New Member from Italy, still using Minoxidil (is that bad?)

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)? Italy

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?) Searching on Google about PFS

What is your current age, height, weight? 33, 185cm (6.1 if i’m correct), 75kg (165 lbs)

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)? Finasteride, Topical 5% minoxidil with anti androgens.

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? 1 mg/day first four years, 1mg day alternating the days (one yes and one no) for other 3.5 years, 1/mg day three days a week in the last year

What condition was being treated with the drug? Male Pattern Baldness

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? Around 8.5 years

Date when you started the drug? July 2014

Date when you quit the drug? March 2023

Age when you quit? 32

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)? Cold Turkey (i hope this is correct because the last year of taking it i was using 1mg a day, three days a week, so not everyday like i used to do)

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects? It’s difficult for me to have a date about that, around 2019 and i had side effects on the sexual side but i was using an anti depressant, zoloft, back then.

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.

[ X] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[ X] Erectile Dysfunction
[ ] Complete Impotence
[X ] Loss of Morning Erections
[X ] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[X ] Watery Ejaculate
[ X] Reduced Ejaculate
[ ] Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

[ X] 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
[ ] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ X] Severe Depression / Melancholy
[ ] Suicidal Thoughts

[ ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[X ] Testicular Pain
[X ] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[ ] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ ] Muscle Wastage
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[ ] Joint Pain
[X ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

[ ] Prostate pain
[ ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[ X] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[X ] Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
[X ] 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) Dry Eyes, Dry Skin.

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug? Tried probiotics and an anti-inflammatory medicine for my bowel, but they just worked a little bit during the treatment.

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)? I’ve done blood work two weeks after quitting the drug, and they were seen by an andrologist, he said they were ok, never done other bloodwork since then (it was 11 months ago)

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.

Hi everybody, first of all i’m italian, so english is not my native language, sorry for the mistakes.

Started using Finasteride 1mg a day (generic one, not propecia) around July 2014 with 2% topical Minoxidil, than in September 2016 (always 1mg finasteride a day) switched to 5% topical minoxidil with anti androgens in the lotion, here is the lotion:

Progesterone 1%
Ciproterone Acetato 1%
Minoxidil 5%
Triamcinolone acetonide mg 5
Idrocortisone butirrato 0,07 %
17 Alfa Estradiolo 0,025%
Acqua Depurata (’‘Depured water’’)
Alcool q.b. a 100ml

Then in 2017 switched to 1mg/day on alternating the days (one yes and one not) and in november 2022 switched to 1mg/day three days a week.
Always used the lotion everyday from September 2016 to November 2022 (i should have used 3ml/day but i was a complete idiot and used more, i guess around 5/6ml sometimes because with mid-long hair i thought i couldn’t irrorate the scalp effectively) and then switched to 5 days a week in November 2022.
I used it until mid Februray of this year (2024) then switched to just 5%Minoxidil with no anti-androgens added.

First problems (low libido/ED) i’ve seen were around December 2019, but back then i was using an anti depressant (Zoloft) so i blamed it.
Then i’ve got on and off Zoloft a couple of times and libido was really low, it improved a little bit when i was off.

Around November 2021 i started having bad gut issues, i was always constipated, my poop was hard as little rocks, with a lot of mucus and some blood sometimes, i had even stomach cramps and started having problems digesting milk/cheese and stuff like that (never had that problem before) but i didn’t know it was a side effect until these last months i discovered this forum.

Around 20 march 2023 i was with a girl and i was able to get an erection with oral stimulation but not able to keep it for a penetration, and besides that i had still a low libido so i wasn’t excited about the whole thing.
My skin was really dry, my eyes too were dry, they were ‘‘burning’’ at the end of the day and they were slightly red, sensitive to light too.
I stopped that day but kept using the lotion with anti androgens.
I had bad depression episodes, going to the therapist since 2016, getting slowly better day by day even if sometimes my mind ‘‘crashes’’

Now it’s been around 11 months, eyes are less dry even if it’s not completely resolved, i guess around 70% back to normal (unfortunately i’m talking just about eyes), skin is way more soft, less water retention on my body, gut is always messed up but slightly better, i have now almost no cramps and the poop is kinda softer (sometimes but not always). but i still dont have normal stools. (there is always mucus and some blood)
I’ve gained some nocturnal erections (with Finasteride they were gone) even if they weren’t rock hard, but no morning wood, i can get an erection if manually stimulated but it’s not that much good to have sex if i wanted to (i’m single now) and i can lose it easily.
Semen is less watery, more thick/dense and whiter, even some volume more, but i think it isn’t back to pre-fin state.
Libido was slightly better but nothing close to normal, last weeks it went down…

My mental state was not that good (it goes up and down, the more i think about PFS the more it goes down), then i started having two days of walking in nature a week when i can at the beginning of December 2023, and it helped for my mind, i was feeling better (even if ‘‘feeling better’’ is a big word for people with our problem).
But last weeks were bad because i was thinking that this state could be persisent so my mood was bad and i almost had no erections.

Two weeks ago i stopped with the topical Minoxidil lotion with anti androgens (do you think they were bad for my healing???) and just started using only topical Minoxidil 5% 2.5 ml/day five days a week, with no other added stuff, do you think i should quit that too?

Maybe in these weeks i should do bloodwork again (last time i tested TSH, 17 beta estradiol, LH, FSH, Prolactine, Testosterone and Free Testosterone and they were in the ranges) but i hadn’t checked DHT

And see a doctor to talk about my gut health, last time they didn’t help me.

Sorry for my bad english. Hope that all of us could be fine one day.

I’ ve read somewhere that us users we should do a poll on this site, but i can’t find it, if i can be useful doing that no problem…

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