Story from Poland

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?
24, 172cm, 75kg down to 70kg

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

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

What condition was being treated with the drug?
MPB - mostly preventative measure

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

Date when you started the drug?
9 Feb

Date when you quit the drug?
13 Feb

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?
2-3 days after quitting

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

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

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

[X] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[x] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[Resolved] Testicular Pain
[x] 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
[x] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[X] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[x] Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
[ ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[ ] Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears)
[ ] Hearing loss
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[x] Lowered body temperature

[X] Other (please explain)
-Constantly dry lips, sometimes mouth (started on fin)
-Cold genitals
-In cold temperatures genitals especially scrotum get tighter than before
-Slower beard growth, slower sebum production, weird smell from armpits when sweating
-I have lost 5kg in the first month
-Enlarged veins on penile skin and also horizontal dorsal veins that look like thrombosis/Mondor’s disease but these don’t go away (probable sign of cell death instead of concussion)
-I always wake up around 5-6 o’clock
-mostly at the beginning very bad sound sensitivity
-I cannot relax properly
-Very slight whole body internal tremor/shakiness. I can notice that when trying to relax or meditate
-[new symptom 12/05] gum loss
-decreased sensitivity over the whole body

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
ALCAR, L-arginine, probiotics, pine pollen, vitamins

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)?

10 days post cessation: low-normal T, everything else in mid range.

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 I am 25 yo male now and I have PFS for almost 3 months. I am going to go into detail here so sorry for that. I was perfectly healthy before this.

As for starters fin/min was mentioned by my friend and I did a little research an was convinced that it was safe and the worst possible real side effect would by gyno. I was also convinced that min was much more dangerous than fin. I have trusted medical staff as I had before.

I went to derm and easily obtained Rx. When I asked her about reported side effects by her patients she mentioned only men having lower libido and watery ejaculate in first month of the therapy and that it always went away after that.
I started taking finasteride and very quickly I began to be unnaturally anxious about getting gyno and constantly checking my nipples (perhaps the first side effect). Then I decided to stop after 5 days and go to Endo to check if I had any small pubertal gyno and perhaps was predisposed to it. Also while taking it I haven’t noticed any higher sex drive, but my erection was noticeably harder than normally.

I have stopped in Monday and Wednesday I started noticing weird tingling (mild pins and needles) around nipples, on the underside of arms close to armpits and in the higher part of the legs on the inside parts. Also on Wed around 5 o’clock pm my mood tanked while I was watching a movie to the point that I couldn’t finish it. Then around 9 o’clock pm the depression cleared. The depression came back again the next day.
Around Friday I got racing heart when I was trying to go to sleep (~100 BPM, maybe more) and then insomnia. Around Saturday my flaccid penis has retracted and shrunk (overnight), I was not able to get an erection and I have noticed weird foul smell coming out of it. Also I got severe diarrhea and yellow stools.
Then around week later insomnia cleared, my mood was much better and I was able to get an 70-80% erection, but my flaccid penis was still small (the shaft is harder, but the glans seem normal - so it looks like a potato in a sock and it abnormally retracts - really awful; the shaft itself is numb, glans and scrotum much less sensitive). I thought I was out of the woods for couple days then I have crashed with panic attack and anhedonia has settled in.
The first month was really hard and I was suicidal. During this one I have had I think 1-2 more panic attacks.
Second month was a little easier and third is better. During those months I was taking a lot of probiotics, sodium butyrate and lately an Rx med to relax the GI track. All this didn’t really help much, my stools are still mushy and yellowish and the digestion is still much slower. Also soon after eating most foods my stomach starts to growl.

I am still emotionally blunted, I cannot joke or relax how I used to and my confidence has vanished. I love classical and film music, but now I cannot enjoy it as before. I was interested in watches and I liked to collect them, but now I just don’t care about it anymore(the same goes for other hobbies). Before all of that every day seemed like it had purpose and I woke up motivated to tackle it, but now I just feel like gliding. No day feels different than another. Sunday feels exactly like monday. I think during those times I got like 2-3 days when I could enjoy music for few hours with the additional glimpses of libido (mostly after crashes). I have trouble reading books as it seems all pointless. I have trouble going to work and being around people as the burden of this syndrome is just too much, luckily I can work remotely so that kind of saves me now. I have moved in with my parents as I really don’t know what to do with my life now. Before this I was scared of dying, but now although I am not suicidal anymore I think about dying most of the days. And the very feeling of being suicidal didn’t feel like being suicidal if that makes sense.

