Took 4 finasteride doses, struggling to come to terms.

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)? UK

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/Youtube (Kevin Mann, Hair Loss Show, etc.)

What is your current age, height, weight? Early twenties 5’11" 185 lbs

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.)? 0.5mg a day

What condition was being treated with the drug? Hair loss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? 4 days

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug? Early twenties, April 1, 2020

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? April 4, 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? Problems from first day, then bad brain fog attack and impotence on fourth (and final) day.

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation? Very slight brain fog leftover, plus some genital shrinkage.

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

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

Physical
[x ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
Penis curvature / rotation on axis
Testicular Pain
[x ] 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”
[x ] 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)?

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.

Hello everyone. I know there are people with far worse stories than mine here, but I am still struggling to come to terms with the fact that there may be permanent side effects from the very brief amount of this drug that I took.

I only took finasteride for four days. I had brain fog (that I didn’t recognise as being that) for two days, which got worse, followed by a genuine brain fog attack where I wasn’t even meaningfully self-aware for a while on the fourth day. I stopped taking the drug, but that night I also found I had complete impotence (watery semen had been present for the prior four days, and has since gone back 80-90% to normal). During the following week my brain fog dissipated and I became able to have erections (including morning ones, and at least one spontaneous one. Not sure as to my actual libido but I think it’s still the same as pre-fin. However I don’t get properly hard anymore, sort of 80% of the way there, and have to keep “willing” it to stay that hard anyway. And it’s at about 80% thickness compared to pre-fin also. My actual orgasms seem to come more suddenly as well, as if I am less in control compared to before. All this might have gotten slightly better over the last month or so, but so slightly that I haven’t noticed, and indeed it sometimes seems to wax and wane, getting worse then better, particularly in relation to my mind, which sometimes seems basically completely normal, and sometimes makes me paranoid that I’m suffering from continued low-level brain fog. I think I would feel comfortable saying that I am at 85-90% of where my mental acuity and alertness were previously.

I thought I had bad damage to my vision also, but I went to the opticians and they told me that while I did have astigmatism, that must have been there before and wasn’t something that finasteride could have caused – more likely that the brain fog attack simply made me conscious of it through becoming hyper-aware of how my mind and senses were doing.

Had a tiny bit of tinnitus also, which has not come back. Am very much into art, music, film, literature, so have been paranoid about my emotional engagement in that sort of stuff being blunted, but I don’t think it has, which potentially bodes well for my fears of brain fog.

Still, I am very nervous and upset (particularly about my suspicions of brain fog, which make me think I have needlessly ruined the standard of consciousness for the rest of my life). Part of me thinks that if it wasn’t for the observable genital issues, I wouldn’t even think there was anything wrong my mind, and my fears of slight brain fog are just me imagining things. If anyone has a similar experience and can suggest a recovery timeline, or can confirm for me that it is possible to have lasting genital effects but to completely recover psychologically, that would give me some real peace of mind.

Best wishes to you all.

Hi mate. Welcome to our forum. It’s early days for you so you there is a good chance you will recover quickly. I took 16 tablets back in December and still suffer from brain fog, etc.
Can you report your side effects to the government’s yellow card scheme please
https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

It’s early and you took a very powerful drug. Try not analyze every little thing or change for the next few months or you’ll just go crazy. Things will fluctuate. I recovered after 10 doses but it took about 3 -4 months and it felt like 1 step forward, half a step back the whole way. I had the same issue with the less control you talk of and that went away also. I didn’t really do anything to recover other than just give it time and let it work it’s way out of my system.

Thanks for this – did you recover 100%?. Could you notice your brain fog get better alongside genital issues?

Hey man, I’m early 20’s as well. I took finasteride for about two months. My penis has got gradually worse over the last year and in the last couple of months my memory has gotten worse.

If you want to talk at all I’m here to share my experience.

I’m sorry to hear that. How long was it between you (presumably) realised things were bad and stopped the drug, and things started to get worse again? Has anything gotten better? Is it just your memory or your conscious everyday experience that feels foggy?

Pseudo-update:

nothing has significantly changed for me since original post, but I am becoming increasingly worried about possibility of permanent penile and scrotal shrinkage. Penis is probably half an inch shorter and feels significantly thinner, and testicles are usually quite small, rarely as low-hanging and large as they used to be (barely ever, in fact) and sometimes get scarily shrunken and rough. Does anyone have any advice or reports about this issue remedying itself?

Just chill dude.
Looking at your symptoms, you have a very good chance of making a complete recovery. Usually, the mental and penis issues are the ones that improve over time. My penis used to look very shrunken and small when flaccid, but that has resolved itself for the most part. It took 2.5 months for it to recover this much, but at the 2 month mark, it was shriveled up.

