My fin story

  1. How did you find this forum?
    Linked off a hair loss forum

  2. What is your current age, height, weight?
    28, 5’10’’, 145

  3. Do you excercise regularly? If so, what type of excercise?
    I had been doing cardio 5 days a week, and lifting weights 3 days a week, but I can no longer do it because of the sleep problems I’m having after taking fin.

  4. What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)?
    Healthy… whole wheat bread, lean meats, fruits and vegetables.

  5. Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)?
    hair loss

  6. For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)?
    15 days

  7. How old were you when you started Finasteride?
    28

  8. How old were you when you quit?
    28

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

  10. What type of Finasteride did you use – Propecia, Proscar, Fincar or other generic?
    finpecia

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

  12. How long into your use of Finasteride did you notice the onset of side effects?
    Probably 2 or 3 days. The serious stuff didn’t start to show for at least a week.

  13. What side effects did you experience while on the drug that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

Put an X beside all that apply:

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 to Ejaculate / Orgasm
Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

Mental
Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
Confusion
Memory Loss / Forgetfullness
Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
Slurring of Speech
Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Depression / Melancholy

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
Increased hair loss
Frequent urination
Lowered body temperature

Other (please explain)
Insomnia, difficulty getting urine to come out, dribbling/decreased pressure when urinating, urinary retention(unable to get all the urine out of my bladder when I pee), enlarged prostate, sagging/wrinkly testes

  1. What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
    none

  2. 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)?
    haven’t taken a blood test

  3. Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience with Finasteride?
    no

  4. Tell us your story, in your own words, about your Finasteride usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
    Took finpecia from inhousepharmacy for hair loss, 1 mg/day. Took it for 15 days and discontinued because I started noticing sides, which were insomnia, fatigue/weakness, testicular pain, and mild libido loss. After I quit, all of these sides stayed the same with no improvement, and I began urinating more frequently, particularly at night, and having mild problems getting the urine stream to start. Also I noticed that my penis would not fill up as fast and had a bottleneck(like an hourglass shape) in the shaft when filling up.

At 6 weeks off, I crashed completely. My penis shrunk and narrowed and my testicles began to sag with one nut significantly lower than the other. This accompanied a complete loss of sex drive, nocturnal and spontaneous erections, as well as erectile dysfunction. I felt very cold and depressed for a couple of days, and then seemed to recover my sex drive a small bit, but not anywhere near before the crash.

This slight improvement lasted about 1 1/2 weeks, when I crashed again. It felt much like the first time… a cold, horrible feeling with no sex drive and even stranger looking genitalia. A few days later I started feeling massive pain throughout my chest which was so bad at times that I thought I was going to faint. This eventually mellowed into a constant burning feeling, with the occasional twinge of pain. I believe this to be the start of gynecomastia, but I have not noticed growth yet(about 10 days since the pain started).

I also began experiencing extreme difficulty peeing which has persisted and caused me to not be able to completely empty my bladder. I have quickly picked up two urinary tract infections in two weeks since this happened. My urination is also even more frequent now, and I am on an antibiotic(Bactrim) which is probably the only thing keeping me from picking up another UTI. I went to a urologist and was found to have an enlarged prostate which they do not feel is infected. The urinary problems are killing me and are the worst thing to happen thus far, though something new seems to happen every week.

So that’s where I am now at over 10 weeks off the drug. This first post has been updated since the thread began, so the posts below begin before I experienced the first crash.

As an addendum, I really took a good look at my penis today, and it appears the “narrowing” in the middle is present even when it’s flaccid, so I guess there is a change in penile tissue and curvature. Just never really took a good look at it when I wasn’t masturbating. It does appear to look very different than it did before.

try melatonin for insomnia. I use source naturals. they have two forms, one you dissolve under the toungue and another that is time released. Both are very helpful when I get into a patter of not sleeping. make sure to take breaks with it though.

Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll probably end up giving it a try soon.

I also find occasionally supplementing with 500mg-1g of L-Arginine (amino acid, precursor to nitric oxide in the body, implicated in sleep) before bed on emtpy stomach gives more intense dreams (REM sleep) and often feel more refreshed upon waking.

