Life taken from guy in mid 20s. Now on the road to recovery

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)?

  • Australia

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?)

  • I Google Searched “Finasteride” accompanied with the really bad symptoms I was experiencing.

What is your current age, height, weight?

  • 27 years old, 178cm, 74kg

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

  • Finasteride

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?

  • 1mg, 3 days a week

What condition was being treated with the drug?

  • Hair loss/Alopecia.

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

  • 16 months (1 year & 4 months)

Date when you started the drug?

  • March 20th 2020

Date when you quit the drug?

  • Approximately August 1st 2021

Age when you quit?

  • 25 years old

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

  • Cold turkey

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

  • 3 days

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

  • Low libido. Large amounts of fatigue. Strange sensitivity to certain foods. High anxiety. Weirdly tight/sore muscles. Brain fog. Unusual memory loss.

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
[ ] Erectile Dysfunction (Had this, but subsided months after quitting.)
[ ] Complete Impotence
[x] Loss of Morning Erections
[x] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[x] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[ ] Watery Ejaculate (Had this)
[ ] Reduced Ejaculate (Had this)
[ ] Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm (Had this)
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

[x] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[x] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ ] Confusion (Had this)
[x] Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
[x] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[x] Slurring of Speech
[ ] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency (Had this)
[ ] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks (Had this)
[ ] Severe Depression / Melancholy (Had this)
[ ] Suicidal Thoughts (Had this)

[ ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled) (Had shrinkage)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[x] Testicular Pain
[ ] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness (Had this, but nearly back to normal after 2 years off fin)
[ ] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease (Had this)
[x] Weight Gain
[x] Gynecomastia (male breasts) (Nearly gone. Was worse, but better now that on specific diet)
[x] Muscle Wastage
[x] Muscle Weakness
[x] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes (Had this)

[ ] Prostate pain
[x] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[x] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[x] Constipation / “Poo Pellets” (Also have nearly had diarrhoea every day since starting on fin)
[ ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness (Had this)
[ ] Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears) (Had this, but gone now. When I eat 5ari foods, comes back)
[ ] Hearing loss (My partner thinks I had this)
[ ] Increased hair loss
[x] Frequent urination
[x] Lowered body temperature

[x] Other(s) (please explain)

  • Severe OCD and ruminating thoughts. A lot less these days

  • Insomnia (This decreased after the stopping of 5ari foods)

  • Dry mouth and extreme Eczema on hands (Worse in winter. Had it every Winter since Fin. Never had before Fin.

  • I also had a strange lump in the back/roof of my mouth for about 6 months-12 months while I was on fin. It was extremely painful. Like a big hard cold thing. Really hard to explain, not sure if anyone else experienced this too? (Gone now)

  • Also had very sore soles feet from within 2-3 weeks of starting the fin, right until about 3 months after stopping fin. Sounds related to muscle atrophy. (Losing muscle on soles of feet)
    Was very uncomfortable. Still happens/comes back if I diet too hard and lose muscle.

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

  • I haven’t started any treatments yet. However I have abstained from 5ari foods, and that seems to have a positive impact, and definitely lessens some symptoms (not all of them). When I try 5ari foods again, some symptoms come back.

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)?

  • Had blood tests 6 months after stopping fin. Cholesterol was the only thing that was slightly high. Blood tests 18 months later all came back as normal (as far as I know).

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:

Hi guys. Long time lurker, first time poster. My story starts in March of 2020, right at the start of the Covid Pandemic, and at a stage with many long lockdowns in my country to were coming. A known Dermatologist in my city prescribed me with Finasteride, 1mg tablet, 3 days a week. He mentioned that the only two known side effects are Depression and Erectile Dysfunction, saying that if I experience these side effects to stop taking it, and they will go away. He also said “the placebo group experienced more sides in studies than the controlled group did”.

After taking it, I quickly experienced side effects within 3 days, noticeably unusual amounts of anxiety. I thought nothing of it, as it could have been anything. Within weeks of starting fin, my city went into strict lockdown, meaning I was no longer working/out of the house. It was during this time more side effects started to appear, however I still thought nothing of them. I think that if I experienced them at work in a familiar environment, it would have been more obvious, and I would’ve put 2 and 2 together. But because I had never really been at home this long or in this situation before, I thought I was experiencing mental health and physical symptoms due to the lockdowns and the uncertainty.

Most lockdowns lasted 10 days, or up to a month. But there was one lockdown which lasted 3 months. While being locked up inside, the symptoms/side effects continued to increase, not realising the actual cause. All of the symptoms appeared during this time, most notably fatigue, insomnia, sore/tight muscles (especially in the calfs/legs), sore soles of feet (sore to walk on), tinnitus, visible muscle loss, visible Gynecomastia, Brian Fog, slurred speech, memory loss (mostly short term), increased urination, loss of morning, day & night erections, erectile dysfunctions and watery ejaculate.

