My experience on Finasteride

Where are you from (country)?
The Netherlands

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?)
Googled finasteride recovery (over a year ago)

What is your current age, height, weight?
21, < 180 cms, ~76 kgs

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.)?
1 mg/day

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Hair loss

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

Date when you started the drug?
14th of march 2021

Date when you quit the drug?
About one month later

Age when you quit?
20 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?
after about 3 weeks

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Erectile dysfunction, loss of libido

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.

Sexual
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

Mental
Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
Confusion
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

Physical
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

Misc
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?
I have used pycnogenol, l-carnitine and l-arginine for about 1.5~2 months after quitting. I don’t believe this had a very significant effect in my recovery though it might have played a role.

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)?
n/a

Hello everyone,

as you can see from the above questionnaire I am a part of the unfortunate group of people who have experienced severe side effects from taking oral Finasteride. My experience while and after taking it was one which I have, until now, kept very personal. Today I have decided that it is time to share with you my experience and my advice to new or existing users of this forum, who feel that they have been afflicted by side effects from Finasteride or similar drugs. Although my story is one which involves Finasteride only, I think there are important lessons to be learned for people who have taken some of the well known drugs on this forum that are similar to Finasteride.

Taking Finasteride
So like listed in the questionnaire I took 1 mg of Finasteride daily for about one month. During this I was already well aware of the potential side effects listed for Finasteride and had searched extensively about what kind of experiences people, mostly those who were affected by side affects, were having. Because of this awareness I became very vigilant in trying to detect side effects for myself, which resulted in a decent amount of anxiety around my erectile performance based on my fear for the potential side effects.

This anxiety caused me to test, often multiple times per day, whether or not I could still achieve and maintain an erection. After about 3 weeks in I first felt that my ability to maintain an erection was reduced. At first I didn’t think too much of this and continued taking Finasteride for about a week more or so and did so, for as far as I can remember, without issues.

Side effects
My first very real and somewhat frightening experience of side effects was after the aforementioned final week of use without issues. After a very fun night of partying at a friends place I was about to have sex with a girl I knew from high school who was also there. She started by wanting to perform oral on me, but while she unzipped my pants it became clear that my penis was, so to say, not interested at all. I was not able to achieve an erection. Like a true Chad I of course blamed it on drinking too much, fingered her and moved on. Because she was quite understanding and still very interested we met up again shortly after, once more attempting to have sex. This again resulted in failure to achieve any sort of erection, combined with her very much losing interest in me sexually speaking.

Response to the onset of side effects
Immediately after this moment with the girl I started panicking. I became very scared and anxious that some of the terrible side effects which i had read about online were happening to me and did not know what to do. These extreme levels of anxiety caused me a great deal of stress.

What helped me
In hindsight I feel that this extreme stress and anxiety I was experiencing caused a lot of my problems like struggling to achieve and maintain an erection, penile tightness, penile numbness, a cold gland, muscle twitching in the perineum and legs and an increase in the amount of visible veins on my penis.

Why do I think this? Because in retrospect I have realised that the stress and mental load I was putting on myself had affected my body in very real, very physical ways. I remember sitting in the bus and clenching my perineal/penile muscles due to the extreme anxiety I was experiencing. I now think that this state of “muscle guarding” that my body was performing at the time has caused certain muscles in my perineal area to become overly tense as a natural response to my stress. As of today I can still feel some of the muscles in my perineal area are overly tight, like “taut bands” instead of flexible muscle fibers. Though, overtime, this tightness has been decreasing and with it also my symptoms.

Coming back to my symptoms I feel that the explanation provided above will start to make more sense. I think that, due to the extremely tight muscles in my perineal area, nerves and arteries which supply sensation and blood to the penis were being constricted. The constriction of the arteries causes a decrease in blood supply and the constriction of the nerves causes a decrease in sensation. A decrease in blood supply will obviously cause erectile dysfunction, a cold gland and possibly an increase in the amount of visible veins on the penis. The numbness is explained by the constriction of the nerves, and the twitching of muscles in the perineum and legs is caused by overly tight perineal muscles and other muscular imbalances.