Things have really flared up the last few days since I made this topic. Testicular pain has returned, and is quite a bit worse than it ever was before. It all seemed to start when I masturbated a few days ago(shortly after I wrote the profile actually), and hasn’t gone away since. Sexual desire has decreased as well since then. I am actually scared to masturbate again because of all this.

I’m feeling heavy discomfort in that area in general now, particularly when I have to urinate. Feels weird and raw down there, and I’m getting random stings and pains, though there’s no pain yet in the perineum area that would indicate prostate pain. There’s a constant tightness in my genital area. Also it’s become about twice as difficult to get urine to come out. I’m afraid I might have prostatitis.

Sleep is out of control and still the most distressing thing. I could put up with the rest of it, but not the sleep problem. It’s taking me about 12 hours in bed just to get about 6 hours of sleep, and I still feel hung over and exhausted. I don’t appear to get the deep sleep that I used to, and it takes me a 2-3 days now for my body to recover from things that normally only took one night to recover from. For example, I took a benadryl capsule a couple nights ago, and it took me two nights of sleep to “sleep off” the effects…

Also another thing I noticed is(and I know it will sound strange), besides the constipation, it’s much more difficult for me to fart now. I really have to force it, and it just sort of seeps out instead of making a noise. Also I seem to have the dryness in the eyes that other people have mentioned. I noticed this several weeks ago, but I did not connect it to fin until I read it on this site. It’s actually gotten so bad at times that I haven’t been able to wear contact lenses.

Feels like this is just the beginning for me. Approaching 7 weeks now, and it appears I’m out of the natural recovery window. I’m just lying around waiting for the next freakish thing to happen. Will the fat distribution on my body change? Can I still get gyno this far out from taking the drug? Will my nuts shrivel up?

I can’t believe what I’ve gotten myself into… I only took it for two weeks! The thing is that I read this website before taking it and had decided not to take it. I shaved my head and was going to live with the baldness, but I just couldn’t get used to the way I looked, even after giving it a couple of months. Then I decided I would take Fin carefully and stop at the first sign of sides. This is what vanity has gotten me. It truly is playing Russian Roulette with your health, and I’ve clearly lost.

Thank you for this website. I know you probably don’t have much advice for me other than getting a blood test at this point, but it helps to have a place to write out my frustrations.

Don’t give up hope, just because you are out of the ‘7 week window’ doesn’t mean you won’t recover!

i like you only took the drug for a short time…4 weeks and im not excepting that it has fucked me up for good, my body is to strong for that. Get some good medicine for your sleep, eat well, exercise and pray like hell

Well great. Looks like I have a new potential side to report… muscle twitching in my right leg. It’s been going for a couple hours now… about every 30-60 seconds the calf muscle starts twitching rapidly. Not enough to move the leg, just a trembling sensation, but it’s driving me crazy. I’ve been trying to go to sleep, but this makes it impossible and it won’t stop.

Crossing my fingers that this is isolated and not fin-related, but I’ve never had a muscle twitch in my life that was this persistent and long-lasting.

Edit: 4 hours later and it’s still going. I’m praying this is just from the cardio exercise I did this morning. I don’t really notice it when I’m moving around or my mind is occupied, but I absolutely cannot get any sleep while it’s happening.

Muscle twitching is part of the package…get used to it

The muscle twitches have spread to my left leg during the day. Now I feel the trembling in both legs.

Tried to masturbate and I could barely stay hard and get it out. My penis didn’t hurt when discharging, but I’m feeling intermittent pain now. Libido is tiny, as is my shrunken penis. Balls are still normal size as far as I can tell.

Things have changed considerably over a week’s time. I think I’m crashing. A week ago, the sleep was the primary issue, and the lowered libido was only slight. Now it seems everything is going haywire. God help me…

I don’t anticipate sleeping much the next few days or months… this is unbelievable. Is it only the beginning?

Can’t sleep - I hear you.
Sleep disruption has been the worst side -effect for me and the one that pushed me into trying to find treatment rather than just hoping things would get better by themselves. I also had twitching for a while but that wore off after about 3 months.