But because I had changed my lifestyle during the lockdowns, ie: Going to bed late, sleeping in, playing more video games, not going outside, eating at strange times, I didn’t correlate these changes with fin. I thought it was me adjusting/not adjusting well to my new life style. Oh how wrong I was.

I did experience what I now know as a crash 10 months into Fin. High amounts of anxiety, panic attack like feeling and strange bodily reactions, but I still didn’t realise what was causing this. My cognitive symptoms/abilities really spiralled downhill after that crash, almost immediately.

Fast forward to Mid 2021 (over 12 months after starting fin), I continue to experience increased and strange symptoms. However I still don’t link it to fin. Instead linking my symptoms to just about anything else I could think of. I even saw a Podiatrist about sore soles of feet while walking. She was gobsmacked, and couldn’t think for the life of her why it was happening.

I probably would’ve continued to take fin for many years after. However fast forward a couple months later, I luckily meet my current girlfriend/partner. It is through meeting her, that I discover I had Erectile Dysfunction, Watery Ejaculate and trouble ejaculating. All of a sudden a light bulb goes off in my head. I do a Google Search with the words finasteride and these symptoms, and I find this forum. I then also search with all of the previous symptoms mentioned, and find this site again. Horrified on what I was reading, I went cold turkey that day.

Over the next 2 years, at no stage did I do any treatment, because after seeing some of the horror stories on the forum, I didn’t want that to be me. I wanted to avoid it all together, and see how much going Cold Turkey could help reduce the side effects. Some symptoms started to disappear on their own without any other help, while others are still present. I find that by avoiding 5ari foods, this lessens my side effects significantly. However after abstaining from 5aris for months, not all symptoms have subsided. To put it simply: during being on Fin, my symptoms were at their 100% worst. After waiting patiently to recover for 18 months afterwards, I felt as if I was down to 60%-70% (30-40% recovered). Now after avoiding 5ari foods, getting 8+ hours of sleep each night, I feel now that I am at 70% recovery, and feeling the best I have felt in more than 3 years.

I am still experiencing high amounts of fatigue, and gut problems, which is extremely hard to deal with. I am currently on a quest to get to that 100% recovery, and that is why I’m here now.


How is your erectile function now days? can you get full erections with your mind or it needs a lot of stimulation?

and how much time did i take to ED go away after stopping the drug?

It roughly took me 1 month after stopping. I had a girlfriend at the time, so that would’ve helped, as rather than just waiting for it to come back, I would’ve been stimulated highly by my girlfriend.

I notice that every 6 months or so, my erections get larger, my balls get bigger (they were small and shrivelled up) I last longer and I can orgasm too.

My advice would also be to stay away from Porn/other material. As it is known that Porn can give you Erectile Dysfunction. PIED (Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction).

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It is a lot better now. I don’t get any erectile dysfunction during sex. I have noticed that if I do imagine fantasies in my mind, I can get full erections. But because I still have some low libido, I don’t spend too much time imagining.

But I do think the more time you spend imagining, the better. Really exercise your ability to do it, and to get that skill back.

My advice would also be to not have artificial stimulation (porn, or photos etc. Unless you absolutely need it). Imagination, masturbation or real sex would be the best way to go. Heal naturally, and shape the state that you want your body to return to.

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Good to see that you’ve improved

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latelly i have been able to have full erections only with imagination, but just when I wake up at morning. Feel like when im sitting down, its easier to get erection. and feel like I get 100% erection only when Im about to have an orgasm. im off this venom for 6 months now. think im getting better. still think of sex all the time but my buddy not going up during real sex is very frustrating. Let me ask you something : Have you noticed an increase of size in your penis veins? and wrinkled skin in your penis? if so, did that all went away with time?

do you still have muscle loss or has it stopped?

My penis was shrunk, extra veiny and wrinkly while I was on Fin.

The longer it’s been since I’ve taken it, the larger my penis is, definitely less wrinkly/squished and the veins have mostly vanished.

I’m nearly 2 years off now, so it seems most of these things go with times.

I would re-commend avoiding 5ari foods as well, that helps with other symptoms, that didn’t vanish by themself over time.

The muscle loss has stopped.

But I’ve noticed that whenever I diet hard, the muscle loss increases again. Especially my upper body and under my feet (getting sore bottoms of feet etc). But no where near as bad as it was before.

