The beginning to an end - Two pills and an onslaught of issues

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)? Canada

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

What is your current age, height, weight? 18, 5’10, ~155Ibs

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.)? 1.25mg MWF

What condition was being treated with the drug? Hair loss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? 2 days (Friday then Monday)

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug? 18 (September 18, 2020)

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? 18 (September 21, 2020)

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

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects? The day after my second dosage

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation? Zero libido, Erectile dysfunction, emotional flatness, gut/digestion issues, muscle weakness, achiness, slight brain fog, anxiety, insomnia

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)?

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’ve struggled with hair loss since I was 16. It was always something that bothered me, and I always knew I wanted to do something about it. Upon reaching late 17, I began to listen to and watch people like the two Australian doctors, Kevin Mann, and more in order to build up my “knowledge” and courage to take this drug upon reaching 18.

Now in my second year of university, I was on the brink of turning 19 (bday very soon), and so I decided that it was worth the shot after hearing many people say that the closure of knowing you at least tried fin for hair loss is better than going without it your entire life and never knowing the “what if”. This seemed like rational thinking to me and so I popped the first pill.

At first, little to no symptoms. Friday-Sunday seemed great and so I had no hesitance in taking another 1.25mg pill Monday morning. Later that evening on Monday, I began to notice a dramatic decrease in libido, where it became almost impossible to get myself hard even with physical stimulation. This caused me to enter a state of panic, as I had no one to talk to.

The following morning, I had weak morning wood and decided to masturbate (a mistake) in an attempt to see if I could still do it. This made me a little relieved, but since then, now Friday (3 days later), I have been unable to get it up whatsoever. It has developed this lifeless rubbery feeling, and the skin seems weirdly looser. I no longer find enjoyment in things like watching youtube or twitch, which usually always calmed me down and made me feel good. Talking to friends (about other things) helps somewhat, but has lost the same touch it used to have. I have been emotionally flat and unable to stay motivated. My digestion has been terrible and I have had small stool if any, usually coming out like diarrhea. I’ve been getting only 5-6 hours of sleep every night and it never feels like deep sleep. Just this morning I woke up with weak feeling muscles and aching pain as if I have a mild fever.

I’ve called my family doctor about this, but to me, she didn’t know much about the drug. She claimed that after 2 weeks of cessation that I would definitely recover, but this is clearly not the case and if anything, 3 months is usually the amount of time for recovery (as I’ve heard from reading other member stories).

I am quite scared, not to mention devastated and regretful, as to what has become of my life from this drug. Each day I’m trying to keep pushing in hopes of alleviating symptoms with time, although it feels as if things are getting worse the more time progresses. I am only 18 going 19, I’ve never even experienced my prime, and so this all is just too much to bare. Not to mention I am in university for STEM, which has been incredibly hard to keep up with since this crash.

Please help me. Any advice or words of encouragement would go a long way for me. Thank you all so much for staying strong in this fight, and trying to spread the word about this awful illness. I only wish I really knew what could happen.

Well, considering that you are from the future, can you please tell us the lottery numbers and any stock that went up/down significantly over the last four weeks your time? :wink:

No seriously, considering that all this is very recent, there is a pretty good chance that your body returns to normal soon. So, don’t stress it, don’t force erections or other sexual activities and give it some time. If things do not improve, we will be here for you!

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Thanks man, it means a lot to me. I really do hope things improve as that’s the main drive for my school and life in general.
A big part of me does believe that I can make it out successful, although there are times when doubt sets in my mind and those can be the worst moments.
I’m trying not to think about it too much, there are some short moments when I feel energetic but then it usually drops back to the flatness, but those moments I’m hoping also increase in frequency.
Again, thank you.

Your story sounds very similar to mine. I am approaching 6 months and can honestly say I am almost fully recovered (like 95%). For me recovery was almost 2 steps forward, 1 step back but with time I got there. It is still very early for you and trust me I know this is easier said than done but you just have to try to be patient. I did the same things with trying to force myself to masturbate at first but I found that I made the most progress when I would go 1-2 weeks without doing it. Your body just needs to get back to equilibrium which can definitely take a while but the chances are very high you will make a full recovery.

That’s awesome man, happy for you

If you don’t mind me asking, if you had problems with your digestive tract, like constantly feeling bloated/cannot have proper stool, how did you rectify these things? Any particular diet?

As well, I currently still have zero libido and can’t even get it up - not to mention I don’t really try as it would mean me having a panic attack due to the lack of control. How long did this last for you until you noticed that things were returning to normal? Thanks

I can’t speak to the digestive issues since I never experienced that as a side effect. For the first ~10 days after my crash I couldn’t get it up at all. It was like my dick was completely separated from my brain. Both nothing aroused me, it was just like another limb on my body.

That was by far the worst of it for me. After those first 10 days I started waking up in the middle of the night and in the morning to erections though they would go away almost instantly. After a few days of that I was able to masturbate again for the first time and it felt great. I thought I was cured and definitely overdid it. I ended up crashing again and have been struggling to get back to that point ever since.

Like I said though I am basically back to normal now and am praying I don’t crash again. This is the longest I’ve gone without going backwards though so I’m really hoping it’s for good this time. I’ve been able to have sex and get aroused throughout most of this after the first month or so, though there have been a few embarrassing times where I either couldn’t get hard or couldn’t stay hard. I also noticed the tip of my dick was extremely sensitive which made blow jobs actually painful.

It has been a LONG road to recovery and some days are definitely better than others but I found what worked best for me was to find things to distract me from the problem so that I was thinking about it less. So hanging out with friends, getting into a new tv show, picking up a hobby etc. Anything to get your mind off of it so that you aren’t obsessing over the issue will help.

