My story of 3 days of topical fin -Soup

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)?

Prefer to keep it to myself for now.

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- probably searched for symptoms or how long until they pass.

What is your current age, height, weight?

21, 1.73cm, 58kg (I was 62kg before fin).

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

Topical finasteride (for more information - it was a solution mixed with minoxidil. Also took Roaccutane as a teen).

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

Pretty sure it was around 0.4-0.5ml of 1% fin and 5% minoxidil, and on day 3 I accidentally put a bit more.

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Hair loss.

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
3 days.
Date when you started the drug?
Date when you quit the drug?
Age when you quit?
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, a few hours after the third dose.

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
[x] Loss of Morning Erections
[x ] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[x ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[x ] Watery Ejaculate
[ ] Reduced Ejaculate
[ ] Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

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

[x ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[ ] Testicular Pain
[ ] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[x ] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ ] Muscle Wastage
[x ] 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

[x ] Other (please explain)
Trouble sleeping, numbness across the body (mostly legs), some pain that come and goes in some areas, big loss of appetite.

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)?
None yet.
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.

So I’m 21 and almost every man in both of my parents’ family is bald, and I started to notice it as well, so I started to feel like it’s lowering my self-confidence (which was already not high). I started to look into this a bit and came across finasteride and minoxidil. I took Minoxidil by itself for a few months, had in the first few days some itchy scalp but it passed and it seemed to do its job. After these few months I ran out and just didn’t bother to buy some more, and of course I didn’t know it has a history of being able to cause symptoms similer to PFS.

During this time I saw on social media some more videos about how to combat hair loss and decided to try finasteride (I knew a bit about its symptoms). At first I went to a dermatologist who prescribed propecia for me and warned me that it’s possible that I’ll have permanent sexual effects (only the sexual ones). I bought the pills but eventually was too scared and decided to not take them. Then I ran into a video about topical fin as well as a big study that compared it to oral fin that said that it does lower the chance of side effects while being almost as effective. Somehow I never ran into anything describing the horrifying side effects people here experience except for the usual possible persistent loss of libido and ED. I went to the doctor again, this time another one and he gave me a prescription for a solution of topical fin 1% with 5% minoxidil that a big pharmacy here can make. I also asked him about the chances of the side effects being permanent and he said something like “yeah but in about a week or two it will pass”.

A few weeks have passed and I was told it was ready, I picked it up but still for a week or so I didn’t use it out of some fear I had in me. Stupid me decided to silence that fear and to just plunge into it and take the risk, telling myself that it’s very rare to get the persistent side effects and even if you do get some sides when taking the drug I’ll be one of those who recovers from them in the expressed time period. First two days were ok, took like 0.4-0.5 ml of it, now also aware it’s a lot even for topical fin - no side effects (maybe I got some weird very minor dizzying feeling after the first dose for 30 seconds that passed after that). On the third day I accidentally took a bit more and after a few hours started to get some tingly feeling in my penis and when masturbating noticed it was a bit softer. Went to sleep and woke up with that same tingly feeling that got stronger when panicking and it being much smaller, softer and shrivelled, with a weird rubbery and very soft feeling, as well as feeling a bit numb there. I don’t get any morning, nocturnal and spontaneous erections, though I can still get erect to physical stimuli (when I masturbate the size is as it always was, though it’s still softer and can bend more than it could’ve) and semi erect to visual stimuli or imagination, and a decreased but still present libido. I once got 3 days after the last dose a spontaneous erection and once a morning wood, but they weren’t full ones and it haven’t happened since).
I started panicking and thinking I ruined my life for nothing, and after around 5 days that tingly sensation stopped and I thought I was getting better. I was like that for another two days but then I started to feel my head a bit heavy, but nothing substantial and not for the whole day, and also some muscle weakness like you get when you have the flu and numbing in the limbs, mostly in the legs. 3 days ago I noticed I have trouble sleeping (in the first week after stopping I slept fine, sometimes only couldn’t because of anxiety), taking time to fall asleep and only sleeping for 3-4 hours before waking up. Today I noticed a pulsing pain in my right palm for a few minutes, that came back for another couple minutes after a few hours and disappeared, and noticed a number of muscle twitches occured only once for one twitch in different areas throughout the day.
I think the penis’s texture is better than in the beginning, not sure about the length when flaccid as I don’t know what it was before fin.

I want to mention that I took Roaccutane as a teen (I think somewhere between 14-16?) and except for the normal side effects you have when taking it like dry skin it was fine, and it did help my face acne though it created a lot of scars on my back. After stopping it everything was normal.

I’m now writing it panicking, having read a lot of posts here on the forum - probably not the best idea - and I honestly don’t know what to do or feel. I know people say to wait 3 months before dooming myself but I’m seriously full of anxiety at having ruined my life by my own stupidity, and my family beforehand telling my I don’t need to take anything and instead just need to work on my insecurities. Tomorrow I’m going to talk about this with my mother, she knows about me having the sexual side effects but I didn’t tell her about the possible physical and neurological ones as even I didn’t know it yet before finding this forum due to my bad research beforehand (and I thought I did a good job before taking fin).
During the night my anxiety from the situation worsens and the entire day I’m occupied with thoughts about this. If I don’t recover from this I don’t know how I’m gonna live my life.

I might’ve missed some stuff and sorry it’s written very awkwardly but I don’t know, I can only feel and think about awful things and how stupid I am for taking this shit drug. And it’s even worse knowing that I took it with Minoxidil, that I also took by itself for a few months.

on Thursday it will be two weeks since taking the last dose and I’m also really afraid of having a crash as a lot of people say they had after a few weeks since stopping. How can we get this fucked from taking such a small amount of a drug and even more than that, from rubbing it on our skin??


