Sides Just Started - Please Help!

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

What is your current age, height, weight?
30, 5’ 10”

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

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
Started with 0.25mg topical finasteride MWF and worked up to 1mg oral finasteride daily.

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Hair Loss

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

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?
29

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
30

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

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

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Sensitivity loss, low libido, soft erection

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.

Sexual
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

Mental
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

Physical
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

Misc
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?
None

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)?
N/A

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 started FIN 6 months ago with 0.25mg topical. I worked up to 1mg / day with no issues, maybe just a minor decrease in erection hardness.

My pills ran low, so I went down to 0.5mg every other day for about 7 days until I could get a refill. I got the refill last Monday (5/17) and went back to 1mg daily oral.

On Wednesday (5/19) I noticed a huge decrease in penis sensitivity, probably 70% decrease from what it was. It’s also harder to achieve erection and it’s a softer erection.

Since then, I’ve stopped taking FIN cold turkey. The PFS Foundation suggests this is an acceptable course of action on their FAQ: https://www.pfsfoundation.org/frequently-asked-questions/

However, today I’ve noticed testicular ache / pain and I’m reading that tapering may be a better alternative to avoid damaging the “HPG Axis”: https://www.realself.com/question/japan-jp-finasteride-withdrawal-syndrome-real-taper-quit-cold-turkey

I’m considering going back on 0.25mg or 0.5mg to quell the sides. Any recommendations guys? I’m definitely nervous.

Im convinced that there is literally no one can tell you if tapering better than cold turkey…Many would argue that you cant taper Finasteride (Based on DHT levels in Plasma, which might be completetly different to tissue DHT level), so even that argument is to me not valid.
Saying this, if i were you…I wouldnt take even 1 molecule of this poison…There is enough ppl here, that got PFS after 0,5 mg pill…Taper or not, if you are unlucky, you would get PFS.

BUT i urge you not to jump to things, becuz i literally had the same reaction from Saw Palmetto, years before i got PFS from fin…It all got better after 1 week, and then i started Fin, 3 years dann Bang PFS

2 Likes

I think taper off would be better. Just reduce the doses slowly slowly, but for me personally i felt same on 0.25 and 1 mg, so i don’t think someone like me can taper off this poison.

It’s physically difficult to taper off since the potency rate is logarithmic with only a substantial decrease at around 0.1 mg and lower (see plot below). You would need a fine-quality pill cutter to accomplish this if you’re making the solution yourself. I think everyone can agree that getting off of it is the definite go-to and refrain from going back on as this may trigger another crash. I would recommend keeping calm and being patient; you don’t need more cortisol hormones in your bloodstream when you’re trying to recover another hormone.

finasteride-inhibition-curve

Give it a few weeks to two months. Based on prior discussions on here, I believe you will recover from those sides, the only difficult part to gauge is the length of time since everyone is different. Just try not to poke your penis 24/7.

Thanks Bruce I really appreciate the positive comment. I’m trying to avoid going down the internet rabbit hole and trying not to “poke my penis” (lol) too much.

As for tapering, I’m also concerned with the non-primary effects the FIN has. For example neurotransmitter levels and other non-DHT related interactions. I know it can take up to a month for the alpha-5 reductase to be replenished and the DHT returned (hopefully) back to normal levels.

But, I don’t really know what rebound time or inhibition curve looks like for the neurotransmitters or if there’s something else that hasn’t yet been mechanistically modeled that would benefit from a taper. Any thoughts?

I know thats not what you want to hear…But anyone here claiming to have any idea about the questions you raised has absolutely no idea what he is talking about…Im telling you this to save you from hours, better hundreds of hours of useless readings and panicking everytime someone tells you something…Just wait it out, and try to abstain from googling your symtoms etc (Not becuz it will make you better or worse) but becuz it wont help you in any way…just Time will show if you will develope PFS…Many argues 3 months as a waiting time…I will go ahead and think if you are stuck at this shit for more than 3 weeks, then its probably gonna stick (Source: hundred of hours of reading others stories, so Broscience at most)

2 Likes

@Tyec listen to him.

Other than this, don’t take anything. You’re very early on, chances are you’ll recover.

And for the love of God throw Fin in the trash.

I have no idea as an answer to your question. Just basing off of logic and mathematics (not so much the science since I’m an engineer not a M.D.), I would stay away from Finasteride entirely. I would also refrain from using any hair loss treatment for now until things stabilize.

Also, I would agree/disagree about the “3 weeks” claim. Everyone is different. That’s why some people take years to recover, while others takes weeks/months, and most are asymptomatic. It could be longer or shorter than that; again, no one really knows because there’s not enough study. We are just trusting what other members are saying, who, themselves, are not doctors.