The more I read these forums the more it seems that anything to do gut/digestion problems seems to point towards permanent if not very persistent side effects. As well as, there seems to be a heavy correlation to gut health and all other PFS symptoms that I have. With this being the case, I am getting quite worried.

Still having all of the above issues I mentioned earlier, and the digestion is getting worse. I’m constipated and can’t poo despite having two meals from two days. It’s the most uncomfortable feeling and I can’t get any relief. I can’t believe I’ve done this to myself

I know man what it is. I have had this no urge constipation now for 2 years in a row and getting worse. I think its all because of hormone imbalance and that imbalance leads to gut dysbiosis which leads to SIBO which leads to decreased gut motility. But thats just a guess at this point and no fact.

In your case I think you have great changes to get back to normal with time and right choices. Light exercise like brisk walk, drink plenty of water througout the day, eat clean and foods that are easy to digest like soups and cooked vegetables, chicken, fish, try to move troughout the day and that would keep your intestines stimulated, organic coconut oil could help with moving the stool mass, if you like to try to loosen the stool mass you could try magnesium before bed but try to go without supps and drugs for at least 3 months and after that you can deside what to do next if you are still in this mess. Good luck bro and stay strong!

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Hey man, thanks for the response. So sorry to hear you’re still going through with digestion problems.

Do you find your other symptoms have subsided since time passed/how long did it take?
I do hope I can fix this digestive problem as it probably causes me the most anxiety. I’m also living on my own as a uni student so I’m hoping that I can get accustomed to making my own food such as cooked veggies

I might take laxatives now as my constipation has been non-stop. I haven’t been able to pass stool for the past four days

Maybe try something natural like prunes.

It’s been about 2 weeks since cessation.

Libido has improved a lot, and I am im finally becoming aroused again and can get a full erection. My depression and anxiety has almost completely lifted and only comes back occasionally.

Gut health is still bad, and digestion poor. Haven’t had a proper stool in a few days and have been doing things like Aloe Vera, coconut oil, and low carb/no gluten to no avail. Still bloated, constipated and bad digestion. I’ve also noticed that it feels like I need to constantly burp/hiccup, and I’m never hungry which has caused me to lose a lot of weight. This for me is definitely the worst side effect and I’m considering laxatives and probiotics now.

Insomnia is still bad and heart palpitations occasionally. Although I’ve recovered quite a bit, the gut is still a big problem and is seemingly stagnant if not slowly getting worse.

2 weeks is nothing. The fact that a lot of your symptoms have improved is good. Many people improve over months and sometimes even years. Give it time!

Good luck!

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Little over a 3-week update post finasteride.

First and foremost I think I’ve gotten over the worst of it, which was the first week where my depression/anxiety and libido were at their absolute worst.

The past few days have been really decent, and consistently so. To start with the good, libido is still strong, I can easily get aroused without touching for stimulation, although I have noticed a change in the skin and slight loss in pleasure. This is a big difference though from the start, where it felt like rubber and would not move at all, as well as having hard flaccid erections. Semen is no longer watery, and has returned to being a creamy, full texture. Morning woods are back too.

Tinnitus which came around once has not come again. Depression and anxiety has almost completely left since the first week and my mood has been really good. Anhedona was terrible first week, but now I can easily get school work done and spend a night with friends and actually enjoy it. Fatigue and joint pain has almost completely left as well.

For the negatives, I still have constipation and gut indigestion. Although my stool color is somewhat normal, and it isn’t diarrhea but solid, it can come out slim and skinny, and I still get pain in the gut. This is still the most worrying thing. Since cessation, I’ve lost 12 pounds, a lot being muscle which made me really distraught, but I’m sure that if I can figure this out I can rebuild the muscle being as young as I am.

Insomnia is still present, as most nights I’ll get 5 hrs of sleep + 2-3 more hours after falling back to sleep. This is not too bad though as I can function pretty normally and have a consistent sleeping schedule. I have been experiencing some mild back pain, but this might be my hypochondria. It isn’t too bad though and might be food-related.

Thanks and hoping for continual improvement!

It’s officially been a month since cessation.
Things have improved greatly, and I’ve maintained all my progress from my previous update. I will be extending the progress below.

Libido is back to 100 percent. Morning wood is there, nocturnal, and easily get erections without trying. I went from
complete rubber and zero sensation to full recovery in this department.

Tinnitus has still yet to come back and I don’t think it will be a bothersome thing in my life anymore anytime soon.

Depression and anxiety are gone, although sometimes I notice I can get aggitated very easily in the mornings although this may just be my normal self. I would say I’ve made a 95 percent recovery mentally. Fatigue and joint pain still gone.

Constipation is still a little present, and I still don’t really have the desire to eat food as often. However, digestion has improved almost to the point of recovery. The colour is back to normal and the girth of the stool has improved to normal as well. Also, I find that I can have more bowel movements and less strain than before. I am slowly gaining weight again as well.

Insomnia was bad last night, I woke up twice in the middle of the night which was unusual considering I usually get 5 hrs of uninterrupted sleep with some more after going back to sleep. I’m thinking this may take the longest to improve (along with the constipation) and may be a result of cortisol levels which seem to be returning to normal (as well as almost gone heart palpitations).

Here’s to continual improvement. Back when I first got off I would’ve never thought I could recover this much. I thought my life was gone. But, listening to diet regimes, no supps, and less worry helped me a lot. Staying off of this forum also helped a lot as it made me forget for the most part and stopped me from causing my problems to get worse from stress. I recommend everyone spend time off the forum to recover without extra stress! I will update again next week.