I think the best way to avoid that is to eat as much protein as you can, and to work out/lift weights as well. Doesn’t have to be intense, even just some slight lifting. Just to maintain/increase that muscle mass.

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Can you tell how long it took before you noticed your muscle loss stopping?

What 5-ari foods do you usually avoid in your daily life?

It was probably around 6 months after I stopped taking Fin that I noticed the muscle loss had stopped.

All of them really.
These are the ones that I’ve been able to Research or note my self:

  • Chocolate
  • Soy
  • Green Apples
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Mushroom
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin
  • Rosemary
  • Soybean Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Soy Milk
  • Protein bars
  • Peanut
  • Cashew
  • Walnut
  • Peanut butter
  • Sugar (except fruits)
  • Canola Oil
  • Tumeric
  • Fries
  • Ice Cream
  • Brown Rice
  • All bread (Except Rye)

Best thing to do is when you are about to eat a food, search for it on this site. That will usually tell you if people have bad experiences with it or not.
I have also created a list of heaps of food I can eat.
Includes meats, Dairy, Sweet Potato, Rye bread, white rice, majority of Vegetables, and fruit.


hi How is your muscle pain and fatigue now any tips??

Hi Abc, thank you for checking in. And yes I do have some tips.

My muscle pain these days is gone and basically none existent, and my fatigue is improving. It’s probably 80% better since this my original post. I feel like I am not too far off from recovering, and lots of my old symptoms are starting to subside.

I put this down to 2 different things, the first is avoiding 5ari foods, and the second is taking a particular supplement: Acetyl L Carnitine.
I started taking this supplement based off a recovery story on here by @Livid171. This is his recovery post:

Livid171’s official post on his recovery

If you look that supplement up on this forum (or even just search “Carnitine”) you will see a few people now who have taken it and recovered.

Livid171 took 2 x 500mgs capsules a day. But he would cycle them, so 2 weeks on, and 2 weeks off. He would always take weekends off, but I have been taking them on weekends anyway. They are better taken on an empty stomach, and you can eat food 1 hour before them, or 2 hours after them. He had PFS for years, but after taking this supplement he started to feel like he was recovering within months. He took it for years just to make sure. The brand that @Livid171 recommended is NOW Foods, which I take as well. Very popular brand of supplements.

(He also took Rhodiola Rosea, but he eventually stopped taking that. (It’s a 5ar inhibitor, so I wouldn’t recommend taking this).

As I said, there have been others who have taken Acetyl L Carnitine and have recovered, and have only come back to the forum a handful of times since. It seems to be that the key is to keep taking it, and not stop.

While I have only started taking the supplement again in the last couple months, I originally first took it in August of 2023. Once I got to November 2023, I believed I had recovered, so I stopped. Within a month or so, all my symptoms had come back in full again. So I have started taking it again, and am noticing great results. There was another user who took it for 6 months straight, cycling it. But a few months after he stopped, a lot of his symptoms are back as well.

And as I said earlier, the other thing I have been doing is avoiding 5 Alpha Reductase Inhibitor foods and supplements. If you want a list of things to avoid, I have compiled a list based of searching on here, so I can definitely give you that. Most people who avoid 5ari foods find that they get relief with their symptoms, but it doesn’t fully cure them by itself. And some find that by taking some Supplements, they crash. That is usually because that Food or Supplement is 5ari. I wouldn’t recommend taking any supplement without searching it up on here first. It can hinder your recovery if they are 5ari, or if people have crashed from them. People have not crashed from Acetyl L Carnitine, so it is a good supplement.

Funnily enough, @Livid171 did not change his diet at all, and kept consuming 5ari foods and even supplements. I think this shows how great of a supplement Carnitine can be for our recovery. It’s up to you if you want to avoid 5ari foods, but I definitely recommend starting on Acetyl L Carnitine. Don’t take my word for it, just search it on here. Plenty of people have taken it, come back to say they recovered, and then never returned.

If you have any more questions, please let me know.
And good luck.

Congatulations, Can I ask what foods you ate, are eating

Thanks @LazarusRy, I’m mostly eating roast chicken/grilled chicken, grilled fish, some fruits, and lots of vegetables (except Pumpkin and Broccoli of course as they are 5ari).

Since starting back on the Carnitine, I have noticed that 5ari foods don’t impact me as much. What used to crash me heavily before and bring back all my symptoms, now only give me one small symptom, or almost nothing at all.

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Great to hear… Best of luck

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Interesting I might wanna try it again to see how I do with it now, I do remember it giving me some baseline shapness mentally but at the time I had it I was also severely blunted in multiple ways, those benefits with it didn’t stick either very short term. Think when I get the chance I’m gonna give the cycle a go thanks! I haven’t had any negatives with it either myself.