One thing I can tell you is that it (sleep) has improved somewhat. Initially I was at a stage where I was barely functional. That lasted almost 6 months. The big change for me came when I started supplemetning with Vit D, and Phospatidyl Serine complex (Source Naturalis) as well as Pharma GABA, but I don’t really know whether it was the supplements or just time that did it. My sleep is nowhere near what it used to be like pre-fin but I do seem to be able to get around five hours uninterrrupted now on most nights (used to be 2 + 2 then nothing) which is enough to keep me reasonably functional, and I am now dreaming occasionally. I have had to make some fairly major changes to my life though as I have found that if I don’t get a good night’s sleep I need to doze between 7 and 9:30 am. in order to be able to face the day - which means I can’t start work much before 10:30. I also did a Vipassana mediation course so when I can’t sleep I at least try to relax mentally, which helps a bit.

I am also trying very hard to accept that basically I am suffering from what seems to be a chronic condition that is likely to affect me for quite some time until an effective treatment turns up. Of course, the fact that the medical profession hasn’t got a clue yet doesn’t help, and the whole fin thing tends to sound a bit strange to friends and family who therefore may not be as supportive as we might like but…it is what it is.

I am constantly amazed by the information that has been generated by this site in a fairly short period of time. Hormones are notoriously difficult to treat but as Merck goes on spreading this poison throughout the world the demand for research and treatment will inevitably grow, and therefore so will our chances of an effective remedy or even a cure.

To sum up, try and stick it out as best you can, you may hopefully find that the sleep issue eases off a bit with time. There will be other issues of course, as you already know, but awareness of fin-damage is spreading and slowly but surely progess is being made.

Thank you for the kind post Joao.

It’s been 17 days since I posted this thread, and about 2 months since I quit fin. I figured I’d write an update because I’ve seen several changes in that time, and also because writing it out helps me to deal with it.

When I first came here, my primary concern was insomnia, however I think I crashed right around the time I joined the site. I’ve had several changes, mostly for the worse, in the last 17 days.

  • Penis has narrowed significantly. When flaccid, it is narrower and longer than it used to be, as if it’s been stretched out. The head looks much thinner and narrower in particular. The skin of the penis is much less pliable than it was previously. Despite all this, my penis is about full size still when erect, though it looks kind of weird now, as the head does not seem to fill out like it did before, giving the penis a pointy look. There is still a bottleneck in the middle when filling, but there is no curvature or rotation as of yet. It really disgusts me to look at it now, and I try to keep my eyes away when it’s exposed.

  • Testicles are noticeably sagging. This isn’t a huge deal yet.

  • Sex drive overall has plummeted. I have absolutely no desire to masturbate anymore, though I can if I have to.

  • no gyno/fat changes as of yet, but I’m constantly watching for it.

  • Sleep structure really hasn’t changed-- I still wake after 2 hours, then sleep off and on, waking up multiple times. However as of a week ago, I was starting to be able to fall back asleep enough times to feel refreshed, and my energy level was improving. In fact it improved enough so that I was able to do a full workout in the gym four days last week. Unfortunately that has changed drastically the last two days, as I will detail in the next point.

  • The prostate symptoms-- mostly frequent urination and difficulty urinating-- had been steady and unchanging until two days ago. Suddenly the last two days all hell has broken loose. I constantly have to urinate now… the urge almost never leaves. After I pee, the urge to urinate returns within 5-10 minutes, and it has nothing to do with how much I’ve had to drink. It’s so bad that I can’t even get to sleep initially at night, and I can only get to sleep by staying up until my body is too exhausted to stay up a minute further. I think this might have something to do with taking Sustain Alpha, which I just started about 5 days ago, but I have my doubts. Regardless, I’ve stopped taking the Sustain and will see what happens in the next few days. I have no prostate pain, no pain when urinating. Difficulty getting urine to flow is about the same. Testicular pain has subsided somewhat, but still appears on occasion.

  • The constant muscle twitching died down in a couple of days thankfully. I still feel the random twitch every now and then, but it has thankfully subsided. Not sure if it had anything to do with fin or not.

I’m probably going to see a GP in the next week or so to check my urinary symptoms and maybe get a referral to a urologist. I’m afraid to mention Propecia though, not only because of the prejudice, but because I got it off an online pharmacy. In particular I want to rule out an infection related to my prostate or bladder. I’ve put it off this long because I don’t have insurance or much money right now and was hoping things would ease with time, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent I’m one of the unlucky ones.

