Saw palmetto (10 months), ajuga (7 months), minoxidil 5% (10 months) and finasteride (lotion "caretopic") (4 months)

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)?

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 about saw palmetto sides

What is your current age, height, weight?
30, 186 cm, 76 kg

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)?
Saw palmetto (10 months), ajuga (7 months), minoxidil 5% (10 months) and finasteride (lotion “caretopic”) (4 months), pumpkin seeds (3 months)

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
saw palmetto 320 mg/day, minoxidil 1ml/day, finasteride 3 spray/day, ajuga 1 capsule/day

What condition was being treated with the drug?
hair loss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
Saw palmetto (10 months), ajuga (7 months), minoxidil 5% (10 months) and finasteride (lotion “caretopic”) (4 months)

Date when you started the drug?
saw palmetto and minoxidil (October 22)
ajuga (February 23)
finasteride- lotion - (April 23)

Date when you quit the drug?
i quit all drugs end of July '23

Age when you quit?

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
cut everything one day to another

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
3-4 months

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
testicular and prostate shrinkage, full power libido, depression, sperm quantity, strong spontaneous (night and day erections)

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
[ ] Erectile Dysfunction - Had it
[ ] Complete Impotence
[ ] Loss of Morning Erections - had it
[ X] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections - had it
[ ] Watery Ejaculate
[ X] Reduced Ejaculate
[ ] Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

[ ] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat - had it
[ X] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ ] Confusion
[ ] Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
[ ] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[ ] Slurring of Speech
[ ] 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
[ ] Testicular Pain
[X ] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[ ] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease - had it
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ ] Muscle Wastage
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[X ] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

[ ] Prostate pain
[ X] 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
[X ] 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?
ginseng, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin A, magnesium, citrulline malade, arginine, maca, ashwaganda,

lot of sport, health lifestyle (sun, nature mainly, reduce smoking, reduce alcol, 36 hour x week water fasting, breeathwork, meditation and cold bath)

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 don’t have pre
my post hormonal test where:
testosterone 11.8 (3-9 was normal)
progesteron 25 (7-15 was normal)

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.

firstly I want to tell you that all I’m generally anxious and easy to stress. I’m impatient and I have a nervous temperament. I’m an overthinker.

I’ve started losing my hair in 2019. I tried many natural remedies but nothing changed. I’m generally against drugs.
years passed and in 2022 I went to a dermatologist for another problem and I asked him about my hair… I let him convince me to give a chance to minoxidil and saw palmetto before going to do an hair transplant… I wanted to give me also finasteride but I refused. it was October.

I start taking that drugs very seriously every day at the recommended dosage… I was feeling great until November couldn’t perceive any change. then I broke my clavicle and I had to stop exercise and I broke up with my girlfriend and I was pretty sad. also winter weather was hitting me.
I start feeling overwhelmed by this situation that triggered me.
at the beginning of the new year I was slowly start to recovery from the injury but my mood was so depressed.
I’ve start losing libido, losing spontaneous and nocturnal erection.
I thought it was because of the mood, the winter and I questioned myself about the drugs but I said to myself that wasn’t because of that and that I had to continue to see results.
it was at this point that I start regularly taking supplements to improve my libido: ginseng, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin A, magnesium, citrulline malade, arginine, maca, ashwaganda, pollin.

end of march the weather was improving, sun came out, I was feeling better, my libido rised, I had sex with some girls (I was drunk most of the time). but generally I felt okay.
because of this I agree when my dermatologist purpose me to try this “new finasteride lotion” which apparently had to be less strong and give less probability to sides in general.

in may I had 1 month travel in England and I felt my libido shutted down completely, zero spontaneous and nocturnal erection, I had to really focus hard to get my penis hard and bring myself to ejaculation which was very small dosage compared from the one I had. I don’t know why I didnt think at all about the new lotion I was taking as a cause of this worsening.
I was super worried, I start overthinking, stress me out etc…

in June, back in Milan, I was depressed, and trying to motivate myself to go over it and I start doing physical exams to understand the situation (I did sperm, blood, and hormone exams). I also checked my body at that time and i felt testicular (right one) and prostate shrinkage.
there was no evidence in that exam related to my situation in doctors opinion. but one famous Italian andrologist told me that I had to stop finasteride (the Italian brand is called caretopic) immediately. but he didn’t say nothing about saw palmetto and minoxidil and ajuga.

in July I met a girl that I really liked and I felt my body so so different when I was nearby her. I felt so uncomfortable because of this… but… luckily in few days my solo summer trip was going to start and I was thinking that I had the necessary time to recover and rest and chill out about all of this situation (2-3 months on the road trip).

the day I start the trip I went into this forum and I read about all this problems with saw palmetto. that day I quit everything. (in the Italian forum there are no infos about saw palmetto sides, incredible)

from that day I start to do continuously: exercise, fasting (36 hours x week), breathwork, meditation, cold water, less smoke and alcol, lot of sun.

(this part Is the one that gave me a lot of hope and understanding)
that girl that I liked a lot that I mention before come to visit me after 20 days during my trip and I was f****ng scared… she was super nice with me, I spoke with her about this journey, I didnt felt judge and my attraction for her was not just sexual but mental, spiritual and emotional… we stayed togheter 24/24 for 6 days and after few days that I wasn’t able to get into her. after I spoke with her and she was great and we build a connection and I felt I could trust her then magic happens… I felt super strong erection, continuously during day and night, I was very often ready to have sex and everything was back to be normal for that period of time. then I tought that probably everything was caused by my over thinker mind and by my anxiety…

then she left and I felt super good until we had a discussion and we lose the connection that we created. I was alone again in my travel with my mind… but at that point I felt much more stronger and able to solve once and for all the situation.
september was okay.

now, end of October, I still feel much better then July but even if I have some nocturnal and morning erection and my libido is higher I still have low quantity of sperm, testicular and prostate shrinkage and I start feeling a Bit depressed again. and I have not proper spontaneus erection as I used to have before all of that.
I hope (I KNOW) that if I will go on with the health lifestyle and I’ll stay positive about all of this everything will be better and better gradually.

in general I understood that Is so important for male identity and self confidence to feel virile.
from all this story I’m learning may things about myself and I’m trying to be grateful. if it happened is because of a reason.

thank you! this forum is a great source.


  1. Name of the therapy/substance:
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    • Stopped with no lasting change to initial symptoms [ ]
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  5. Current response (if you’re still using the therapy/substance) OR Response in the time before you stopped the treatment
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  6. Lasting changes to initial symptoms after cessation (if you have stopped for more than 3 weeks)
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