My story and plan

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

What is your current age, height, weight? 34, 5’6", 130lbs

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

  1. Saw Palmetto
  2. Finasteride (topical)
  3. Spironolactone 5% cream topical
  4. Ketoconazole shampoo

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

  1. 540mg Saw Palmetto for 25 days, then 320mg for 2 days, then 160mg for 6 days.
  2. Topical 60mg Finasteride + Minoxidil 10%.
  3. Spironolactone 5% cream topical
  4. Ketoconazole 1%, regular shampoo amount.

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Hair loss

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

  1. Saw palmetto: 35 days.
  2. Finasteride, topical: maybe 3-6 months.
  3. Spironolactone, topical: don’t remember if I used it, but if I did no longer than a few weeks.
  4. Ketoconazole, topical: 2018-2021

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?

  1. Saw Palmetto: 2015, 29yo.
  2. Finasteride, topical: 2018-2020, 32-34yo. On and off 3-6 months.
  3. Spironolactone, topical: 2018, 32yo.
  4. Ketoconazole, topical: 2016

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?

  1. Saw Palmetto: 2015, 29yo.
  2. Finasteride, topical: 2020, 34yo.
  3. Spironolactone, topical: 2018, 32yo.
  4. Ketoconazole, topical: 2021, 34yo

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

  1. Saw Palmetto: Taper off over 8 days.
  2. Finasteride, topical: cold turkey
  3. Spironolactone, topical: cold turkey
  4. Ketoconazole, topical: Plan to taper off

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

  1. Saw Palmetto: During the first 25 days.

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

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.

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

Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
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

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

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?

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)?

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.

I remember reading about the risks of Finasteride, etc. I thought I was doing it right by avoiding oral Finasteride, and oral Spironolactone. My dad had a bottle of over the counter Saw Palmetto, so how bad could it be? Besides, I wondered to myself, my sex drive and erections are so frequent and so abundant, if it tapers off a bit, maybe I’ll be healthier. I was expecting it go down to say 80%, not 0%. Finally, I noticed that one of the uses for Saw Palmetto was to increase sex drive, so that put any remaining fears to rest. Needless to say, I really wish I could have a do-over and never touch any of it.

Regarding the topical treatments, I wasn’t expecting any of them to enter the bloodstream or have adverse effects. I thought the only thing I needed to worry about was the oral medications I was taking. Again, if I could have a do-over, I would have never even considered taking any of them.

I’m posting today because last night I saw an attractive girl scantly clad and noticed there was little to no activity down there. I convinced myself that the lack of libido was a natural part of aging. So I researched when libido starts to diminish and noticed that it’s commonly stated at age 50, not 34. Fuck. I then remembered my life pre-medications and how horny/abundant/great everything was. It’s not normal for it to go from 200% to 5%. That’s what brought me back to these forums, looking for a glimmer of hope.

I remember the doctor who prescribed all of these medications downplaying all the symptoms, saying that if symptoms do start to happen, we would just go off the drug and things would go back to normal. He also mentioned that most people that report these symptoms are older anyways, and would have had the symptoms regardless of if they took the medication or not (i.e. it was just part of the aging process). In addition to libido problems, I also have some ED problems. I’m upset at myself at taking these medications, taking what I had for granted, being obsessed with vanity rather than things that are far more important, and ultimately robbing myself of 20+ vital years.

Luckily, I don’t think I have it as bad as others do (my symptoms are mainly just in the ED department), and reading success stories gives me hope that I could one day recover. I continue to use 5% minoxidil 1-2 times daily, and Ketoconazole a few times a week. However, after the experience last night, I re-read the forms in hope for natural solutions, and noticed that Ketoconazole is also a DHT inhibitor that may likely be affecting my condition. I plan to taper off and stop using completely.

If I could give my younger self advice, it would be this: be careful what you wish for. Before starting any regimen, really think about the worst case scenario and what it would mean for your life. There’s no coming back from “permanent.” Don’t just blindly trust doctors opinions.

This is part of the reason I’m hesitant to try any supplements to resolve this issue. With any supplement, it seems like you could find people arguing on both sides. Some that claim it’s a cure, and others that claim it caused them further damage. Since arbitrarily choosing one side over the other is what got me into this mess in the first place, I’m hesitant to do it again.

Sometimes I’ll wake up with an erection, but the moment I think about it it will often start coming down. This leads me to believe that meditation will play a role in the recovery. When I’m feeling good about life/confident, I find that the erections/performance are better. This leads me to believe that controlling the things I can control (e.g. diet, exercise, living a life of confidence/purpose), can only help in the recovery process.

My plan so far:

  1. Taper off Ketaconazol. (I’ll continue using Minoxidil since from reading, it doesn’t appear to have an affect on DHT.)
  2. Do a fast/cleanse (either 2 week water, 6 week juice, or 3 month raw diet)
  3. Lift weights 3x per week.
  4. HIIT 30 mins/day 2x per week.
  5. Be stringent about my diet, avoiding unhealthy carbs/sugars, eliminate artificial sweeteners. Mainly try to follow a paleo diet. (Consider avoiding soy)
  6. Meditate 10 mins per day.
  7. Continue living my best life so that I increase confidence and believing in myself.

Since all of these seem to be good ways to improve life generally, I doubt there is a need to amend them. However, since I am still reading up on the forms, I might add to them (e.g. if I ever do get comfortable adding vitamins/minerals/supplements).

Thank you to the moderators for providing a space to share. Thank you to the members for sharing your stories and making it more comfortable to share mine. And thank you to those that came back to the forms to share your success stories and show that there is some hope for the rest of us.

I’m committed to posting back on this thread if/when symptoms improve.

Also, rather than keeping all the research private to myself, I’m thinking I’ll use this thread to document the threads/research I found helpful.

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People have found themselves here through use of minoxidil alone. And people have turned their mild symptoms into severe ones with ketoconazole.

A good idea if you’re posting here is to forget trying to save your hair.

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I hate to say this, but in the decades that people have had problems here, many people have attempted to exercise and diet their way out of the situation.

If that was a viable method, nobody would be posting here.

Avoiding soy is a good idea.

I’d forget about the hair honestly and work on yourself in other ways. Minoxidil has it’s own side-effects.