able to.

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I think you need to see a doctor to rule out other causes of the symptoms you already told us about.

Jumping to conclusions is a sign of your feeling anxious so I think a visit to some doc that you know or trust can help you at this important point.

Check out the PFS Foundation website’s Resources:

First off- not everyone who stops finasteride just gets PFS. Some people have a difficult transition off of it but eventually normalize. It’s helpful to try and get some basic exercise, sunlight, and have a support system in place if you’re having issues. This forum can be a great resource but don’t make yourself insane by searching for every symptom imaginable. Maybe find a therapist to talk to, or an endo who deals with PFS. I crashed while on the drug and then tapered off it (using a pill cutter) and like @crossroads says anxiety makes it worse. I did better when I started thinking of PFS as a bodily transition and not focusing on every single symptom. Take this opportunity to get healthy overall. While I think this medicine is a devil’s bargain, keep in mind some people take it without noticeable issues. Eat healthy, get rest, exercise. Talk to someone you trust if you can. Hang in there and try not to make yourself crazy.


So I followed your guys advise and stayed of this website and just live my life as best as I could. Today marks my 9 day off fin, but today I woke up feeling very lethargic, to the point where I cant even keep my head upright for too long without having to lay back down. It honestly feels like I have the flu but I don’t feel any other flulike symptoms. I also woke up feeling like a zombie, I wasn’t happy or sad. I barely have the energy to type this or keep my eyes opened. What the hell is going on with me?

If you have a primary care doctor or an endocrinologist you can go to and get a real workup + blood tests, do it. Fatigue is so nonspecific, but tests are!