Sexual issues from 5-HTP/minoxidil

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?)

What is your current age, height, weight?
23, 175 cm, 85 kg

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

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
2 ml of 5% topical minoxidil per day, 100-300 mg of 5-HTP per day

What condition was being treated with the drug?
improving beard growth (minoxidil), anxiety/low mood (5-HTP)

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
about 6 weeks

Date when you started the drug?
roughly the beginning of February 2023

Date when you quit the drug?
mid-March 2023

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?
almost immediately after taking a larger dose of 5-HTP (200 mg -> 300 mg)

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
[x] Watery Ejaculate
[x] Reduced Ejaculate
[x] 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
[ ] 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
[x] 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)?
I have pre-drug T levels available – have considered testing them again out of interest.

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 everyone, decided to share my story almost a year into this. In brief, I was using topical minoxidil for promoting beard growth and taking 5-HTP for low mood and anxiety. I responded well to both but after I took higher doses of 5-HTP one day (150 mg first and another dose of 150 mg a few hours later), the head of my penis turned numb to touch all of a sudden. At this point, I quit both the 5-HTP and the minoxidil cold turkey. In addition, I’m not sure if these effects initially showed up at the same time as the numbness but later I noticed that I also had very watery ejaculate, no smegma production and no body odor.

Since the onset, the symptoms have fluctuated. The tactile numbness of the glans (as in couldn’t feel urine passing through it) mostly resolved in perhaps a few weeks but there was no sexual sensation. There was some minor fluctuation but nothing major until the 5 month mark when I suddenly had almost full sensitivity back, lasting for about a week. Since then, it has been windows and waves of varying quality with roughly a pattern of “one week on, next week off”. Recently, I had a window of full sensation and in general, it seems that the waves aren’t as bad anymore (although they still suck). For instance, the frenulum area was completely numb to sexual sensation during the first months but this is no longer the case even during waves.

Regarding the other effects, there has been a similar pattern of ebb and flow. Only in the recent months I have noticed a few instances of body odor returning (though sometimes with a weird, horribly pungent odor) and one morning I noticed I had gotten smegma again. The semen also keeps fluctuating: one day it’s watery and the next day very thick and clumpy, though recently it has been more normal overall. Oh, and I also experienced very uncomfortable and frequent tingling & pins and needles in my hands and feet for some months – not sure if it was related or not but either way, it seems to be gone now.