Just curious, why no other hairloss products? I’ve been on 2x daily Minoxidil for about 5 years now.

I’ve also been using Nizoral and Saw Palmeto shampoo. Because those are anti-androgen, I see why it could make sense to stop them.

But what about Minoxidil? I believe it’s mechanism is related to circulation, not anti-androgen.

What about dermarolling?

Thanks for the support guys, I’m so happy this is a known issue with a platform for discussion. Just imagine the men with these issues back in the 90s… I’m sure it was mess.

Anyways, for now, my plan is to just stay off it for a while and take things easy sexually. Sensation is still minimized, but I can still achieve erection and pleasurable orgasm (kow).

I know overall wellbeing is key, but are there any vitamins / supplements or any other early stage advice that might make a lasting difference?

I think the biggest one is whether or not to temporarily get back on FIN. But, it sounds like there’s really no way to know atm.

It sounds like you probably just need to give it some time.

Give it a few months and with luck your side effects will clear up.

2 Likes

I need help guys…

Since my original post, I completely stopped taking FIN.

Since then, I’ve developed minor bilateral gyno. I’ve had little to no improvement in sensitivity, and my testicles have shrunk to, what fees like, 60% - 70% their pre-fin size.

The shrinkage is really bothers me…

I only have 5 days left until I hit the 3-week point and the trajectory hasn’t been good.

From what I’ve read, it can take 2+ weeks just for the DHT levels to return though.

Don’t stress yourself over nonsense deadlines.

You’re very, very early into this.

1 Like

I also got gyno (this is why I went off Fin to begin with).

And just like you I got testicle ache, but only in my left nut. This was about 6 months into treatment and I didn’t know it was due to Fin.

After I quit my gyno went away in maybe 2-3 months. My left nut probably took closer to one year before it went back to about normal

Many symtoms stuck with me longer or are still there, but these issues (mostly) resolved with time.

Although my balls didn’t hang as low as before Fin. I then recently started with Creatine which is a known upregulator of 5AR.

This has fixed my balls so they now “hang”. It didn’t do much to help with sensitivity or libido (yet atleast). So it’s in no way a “cure” but atleast it relieved some symtoms.

1 Like

Hormone rebalance or homeostasis can take up to 6-8 months on average for people with Finasteride problems. I’m basing this off of other people’s experiences. I really couldn’t tell you why it’s this long.

I really appreciate the support guys. I’m just feeling pretty down because this “3 weeks” thing got in my head. What’s the origin of this milestone?

On average, DHT returns to normal within 2 weeks (I lost the reference), but even that is just one element.

FIN does more than just block 5ar, and 5ar does more than just metabolize DHT. So, it’s possible the other observables will take longer to recover.

Anyways… I’m GLAD to hear the gyno resolved along with other symptoms. Did you have / recover from testicular atrophy as well?

I’d imagined hitting summer with a fuller head of hair and pecks. Instead, I’ve got falling hair, sexual deficiency, and man boobs lol

Should have listened to my doc instead of Kevin Mann :roll_eyes:

I was afraid you would see the “3-week” mark from the one person’s post and take it to heart… That’s why I responded saying it’s not an accurate estimate but rather an opinion with no evidence. You need to wait and give it time.

Yeah, “silentpain89” was saying that he’s spent a lot of time filtering through the posts and that was his conclusion.

Just pretty disheartening. I really haven’t had the chance to go through many other posts, but if the 3 week mark is the usual resolution period, then it’s not looking good.

Not sure what to believe though, because I have heard of many people improving months / years later. Don’t have stats, but I also imagine many people improve and drop off the site without saying much.

I have been here for many years and have read most of the posts from the time before I joined. Three weeks is too soon. Plenty of people get better over up to two years. But the harder you have been hit and the longer you have the effects, the bigger the likelihood that they will stick to some extent.

The sooner things improve and the steeper the upward trajectory, the better.

Most people are probably in-between. The have some improvements, while some effects stick.

2 Likes

Just as side note, other than the testicular atrophy, I pretty much have the same exact symptoms as you. I’m about a month and couple weeks ahead of you, though.

My main symptoms are decreased penile sensitivity and hard flaccid. I also have some gut problems, which may or may not be related in all honesty. I’ve had gyno since birth so I’m not sure if that was affected.

I’ve had some improvements in the numbness, though they weren’t spectacular. It changes in sensitivity throughout the day and it seems the longer I abstain, the more I can “feel” it. I also have some variation in semen consistency (watery vs. viscous) and volume, it fluctuates and isn’t consistent. Hopefully these are familiar with your case and that you aren’t alone.