From reading books like “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma” (Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., Penguin) and “A Headache in the Pelvis: A New Understanding and Treatment for Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromes” (David Wise, PhD, Rodney Anderson, M.D., National Center for Pelvic Pain) I feel that physical manifestations of mental stress as I describe above are very real and happening in a lot of us, whether due to a drug like Finasteride or not. I strongly recommend anyone of you who are reading this and resonate with my story to also read these books, especially the second book by David Wise and Rodney Anderson who are respectively a Research Scholar and a Professor at Stanford University, one of the top rated universities in the world (which should give some credibility if you ask me). With this I would like to mention that I am in no wat whatsoever affiliated with either of these books or the people who made/published them, this is only a genuine recommendation and it is up to you to decide whether or not you would like to follow up on said recommendation.

My current state
As of writing this, about a year and 4 months after quitting Finasteride, I am steadily recovering from the side effects I have experienced, though I am in no way side effect free. Erections are by now, in most cases, easy to achieve and maintain though psychogenic erections are still rare but returning also. My gland is almost never cold anymore and the tightness in my muscles is decreasing, with some minor setbacks every once in a while due to new stress or sedentary living. I do not experience numbness in my penis anymore and my libido has been returning, especially the last month. Over the course of maybe a couple more years I feel quite sure that I will at some point become fully symptom free, though my symptoms are at this point already very bearable.

Conclusion
Overall what I would like to recommend to any of you is to take a step back and try to analyse how much of your symptoms might be caused by the stress you are probably experiencing. If, after coming off Finasteride, I would have known what I know now, I would have approached my response to my side effects very differently. The essence for me was inside the stress which I was making myself experience and learning how to let that stress go, both mentally and physically.

Any of you who have questions towards me or would like more elaborations on certain points feel free to reply to this post and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible. I could write a lot more about what I experienced and why I approached things a certain way but I feel it would be too much to write in one post.

As a final disclaimer I would like to remind you that this is merely my own experience with Finasteride and that I do not intend to question any of your experiences.

I think the muscle stuff you talk about it sound, but I also think you overestimate how much of it is mental and how much is due to finsteride.

I have many of the same muscle issues in the nether regions, but I never felt stressed or had anxiety at all.

We know that finsteride decrease microvasculature rapidly (not stress induced, but decreased VEGF) and we also know that while DHT levels decrease, cortisol levels go up (in penis). It also affects TGF-B, which is a remodel growth factor.

All these things create the perfect storm for nerve/muscle issues.

But surely stress can make symptoms worse, for example the deep breathing muscles are antagonistic to the pelvic floor. And stress could lead to shallow breathing which could lead to tight pelvic floor etc.

Sounds like you’re into a upwards trend though, I will wish for your continued recovery.

Doesn’t seem to affect most people to take it, noticeably at least. Yet a few people it smacks so hard. A tiny minority (us).

From the studies that’s been done it seems to affect most people. But that doesn’t mean that everyone will notice it so to speak.

Granted the sample size from those studies are quite low and all of them had enlarged prostate to begin with.

My shitty dermatologist told me it was risk free! And that side effects are mild, temporary and very rare! Why did he ruin my life for no reason?

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Because it’s true for 99.9% of people.

Very good points. I suspect you are correct in your suggestion that Finasteride contributes to muscular deterioration and imbalances. In fact, I have had this same idea as well.

However, I suspect that in most cases, especially those of short usage, the effects of Finasteride are not permanent or at least don’t have to be permanent. Instead I think that it is the stress and the immune system response to that stress, combined with weakened perineal muscles from the period of usage, that causes the long lasting damage that most of us experience. To recover I think it is important that we find ways to let our anxiety go and that we maintain a healthy amount of walking throughout the day so that our perineal muscles can recover and restore proper functioning. That is at least what I feel has helped me the most.

On a side note, I am curious as to how you experienced the oncoming of side effects especially since you mention not having felt any stress or anxiety. I can’t imagine you were completely okay with the side effects, assuming you have experienced them.

And thank you for your kind wishes.

That’s not true. Half of all drug induced erectile dysfunction is the result of finasteride. This drug is extremely violent in the same way accutane is. People are now given serious warnings about accutane.This drug is not in the same category as aspirin or panadol.

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Unfortunately duration of use does not correlate to severity of symptoms or how they persist. Some of the most severe cases, who’s symptoms persist for years and do not improve, are those who have taken extremely small amounts of 5aris.