I was to 1 Endo and 2 Uros after crashing and obviously all those visits were a waste of time.

Yesterday was my 25 birthday which I thought would be my best one, but it has became the worst. When I got phonecalls from my grandparents and sister with best wishes I cried every single time.

During those almost 3 months I have used ALCAR, arginine and vit D and E, but I don’t know whether ALCAR and vitamins did anything, arginine perhaps helped a little with erections, but the nocturnal erections are weak if they even still exist. I have also mentioned pine pollen earlier, but it doesn’t do anything. I think coffe does make erections a little better for short amount of time, but does nothing for energy or GI motility. Some minimal libido comes from time to time and makes it easier to get and keep erections but it is random I guess, most of the times I have 0 libido.

My thoughts after lurking here for all this time:
It seems like the neurological problems get a little better after some time, but most of the time the sexual, GI/liver/kidney or muscle stay the same or get worse. I think that is because neuroplasticity and that brain can bounce back after hormonal shock after stopping fin, but the cells in other parts of the body just shut down (epigenetic changes?) and perhaps even stay in vunrable state (so any hormone manipulation has a risk or getting things worse). (Cell shutdown as evident by the weird foul smell I mentioned in the story. I am using cell shutdown very loosely here really hoping that is can be reversed in the future.) Also it seems like anything that was tried here is either not working or getting people worse. The few oddball recoveries especially the sexual ones might have been because only the hormonal balance being pushed and then restored and/or the cells themselves were not damaged or not damaged enough.

At the time I think it is the best to accept this condition for now and support the studies, as they are the best chances for any answers, targeted treatment or even a cure (I pray for that even though being an atheist). I was thinking about pressing the authorities of my country to ban or restrict fin/5ARis for hair loss, but for now I don’t know how to approach it.
And as bad as it sounds it might not be possible to get our lives back, but it might be possible to save others by spreading awareness through YouTube or other media.

Best of wishes to everybody,


Sorry you’re in this mess but it’s always refreshing to be joined by a fighter


Welcome to the forum @happy_to_fight!

I’m really sorry that this happened to you! If you haven’t already, please report your experience to the Polish medicine regulator. Every report helps.

It sounds like you’re already aware of the ongoing studies - so donate if you can -

Yes, I have reported those symptoms and asked for contact, but I doubt anything will happen this way.

The reports add up to wider recognition of the disease. Regulators rely on these reports to label drugs, and researchers can also use them. One report by itself don’t matter much, but if everyone reported their symptoms, it becomes more likely that authorities take notice. It’s one of the most important things a patient can do along with donating and speaking out.

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I think I phrased it not specifically enough. The part “doubt anything will happen” was specifically related to me leaving my contact info in report and asking for contact. But overall I think the reports themselves are important and everybody should do one.


Just a little update. When I take refrigerated probiotic my stools are mushy and lighter, but almost daily, when I take probiotic in pills I get constipated, but stools look more normal and are darker.

I am very distraught with my situation right now. I’ve thrown away good 60 years of my life for nothing. I feel like I am going to implode.

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Sorry you’ve ended up here. Stay away from supps give your body time to rebalance it may feel permanent but there’s a good chance you’ll recover stay strong and keep hope


Before taking probiotics try to learn about biome if you didnt, please. There are a lot of strains. Each strain have its properties. Every strain generate different residuals. Some of them ammonia, some of them histamine, some of them d-lactic. If you didnt check your biome you dont know if you have overgrowth of bacteria (they both can generate excess of residuals). Excess of ammonia can lead to hyperammonomia (neurotoxicity) f.ex. Also bacteria compete for the same territory, if you dont know what you’re doing maybe you’re killing some bacteria that you dont want to kill. Also death of bacteria are residuals that can trigger symptoms.