You don’t have to mention Propecia if you don’t want to mate, maybe only mention it if they ask about it. I am sure my doctor thinks I am all worry because I mentioned it and only just let it go. The constant urge to urinate is directly related to the Prostate so hopefully they will check it out for you. Be calm but concise, and don’t let on that you have been researching anything on the internet.

My symptoms are very much like yours apart from the urinating, although i will see what happens when i try sustain alpha, I am planning to buy some soon. As you have been off the drug only two months I am sure you will see some improvement soon, I have had a good week so far - morning erections are bad but I have been reasonably horny and I am saving it until tomorrow when I get to spend the week with my girlfriend. I have cycled tribulus and Arginine this week though.

Yeah I’m probably not going to mention propecia to the doctor. I just want to rule out some kind of urinary tract infection or bacterial prostatitis.

Sustain Alpha was very good for my sex drive by the way. Libido is definitely higher and I’ve been having very hard nocturnal erections every time I’ve woken up the past few days, whereas before the erections had mostly ceased and were very soft when they were present. The urinating was a possible side effect, but I’m not certain whether the Sustain caused it at this point. Hopefully you will have good results with it.

Over 9 weeks off fin now, and it just keeps getting worse. I went to the GP for my out-of-control frequent urination on Tuesday(7/27), and I assume she did one of those dipstick tests with my urine to diagnose me with a UTI. She put me on a 14 day course of doxycycline, which I’m now 9 days into, and I’ve seen no improvement in the symptoms. I have no idea how I picked a UTI up-- I’m not sexually active and generally stay clean down there. UTIs are apparently very rare in men and usually only happen to older men with BPH, which could explain how it happened to me. The nurse practitioner thought it was possible that the Propecia messed with my immune system… and I also have a theory that I picked it up from stagnant urine in my bladder from the weak urine stream I’ve had. Yesterday I called in and told them I wanted a urine culture done to make sure I actually have a bacterial infection, so I went in and gave them the sample… should be a couple of days until I get the result.

I should note that against my better judgment, I sheepishly mentioned propecia when talking to the nurse practitioner about my urinary difficulties. She immediately nodded her head in a knowing manner, so I went forward and told her much of what’s been going on. She seemed very receptive to it and said that the Dr there had actually seen a guy there before with similar problems. I tend to think maybe she was playing head games with me though, because she later tried to prescribe me Proscar to deal with my urine flow symptoms!

Unfortunately I’ve hit another rough patch sexually. Probably the worst since the initial “crash”(week 6) when my junk shriveled up and I lost my sex drive. The sex drive recovered somewhat over the next week afterward and had been stable for a couple of weeks. Well this morning my dick has managed to shrivel up even more!! Now it’s thin and narrowed enough to be embarrassing looking-- it looks stretched out, limp, and worn out, and the head is tiny. It is almost completely numb now and feels detached from my body. Also my sex drive is even worse than when I initially crashed… now I can barely get it up whatsoever, even to my favorite porn… After much effort(as an experiment) I was finally able to get it up, and the size erect is still the same, but I can’t get it anywhere near as hard as before.

Another thing I’ve noticed about my testicles… I think I’ve mentioned that they’re sagging, but one nut was always sagging more than the other. Now the “lower” nut is sagging even lower than before in comparison to the other nut.

That’s not what I’m concerned about most though… the urination problems are #1 right now, particularly the constant urination, difficulty starting, and the weak stream. I’m praying this is happening because of an infection and it can be cured with the right antibiotic, but I’m losing hope. I’m probably going to ask to be referred to a urologist at my next doctor’s appointment.

My sleep has been terrible again by the way. I literally slept for two hours last night. Haven’t had more than 4 hours sleep for several days.

Unlike most of you it seems, I can actually live with the genital disfigurements, ED, and libido issues, as I’ve never been much of a ladies man anyway. What I absolutely cannot live with is the constant urge to urinate, having to struggle 30 seconds to start a urinary stream, and the 2 hours of sleep a night.

