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)? USA
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 for “Finasteride and Acne” eventually led here
What is your current age, height, weight? 64 y/o, 6’4", 305 lbs.
What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)? Finasteride as Proscar
What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? Dosage was 5mg/day
What condition was being treated with the drug? BPH
For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? Exactly three months
How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug? 63 in April 2019
How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? 63 in June 2019
How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)? Cold Turkey
How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects? Within a week my libido was fading and ED was beginning
What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation? ED, sexual and social anhedonia, joint pain, muscle weakness, weight gain, severe acne, confusion, uncoordination, brain fog, depression with suicidal ideation, constant headaches.
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
[ x] Complete Impotence
[ x] Loss of Morning Erections
[ x] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ x] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[ x] Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
Reduced Sperm Count / Motility
[ x] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[ x] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ x] Confusion
[ x] Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
[ x] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[ x] Slurring of Speech
[ xLack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ x] Severe Depression / Melancholy
[ x] Suicidal Thoughts
[ x] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
Penis curvature / rotation on axis
Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[ x] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ x] Weight Gain
[x ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ x] Muscle Weakness
[ x] Joint Pain
Dry / Dark Circles under eyes
[ x] Prostate pain
[ x] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[x ] Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
[x ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[x ] Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears)
Increased hair loss
[ x] Frequent urination
Lowered body temperature
[ x] Other (please explain)I have had severe acne, first on my face and now my chest and scalp.
What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug? None, after reading all the conflicting stories here, I have tried to "ride it out."
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 only have testosterone numbers, which stayed steady in the 600’s before, during and after the onset of PFS due to TRT I believe, until recently when my script ran out and test dropped to 25.
Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience? As you will read in my story, I have hypogonadism treated by Androgel TRT. Contrary to the opinions of some members here, I fully believe that I have PFS and that maybe my TRT kept it from hitting me as hard as it may have otherwise done. More in my story…
Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug
This is my story, I am different from the majority here in three ways:
First, I am 64 years old. I am one of those insignificant “old men”, according to some of the youngsters here.
Second, I was on Proscar for BPH, and at 5 mg daily my dosage was five times what most Propecia dosages are.
Third, I have been on AndroGel TRT long before, during, and after my finasteride usage and the onset of my PFS.
My story, from the beginning:
I do not drink alcohol and have not had any in 30 years. Also I do not partake in any recreational drugs, even weed. I have taken supplements in the past when working out, but not in the last several years. I maintain clean living and watch my weight. I mention all this to set the stage:
I was hypersexual throughout my adult life. Even going into my sixties, I was good for two times a day.
Four years ago things started slowing down, and I was diagnosed with hypogonadism. My urologist prescribed AndroGel testosterone, and life was back to normal for me.
Last spring he prescribed Proscar for BPH. I started taking a 5mg daily dose on April 1st (how appropriate,) and within a week my libido and erections were disappearing. Since the middle of April 2019, I have not had an erection, and thoughts of a sexual nature have also ceased (anhedonia.)
Two months into Proscar and I had depression. Was this caused by lack of sex, or by the Proscar itself? Who can tell? Also, in 6 weeks I had gained over 30 lbs with no change in diet or exercise activity. Since then I have gained another 10 lbs despite my best attempts at losing weight. It can be hard to diet when you are depressed.
By the third month I was having acne attacks on my face that was unlike anything I’d had in 40 years. I Googled the phrase “acne and finasteride”. The sixth article on the list that came up was a story “How finasteride destroyed my skin”, written by a young man Matthew Johnson. I later found out he had committed suicide due to finasteride, and his story is in the memoriam section of this website.
My acne was mainly on my left face side, deep pustules that bled heavily when drained. Although TRT can cause acne, it never did with me. This was a new development. Sometimes a few would erupt in my scalp, chest, or my right cheek. Also, my hair would feel greasy within hours of a shampooing.
The Johnson article led me to propeciahelp, which then led me to this forum. Reading through the forum, I recognized so many things that had happened to me: the ED, lack of libido, joint aches and pains and accompanying inability to sleep, weight gain, and of course the ever-present depression.
I called my urologist the next day and told him I was going off of Proscar immediately. My last day taking the drug was June 30th, exactly a three-month period. I had an office visit with him shortly thereafter and discussed PFS with him. He seemed sympathetic, but unfortunately for me he was closing up his practice and moving to California. He extended my AndroGel prescription by 6 months and suggested I find another urologist.
The third week of July I had what I think was my first crash. Over the space of two days I had a terrible rash on my chest, neck and face, and the neck and face regions got so swollen I went to emergency care. They could find no reason for it and gave me a steroid shot and a week’s worth of steroid pills.
That was when I first experienced brain fog. Also I seemed uncoordinated, stumbling when I walked. I added tinnitus to my ills. I also had gynecomastia (male breasts), muscle weakness, confusion, and penile numbness. I believe my penis is about an inch shorter now but without an erection I cannot really tell.
Luckily for me my wife of over 40 years is very supportive. She is not happy about the lack of sex, even at 60 she was enjoying a healthy sex life.
We have stumbled along hoping that things would just get better naturally. I have taken no new drugs or supplements, have not experimented with any of the substances mentioned here on the Forum.
In the last couple of months, two things happened which I must mention.
First I had an appointment with my principal provider. I tried to explain PFS to him and he had no interest. I had written the words post finasteride syndrome on a paper for him and he would not even take it. I told him that my AndroGel prescription was about to run out and asked him to extend it, and he refused. I understand it is my fault for not getting a new urologist yet, but I was hoping to find one that was savvy about PFS.
I asked him to do a blood test for the other values that are often mentioned here, and he refused saying that he had no reason to and insurance would not cover it.
My blood pressure had also increased over the previous 6 months, and the doctor doubled my doxazosin dosage from 2 mg to 4 mg per day. (Doxazosin is also helpful With BPH.)
After increasing my doxazosin dosage, over the next several weeks I realized that my brain fog was lifting. I felt minimally better physically, but I was hopeful for the first time in months. For the first time in months, my acne cleared up!
After about two weeks of actually almost feeling good, I completely ran out of AndroGel. Then came a real crash.
Androgel clears out of your system in just days. That weekend I could barely get out of bed. For 2 days I laid in my bed with aches and pains. When I crawled out of bed into my easy-chair I laid there and dozed. My aches, and my muscle weakness were worse than they’d ever been. The acne returned with a vengeance, on my cheek and chest.
The worst effect that I felt now, more than any other, was the suicidal ideation. It beat into my head day and night.
I wondered if the TRT had been propping me up over the previous six months, saving me from the worst side effects? I had been taking 82mg/day. My testosterone had stayed level before, during, and after Proscar. However when I ran out of AndroGel, it tested at 25.
I absolutely force myself to go to work everyday. I’m 6 months away from retirement and we must have the health insurance.
An orthopedic surgeon that I went to about my aches and pains provided me with a prescription for benzodiazepines for my pain and sleep aid. When I read on the Forum, and Googled, what these can do to you, I never took any of them. But now I have 40 of them sitting in a bottle calling my name.
Currently I am a wreck. I am sure this is PFS, and ask that no one dare tell me it’s just hypogonadism Gone Wild. I read other members make statements that hypogonadism precludes PFS, and dare wonder why they think they’re experts.
And that’s my story. I waited longer than usual in case everything went away. Also it’s not always been easy to put these thoughts down on paper these days.
I wanted all this on the record, in case it is a help to any other members. Jim