Not saying dont use gut approach. I really think It can helps. Just saying that you can learn a lot. And that just by cuting sugars and processed food you Will be doing a lot

Check these subreddits:



I had the exact same thought. Actually started to develop gyno after 9 months or so that’s why I quit. Didn’t even think my other sides had with fin to do until a lot later. Almost thankful for the gyno as it made me stop the medicine ASAP.

@LazarusRy Thank you for the kind words, but some of the sides I have especially the sexual (especially, especially the physical changes that run me straight to the ground every time I visit bathroom) and neurological do not have many miraculous ‘cure’ stories here, so I think I am going to stay on this forum ‘persistently’ for the time being.
As for now the only supplement I take consistently is ALCAR after reading that Itookfinanddutast had some success with it. I guess ALCAR did not make anybody here worse and I think that it makes me feel a little better mentally after all.

@Huehueh96 I was taking those probiotics after an initial visit to gastroentrologist, but I think she really underestimated my problems. I think she totally ignored me mentioning finasteride as the culprit and treated it as a simple mild dysbiosis. I guess I will do comprehensive stool test to see what is exactly going on. But the problems with my gut are most likely caused by something being damaged by sudden hormonal crash, so I don’t know how much of my PFS problems can my gut cause (probably not much at all), but still potential neurotoxicity does not sound good.
And one more thing I don’t wanna get right now is a massive pot belly on top of PFS @25yo so I’ll do my best to fix the gut.
As far as I am concerned the problem with my gut can be only standard PFS constipation that is being turned to direarrhea by probiotics without significant dysbiosis, but who knows. And who knows what is exactly standard PFS constipation?

Funny how I went from thinking about my life in terms of finding a lovely wife, getting a better position at work, buying a house to watching out not to get a pot belly by some kind of weird syndrome that probably only 10-30 people have in my country. And a syndrome that I didn’t have to get at all. Well, that nobody here had to actually get. Such a great shame.
(Well at least for now I don’t have big muscle+skeletal+skin problems and I was spared from insomnia and brain fog)

Also I was lately thinking about the newest genetic study that is being funded and how it really is a shot in the dark as the PFS might easily not be genetic but dependent on ex. some conditions during development in the womb or even taking some 5ari supplements or foods at some point in life leading to epigenetic changes and leaving one vulnerable to the suicide inhibitor aka the magic, safe hairloss pill. I know that there is a pair of brothers that got PFS here, but the womb or taking some 5ari food or supplement hypothesis seem to still make sense next to genetic predisposition hypothesis. But I really hope the study will be successful and will keep donating. Additionally I hope that the Kiel study will be even more successful and will open a door to some further studies or even treatments (hopefully effective for more than a few months).

EDIT After reading notna and pvdl stories I have realised that the have developed the same symptoms within the same time intervals which would strongly indicate the genetic predisposition theory I guess.


If you’re curious i remember @doomed80 @giuseppek talked a lot about gut. Giuseppek postes his biome results.

Another Guy that is trying to heal his gut is @Nathaniel-nathanson.

Btw, i talked about neurotoxicity, but dont get obsessed with that word. Its just one thing that can happen with umbalanced gut but its not common at all lol. And If thats the problem, once It gets better you will be okay.

I dont think gut is a cure at all but it Will help you a lot :). It also regulates hormones!

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No, I am not specifically obsessing with neurotoxicity :slight_smile:, but I am aware that this condition might get worse through many things like self experimentation, time or even random chance, so I will probably look into gut just to make sure the microbiota would not have a chance to make me worse. And while doing this I would probably stay away from antibiotics just to be safe.


Cześć. Jestem z Polski i chętnie ci pomogę jeśli napiszesz na pw

A little update to my story. During this week I went from being very depressed and blunted to almost a recovery. The recovery lasted 2 days 5-6 may.
The symptoms that got better in varying degrees were:
Enjoyment of things and life including music,
Sexual stuff (mostly that primal foggy ‘urge to have sex’ feeling in the morning),
Energy levels including not being sleepy at 10pm (I could actually easily stay up to 2am like before, how lovely),
Digestion and it’s byproducts (this one made me very happy),
Not thinking about this condition every minute.