I intend to ask for a blood test next Tuesday when I go for my UTI follow-up. Not sure what good it will do though. Boy have I royally fucked myself up. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this could happen after 15 pills.

You are the dude i feel worst for…to only take 15.
I took 34 and i feel hard done by.
The things that make me feel better are vitamin d and moderate to intense cardio exercise.
Hopefully one of the more experianced guys can give you some better tips and some advice on your urine problem, but i really feel for ya man. :neutral_face:

Thanks Tim.

Not a lot of hope right now. The fact is though that I knew about this site beforehand and had been through the prescription drug ringer before with SSRIs, which are another type of drug doctors claim are perfectly safe but can mess you up good, and for a long time. I knew the claims were legit, but I let my vanity take the best of me. I let the shit sit in my drawer a month before I finally got up the resolve to take it… I was tempted to throw it away multiple times. What a dope I was.

I knew better, but I let idiots on hair loss sites and guys like Dr. ®assman, who apparently has never seen a single propecia side effect in his entire history of prescribing the medication, convince me that the chances were nil and I was a fool for not at least trying.

It’s my fault and I’m paying the price. Unfortunately I can’t even join in on a lawsuit against these bastards because I bought it online.

One other potential side I’ve noticed recently as well: The joints in my legs are cracking like crazy when I squat to sit down. I noticed this because it happens every time I squat to sit on the toilet, and never happened before in my life before taking this drug.

Called my GP this morning and told them that my UTI-ish symptoms were getting worse. They told me to go see a urologist. Called the urologist and they were actually able to see me today. No doctor there… just a nurse practitioner. They sampled my urine and found no infection. Prostate not infected either. Everything fine, except my prostate appears to be large for a person my age. Strange, considering 9 days ago the GP said I had an infection.

Told the NP about my fin problems and she was surprisingly receptive. Told her about this site too, and she said she would check it out. She gave me an order to get blood tests, but we’re going to wait until 9/1 so that the Sustain Alpha doesn’t taint the results. She said to bring the list from this site over and she’ll let me get those things checked.

She called up the doctor, who was on vacation. Says he’s never heard of this fin business either. He wanted to prescribe me cipro just in case there was an infection. I refused because of the bad things I’ve heard about that class of drugs. Gave me Bactrim instead. Also wanted to prescribe me Flomax, but I’ve had enough of these crazy drugs and refused. I’d rather just deal with the arduous urination.

So, in sum, I go to the hospital on 9/1 to get blood tests. Looks like I’m on the roller coaster with the rest of you.

After a few days I’ve come to some conclusions about what went down with the urination problem. First, I have a massively enlarged prostate which is blocking off urine flow and causing me not to be able to void my bladder completely. Second, I think I did have a bladder infection as well, because a couple of days after I wrote my last post, the constant urination and discomfort went away, though all the previous prostatitis-related symptoms remained(difficulty urinating, difficulty emptying the bladder completely, slightly frequent urination). In fact I stopped taking antibiotics completely after my urine culture came back negative. Unfortunately I think I picked up another infection on Sunday morning, because all the discomfort and constant urination returned after I had felt OK for a couple of days.

Since I’m having so much trouble emptying my bladder, I think the retained urine is creating a breeding ground for bacteria and is causing these bladder infections. I have no idea how to remedy this other than going on something like Flomax, which I absolutely don’t want to do, or trying another DHT inhibitor like Saw Palmetto to shrink my prostate, which seems like a bad idea too. Otherwise I guess I’ll just have to constantly drink cranberry juice and water to flush out the stagnant urine, which is a pain in the ass considering how difficult it is for me to go.

By the way, one thing I noticed during those two days when the infection seemed to have subsided is that I slept better than I had in a couple of months. Unfortunately it’s right back to being awful again.

I am praying at the very least that if nothing else, these prostatitis symptoms alleviate at least a bit over time. I cannot handle these constant infections and having to constantly flush out my system every day. Unlike the sexual and sleep-related problems, this can be a serious health problem if it doesn’t go away…

One curious thing that happened this morning is that I had a hard morning erection, and I haven’t had the Sustain Alpha for several days. Perhaps this is a good sign, or maybe it’s only a fluke.