Where are you from (country)? = From the USA. Currently live in Singapore.
How did you find this forum? = Google search – phrase: Post Finasteride Syndrome
What is your current age, height, weight? = 33, 5’11"/180cm, 164lbs/74kg
Do you excercise regularly? If so, what type of excercise? = weigths and running
What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)? = Balanced “normal” diet.
Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)? = Androgenic alopecia / male pattern baldness
For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)? = ~11 years
How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start Finasteride? = Started sometime in 2005 at around 22 years of age.
How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? = Stopped at the end of 2016, 33 years of age.
How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)? = Cold Turkey
What type of Finasteride did you use – Propecia, Proscar, Fincar or other generic? = Quartered generic 5mg Finasteride tablets
What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? = 1-1.25mg per day
How long into your use of Finasteride did you notice the onset of side effects? = Only during the last few weeks of use and thereafter.
What side effects did you experience while on the drug that have yet to resolve since discontinuation? = Just about all of them.
Put an X beside all that apply:
Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
Loss of Morning Erections
Loss of Spontaneous Erections
Loss of Nocturnal Erections
Inability to Ejaculate / Orgasm
Reduced Sperm Count / Motility
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
Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Severe Depression / Melancholy
Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
Penis curvature / rotation on axis
Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
Gynecomastia (male breasts)
Dry / Dark Circles under eyes
Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
Increased hair loss
Lowered body temperature
Other (please explain) = persistent diarrhea
What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug? = Outlined 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)? = no tests done yet.
Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience with Finasteride?
Tell us your story, in your own words, about your Finasteride usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug. = See below
My Experience with PFS
• 2005 – Started taking 1mg Finasteride daily for androgenic alopecia
Initially, I had 2 wks of mild sexual symptoms after which everything went back to normal
• 2012 – I developed moderate to severe prostatitis or pelvic pain syndrome, which nothing would cure. After numerous tests the urologist told me that it was all in my head.
• 2016 (July) – stopped Finasteride and started saw palmetto just because I ran out of Finasteride
No PFS symptoms at all – a slight and temporary cessation in prostate pain though.
• 2016 (November) – Started again with 1mg Finasteride
Within 3 weeks I was starting to notice lack of libido, ED, loss of morning erection, and anxiety/depression.
• 2016 (December) – One week after stopping Finasteride side-effects/symptoms of PFS hit me hard. I crashed. Symptoms included: extreme and painfully stinging fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, complete and total insomnia, suicidal ideation, heavy brain fog, pressure behind the eyes, diarrhea, total loss of libido/the opposite sex, ED, loss of morning or nocturnal erections, rubbery/numb penis, trouble breathing/tightness in chest, loss of the girl I was dating due to ED and the afore mentioned symptoms
Initial Treatment Regimen:
For two weeks I worked out every day (even and especially if I felt horrible): hard weight lifting five days a week and running on the other two days. In addition, I took the following herbal supplements and vitamins:
• Ashwaganda - 1g bid
• Shilajit - 60mg bid
• Pycnogenol - 30mg qd
• Tribulas - 1g bid*
• Evening Primrose Oil - 1g bid
• Horny Goat Weed - 600mg bid
• Maca - 250mg bid
• Calcium - 600mg qd**
• Vit D - 300mg qd**
• Vit C - 1g bid
• Zinc Aspartate - 25mg qd
• L-Tyrosine - 500mg qd
• Quercetin - 500mg bid
• Bromelaine - 1g bid
• Omega 3 fish oil - 3 large gel caps bid
• GNC Big 100 (B vitamins with Choline and Inositol) – one tablet qd
• Eating sorghum and millet somewhat regularly
- = without food
** = with food but not with any other supplements
Reaction to Initial Treatment Regimen:
I will start this section with the convention that pre PFS I felt 100% normal (aside from the prostate pain which I had learned to ignore). Conversely, while in the throes of the worst PFS symptoms I was feeling only around 30% normal.
After starting the regimen there was little change in the first few days aside from some small signs of life in my penis (nothing to write home about). By the second week of this regimen I was starting to return to normal with some good days (75%) and some bad (30-40%). At the end of 2 weeks I would say that I was back at around 99% normal, as was my penis. This is huge (no pun intended)! Also, my prostatitis all but disappeared.
I would love to know exactly which supplements are doing the trick so I can stop taking two handfuls of pills per day. If I had to guess I’d say it was the Tribulas, ashwaganda, and perhaps the B vitamins and Omega 3s.
I had already decided that I was going to do a water fast based on many of those on this forum who have recommended it (and the added benefit that I might just get my 6-pack back), so I set aside time from work and started. I did 4 days of clean eating detox prior to starting my 10 day water fast; however, I still took the regimen listed above during the detox. The detox consisted of a small amount of boneless/skinless chicken breast and white rice once a day. The rest of my diet was only apples, spinach, chia seeds, and spirulina protein. After 3 days of this diet I felt back to 100%.
I am currently on day 2 of the water fast and I woke up today with many of the symptoms of PFS returning with a vengeance (back to feeling 50% normal as the herbs leave my system). This may be due to lack of food as well; I’m not sure.
Of note: even though I feel pretty bad, the brain fog is not very bad today. However, before I started any treatment for PFS I found that not eating and sleeping had a positive effect on my PFS symptoms—especially brain fog.
Theories on Etiology I Find Interesting:
Some have postulated that those who suffer from PFS might be in a state of Estrogen dominance and that raising Testosterone (with things like Tribulas) while simultaneously lowering Estrogen (with things like Grape seed extract and Aspirin) might be the trick to stopping this horrible condition. I may experiment with this in the future if the 10 day water fast doesn’t shock my system back to normal.
Additionally, some have speculated that our progesterone receptors are absent/malfunctioning, or that some downstream neurosteroid production has been foiled by a lack of sensitivity to the hormone progesterone. Some of these people have experimented with progesterone creams with EXTREMELY mixed results. While this theory may hold some merit, I think it is a bit risky and it would be something I would only try as a last resort.
I will try to update this thread as I go through this strange time in my life. I will say that PFS has single-handedly ruined my relationship with someone I cared dearly about.
For that I am devastated, but I drive on. What else can we do?
If there is something to be gained, some positive to find in this agonizing condition, it is that it perhaps drives us to be better. I am bitter and resentful that this has happened to me/us, but I have decided to only feel anger. Yes anger. The good kind. Anger, when properly managed, can drive us to push above and beyond, and it can change into a sense of healthy determination. I’m not angry at Merk or anyone in particular. There’s no point in that. What’s done is done. There is no going back. This is our reality now, and the only thing we can do is push for a positive change. So I’m angry at this condition, and I let my anger drive me to push harder in the gym, to not eat food even when I’m hungry due to fasting (right now), to change my outlook on life and on people, to make me stop being negative, and lastly to try to find something positive in everything. Sounds like BS I know, but cultivating a positive mental outlook is probably the best medicine there is.
After just two weeks of this mental outlook, of rebranding myself, my life is changing for the better. Intense workouts and eating healthy have made me look the best I ever have. Women now seem drawn to me, and I get a lot of elevator eyes in my direction. It’s just sad I had to go through this devastating condition to find the motivation to take proper care of myself.
I know this condition is beatable. I know it. With the new studies starting at Harvard and Baylor and the weapons we have at our disposal to combat it in the meantime, we should all find relief. And, perhaps we will find a lasting and better outlook on life, which we wouldn’t have found otherwise. Hang in there guys. At the very very worst, we may all end up as Instagram fitness models with no hair, but lots of girls we have to please with our fingers. Things could be much worse.