Things that did not improve:
Dry lips,
I think this weird shaky feeling inside has not improved too, but I was happy to be myself again and I really didn’t pay much attention to this.

New psychological symptom after this recovery:
Worrying that I am going to deteriorate over time even more.

Why this recovery happened I don’t know. Maybe rebound effect from being depressed. I also starting supplementing some vitamins again on first day of recovery, but after eating those today (3rd day of this regime) I have noticed no effect - back to PFS blunted reality.
(Vitamins were 5 drops of ADEK vitamins, 1pill of 4000ui D3, 2 pills 100mgc K1, 1 pill L. Reuteri probiotic 7Mil, 1 pill sodium butyrate, 1 pill gut motility Rx pill, 1mg L-citrulline)

Edit. Also about a week ago I’vs had a cold and started taking antiviral+immuno stimulating pils and did feel little better for 2-3 days. But the same pills even before PFS made me feel better and I was sometimes looking for catching a cold to fell this kind of small high from those tablets (Izoprynozyna - Groprinosin).

Edit2. What I didn’t include previously, but I think is very interesting is the fact that I am almost an Aspie type of guy, but initially after a crash I felt like I have gone much further into the spectrum.

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I feel like my personality is changing on a day to day basis. Really disturbing. I also got this weird imploding/suffocating feeling in my whole body.

For the record:
Friday, Saturday - feeling almost recovered mentally
Sunday - feeling like I am in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey. Totally empty, alone and abandoned.
Monday - physically exhausted whole day, mentally I don’t even know.
Tuesday - fine, even getting better by the hour then in the evening snap, a sudden shift. I went out for a walk to calm down and I’ve experienced feeling of impending doom which switched to feeling like stranger in a town that I was living for 25 years. And the change of mental state itself was quiet and ominous, felt like a can of black paint was spilt inside of me literally while I was typing a message on my phone.

It’s like involuntary playing dice with the devil.

I think this is going to be one of the last updates on my story (well no more interesting things to report I guess).
After cutting out all the supplements I became much more mentally stable - no sudden changes in mood.
Also I think I figured up why I got hit in the first place. I think I was low on test and 5ar was upregulated so DHT was doing a lot of heavy weight lifting. Or maybe I was low on 5ar and the receptors were upregulated. 5 days of fin blocked things enough to the point of me getting anxious for no reason while on fin. After stopping DHT and other 5ar products were blocked for at least a week or more. And after stopping the existing 5ar products got recycled so I was left with none and low test? So about a week after stopping I got hit really hard.
PS also it is possible that I drank some grapefruit juice during taking fin as I was drinking a lot juices and it was possible that I drank grapefruit not knowing that it could interact with fin.

Edit. According to ‘Regulation of de novo lipogenesis in human liver by 5α-reductase’ 5ar2 inactivates cortisol in liver, so perhaps that’s why I got so increasingly anxious. I wonder if sky high cortisol could have started cascade effect and caused crash in other systems outside brain.

Edit2 Demon from Italy was destroyed with antiandrogenic cream after 7 days so it matches my timeline. Could grapefruit juice make fin inhibit much more that 70% dht in certain tissues? Could naturally high prolactin (or its spike) enhance fin grapefruit boosted antiandrogenic properties?

Edit3 What if fin binds to androgen receptors themselves in some people and degrades cells in some way so then they cannot receive androgens?
Also I wonder if there is some graph of hourly hormones and neurosteroids after discontinuing fin. Perhaps this could give some insight what might go wrong.

Edit4 After reading those forums for some time the reason why all those symptoms are persistent is clear and undeniable. Btw The recovery windows are not evidence against this reason.

More than 3 month out, obviously no improvements. I might be even getting tinnitus worsening now. Also I remembered that I specifically asked for contact in my adverse event report form. Obviously no hearing back. I know that the reporting system does not work that way, but still…