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I don’t have anxiety at all and I am a very active person. I also had symptoms long before I knew this condition and community existed, and when I was still convinced that this drug was totally safe. Most people here did not expect to experience permanent life altering symptoms and did not obsessively assess their reaction from the start as you did. So, I don‘t think your case reflects the typical case here,

I am glad that you are feeling better. But extrapolating from your singular experience that you feel you got better once you „let go“ of your anxiety, is a classic example of survivorship bias. Finasteride is a very powerful endocrine disruptor and there is clear evidence that suggests it can cause physical changes that cannot possibly be caused by anxiety.

Your post is essentially in line with PFS deniers that claim PFS is largely or purely psychological. And while discovering this condition and/or experiencing its onset can make people experience anxiety, which can negatively affect their well-being, it‘s typical not the main driver of the condition.

While I appreciate your story as all experiences are welcome to get the full picture, I ask you not to make claims that the same is true for a majority of cases here. It’s gaslighting.

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I never said that. I merely said that anxiety and stress isn’t capable of producing the ill effects that most people seem to think.

For example doctors believe up in the 90’s that gastric ulcers were due to “stress”. But today we know (thanks to one good doctor) that it’s not. It was an bacterial infection all along.

But “stress” can release some chemicals, like norepinephrine and cortisol. Cortisol lowers the immune system which could make a latent infection active.

For the same reason performance anxiety can give you erectile dysfunction because during stress we release certain chemical that are vasoconstrictors, making it hard to achieve erection.

But the microvascular changes has been shown to be rapid, but that doesn’t it’s impossible when you quit finasteride that it will go back to normal. In fact for most people maybe it does.

Yeah I agree here as well. If you have trauma of some kind, physical therapy is really important to regain muscle and nerve function. For sure I think it could be beneficial for many of us.

It was such a slow onset I didn’t really notice at first. And then I didn’t believe I had PFS for the first year, as it was only “1%” chance. And surely I couldn’t be they unlucky?

But here I am and I’m not okay with having PFS, but I never been one to stress over things and since PFS I’ve become even more laid back. It’s one of those things that can go either way I guess.

It’s true that most users don’t get sudden irreversible suicide-inducing AR silencing but I doubt anyone escapes the frog in the pot accumulation of unpublished sides. There’s nothing safe about DHT blocking. It is Russian roulette…some just play with more bullets in the gun.

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Yeah, I can’t help but feel that finasteride damages every person who takes it, but for whatever reason their bodies are able to compensate, or the damage is under the radar, but that it still insidiously does its thing, a bit like a psychopath with some degree of self control in a china shop, deciding to smash only a few of the smaller items, but by not quitting the psychopath is still in your china shop, browsing your goods.

Good thing you’re recovering. It supports how people should not really worry and just see where it goes in the first year.

I took 1mg for 19 days in March 2020 and still have 0 libido, severe anhedonia and flat emotions. I never feel stress anymore, not the slightest. No anxiety either. Emotions seem to be gone forever. Of note: I still continue life, which mainly means I continue working to support myself. Social life and general drive has taken an absolute plummet.

Duration of use seems to have no relationship to severity of symptoms at all.

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That’s what I say. Because some other chat groups call propecia help a dark place and even here no one wants to here about the suffering of the severe cases the bedridden and total suicidal patients they have fear to talk about their situation.

Same in pssd chat groups. They talk about sex, partnership, doing their job, children and you think oh I have ED feel bad can’t work bedridden what’s wrong with me. After some time you see the severe cases don’t talk about their pain anymore, because everybody only want to here recovery stories and the best 100 % cure like microbiome Transfer etc. Really knowing what a bullshit it’s all.

All the Finasteride users who solve their normal not PFS side effects in the first year tell their big recovery stories. Everybody who tries any Hormon any substance talk about his recovery. Even if the effect us only thempoarry. Member stories want often only optimistic supply.

That’s total OK. A young 20 yo man who’s fucked from the pharma criminals wants an optimistic outlook. And not the pessimistic outlook of a life full of suffering.

The new staff organized two big studies. If the Schleswig Holstein University Humangenetics tells us they can help, I believe in epigenetic and genomic study to find a marker and a mechanism.

Donating campaigns and the chance to find a cure doesn’t induce enthusiasm?!?

No!

Narrow minded people follow cdnuts frauds who make our deadly by suicide condition a carnivals joke curible by pine pollen.

Who knows about Androgen Rezeptor Alterations, Epigenetics, genomic alterations wich cause it all, a fraud or world leading science.

And instead of a big thank you party for Mitch, Axo and the others,

cynism

criticism

and “Nibelungen Treue” to the frauds with their to decades useless shit.

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