  1. Name of the therapy/substance:
    • Dosage:
    • How often you took it:
  2. Status
    • Still using [ ]
    • Stopped with no lasting change to initial symptoms [ ]
    • Stopped with persistent change to symptoms [ ]
  3. Duration of use: Days [ ] Months [ ] Years [ ]
  4. Response when you started:
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
  5. Current response (if you’re still using the therapy/substance) OR Response in the time before you stopped the treatment
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
  6. Lasting changes to initial symptoms after cessation (if you have stopped for more than 3 weeks)
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]

Hey bro, I know you’re terrified and it’s completely understandable. I had a nearly identical situation as you did. Figured topical Finasteride/Minoxidil solution would be OK, applied it on my scalp for 7 days, then started having penile issues. I had trouble getting erect, barely had feeling in my nether region, and felt like an emotionless zombie. It was only applied to my skin, too! I used only Minoxidil for a couple months beforehand and I had success with it besides the itchy scalp, but I wanted something “stronger”.

I recommend you read my story all the way through. I’ve ran into lots of bumps throughout the journey, a lot of it being severe depression episodes. I’m not the type to suffer depression either, it’s my first time that I needed professional help.

In summary, I’m completely fine now. It took over a year to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. My recommendation is try not to devour your mental health. Things will get better over time, most people do experience moderate to full recoveries. You have to be patient and let your body work to fix the mistake, and that can take months to a year+.


Thanks, I read it and it is encouraging, can only hope that I’ll also keep an upward trend. For now I’m not planning on taking any supplement or medicine that is related to some of the symptoms. Only food, sleep and exercise.

I actually sent this post a week ago but it was only approved two days ago so here’s an update a bit less than 3 weeks after the last dose of fin:
All mental sides are gone and I no longer panic or really feel anxiety, though I still feel more tired than usual.
Sleep is also much better. A week ago I had trouble falling asleep and could only sleep for 2-3 hours. Now I can sleep for 6-8 hours though the quality itself isn’t that good and I still wake up a bit tired.
Appetite came back, and the numbness across the body is also gone. I still have occasional muscle spasms throughout the day but nothing too bad.
It seems like I developed PE which is unfortunate but I saw people mention that it passed for them after a while so I’m hopeful. Texture of the penis and size when flaccid are also better than right after the onset of side effects but still not pre-fin. They fluctuate, sometimes more normal and sometimes more like they were a week ago, but usually more like normal. When erect it’s still a bit softer and more flexible than it used to be pre-fin, and ejaculation is still watery. I noticed that when orgasming I sometimes feel testicular pain and sometimes I don’t (when I do it subsides after a few seconds), so for now I’m trying to abstain.
Things seem to be on an upward trend so for now I’m hopeful, I just hope I don’t crash and don’t jinx myself with this post somehow.

One important thing I’m not sure what to do about is food. I noticed people saying that soy is bad which is a problem for me, since I’m vegan and soy is my main source of protein. For now I still eat it and haven’t noticed anything but it also feels like a gamble.

Stop all supplements, eat well, go exercise (but don’t overdo it) I wish someone would have told me this when I first came to this forum, I have made great progress now but without creatine I would I believe I will make more progress

I misread @DragonChen’s post at first -just in case someone else does too: Creatine has caused subsequent crashes for some patients. It’s not considered a risk free supplement for pfs patients.

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Got my blood test results:

SHBG - 13/6 nmol/L (normal range 14.6-94.6)
Free Androgen Index - 138.6 (normal range 14.5-80.3)
TSH - 4.681 mIU/L (0.550-4.780)
T4-Free - 15.7 pmol/L (11.5-22.7)
LH - 5.50 IU/L (1.50-9.30)
FSH - 2.70 IU/L (1.40-18.10)
Prolactin - 326.4 mIU/L (45.0-375.0)
Total Testosterone 18.80 nmol/L (9.20-31.80)

Not sure what to make of it. SHBG is out of range and I guess as a result of that the FAI is as well, though I read that FAI shouldn’t be trusted in men. I guess I should ask for a Free Testosterone test.
I actually had a Total Testosterone and TSH test like a week or two ago and Testosterone was 17.50 but don’t know if the jump from that to 18.80 means anything. TSH was 3.367 and now it’s 4.681.
Most other stuff while in range seem to be really close to one edge of the normal range but don’t know if it means anything, unfortunately I don’t have hormone test results from before Finasteride. I guess maybe I should go see an Endocrinologist but not sure what’s gonna happen because even if it’s possible to take stuff to restore hormones to normal levels it’s really scary taking anything after fin.

It’s been 3 months since my last dose so I guess I’m part of the club. Thought I’d give an update here.

Not too much has changed since then. Physically and cognitively I’m fine (all these symptoms disappeared two weeks after the last dose). I occasionally get heart palpitations for a few minutes or so. Mentally I’m not in the best place but the cause is mostly unrelated to PFS.
The sexual problems are not a lot different from how they were, and remain the most prominent ones. PE is still here, but it fluctuates and depends on the day. Some days are good some are worse, but all still not as good as pre-fin. Overall I’d say it’s a bit better than it were two months ago. The texture when flaccid is still weird, feels very soft, like some muscles there were lost (I remember reading somewhere that it is something that finasteride causes). Getting hard and staying aren’t a problem so far. Occasionally I get spontaneous and morning erections, but not always.

Didn’t get any new tests done since my last post, I should do some again.

Hopefully writing everything here doesn’t jinx me and I won’t see it taking a turn for the worse now as a cruel twist of fate. I find that worry you have in good days that the next will be bad to be tiring, but nothing you can really do about it except keep some optimism.