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Three month update:

About two and a half months after cessation (a couple weeks ago) I met with a doctor, who told me that everything was hormonal and that gradually my body would readjust to pre-fin state and I would completely recover. Of course, PFS is a very little understood condition by the majority of the medical profession, but the doctor did tell me that he talks to “probably one bloke a day” who is interested in finasteride, and that he had lots of experience of people deciding to come off it, and then recovering after a few months. This made me feel a little better, especially because at that time I had had a sudden improvement in symptoms; one day perhaps two and a half weeks ago, I had absolutely pure clear-headedness, sexual symptoms evaporated, and I felt really great. I remember it was a very hot and sunny day, and I went for a walk and just felt great. I definitely think that hot, sunny weather is important in recovering; I have even started taking a vitamin D tablet once a day because things have been so dour here in England for a couple weeks, cold and cloudy, with the cold especially exacerbating my testicular atrophy, and I just really want to recapture that great feeling of pre-PFS that I had two weeks ago, which I just have a strong feeling must have been somewhat tied to getting lots of sun and vitamin D for that one day.

Unfortunately, since that uptick, I have reverted back to PFS a little, though my erections are now stronger, perhaps 90% of the way back, and my brain fog manifests mainly in slight lack of acuity in vision and memory, rather than, at its worst, an active sense of headache and fatigue. I would say that overall I am 90% recovered from the absolute worst, and I am hoping that what I have will gradually clear up and I will constantly have the state of mind and body that I had for that one sunny day when everything felt great. Probably the most concerning thing I have is that my testicles are still atrophied most of the time, and can shrink massively before I go the toilet; I’m not sure what to make of those symptoms. If things haven’t improved in another couple weeks, I will call the doctor and ask him to schedule a hormone test at the hospital, though I know that would be months away.

The fact that I have some symptoms at this point does technically set me out for having PFS, but again, I’m hopeful things will improve, and I have been resting a lot of hope on what @CO1314 said to me a while ago about how the recovery is constantly two steps forward, one step back, and I hope that I am indeed one of the lucky people who simply get bad side effects but who do eventually completely recover. Best of wishes to everyone.

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Hey man, I have this very same symptom, really ennoying

Yes, this is very irritating.

Have you had any hormone tests?

Yes, you find my last results (and the ones earlier that were worse) here:

Thanks, good to see things improved somewhat for you. Is there anything a doctor can prescribe to increase free testosterone? Would that help you with your remaining symptoms? @andras33

I wouldnt take any hormonal supplement or drugs at all anymore. I believe in natural healing.

  • Im doing intermittent fasting every day And do weight lifting (increases testosterone)
  • eat lots of proteins (Decreases shbg)
  • eat brocolli, cruciferous veggies (decreases estrogens)

End result could be lowering shbg and raising free T in the long term, which definately will further improve symptoms.

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I’ve seen various reports of this happening and it going back to pretty much normal over a period of time and healthy lifestyle. Of course, nobody knows for sure what’s going on or how to fix it, or if it can be fixed in everyone.

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4 month update:

Well, it’s not particularly good news, but not totally demoralising either.

As things stand, I’d say that I have recovered to this extent:

Brain fog - 90-95%, lingering vision issues and tiny residual memory/sharpness of mind issues.

ED - 90%, have gotten decent erections in the last couple days, takes a bit of effort, and libido is still basically absent, but the length is back and god willing I’ll get my girth back too, just a little off at the moment.

Testicular atrophy - varies, sometimes settles for hours at what I assume is basically 100%, with my testicles saggy and large, but when I go to the toilet they rise and shrink, sometimes absurdly, to like 20% of what they should be. I have a weird suspicion that shrunken prostate might be to do with this so I might make another thread on that topic. Majority the time they are at around 80%, you could say. I never really noticed how big they were before, or how much they sagged/were round, so am having to estimate a little with this.

That list of sypmtoms isn’t too much improved from when I first posted, sadly, though there have been some definite improvements. I don’t feel fatigued and hungover all the time, forgetfulness has decreased I’m pretty sure, erections definitely have gotten stronger, and my testicles base size has shifted up perhaps 20%, to be optimistic, since the worst. My penis also is no longer extremely shrivelled when flaccid, at all, which was a symptom I had up until about a month and a half. And it wouldn’t be absurd to think that some people – those less hypochondriac than I – would put brain fog and ED at 100% recovered.

However – these are my big issues – my eyesight and libido simply aren’t where I’d like them to be. I mentioned earlier that at two and a half months I went for a walk in the sun and has several hours of total recovery, which I thought meant I would eventually stabilise at that level. The biggest differences were that my eyes no longer became easily unfocused, my libido returned, and I had a sense of deep comfort and relaxation that I desperately wish I could regain – I feel like the drug has doomed me to live the rest of my life slightly on edge, never really at ease. It was like a warm feeling deep in my torso, I cannot explain it. I have sunbathed when possible to try and recapture the feeling, but it has only ever been fleeting – at one point I even had my eyesight massively improve, being able to read without glasses! Just from sunlight! Very strange and annoying that I can’t permanently get that feeling back.

I have kind of gotten used to the testicular issues, I now just really want my eyesight and libido to settle into how they should be. It’s so frustrating never being able to actually let my eyes settle on objects, they are always flickering in their point of focus. Ideally I’d take the fact that I did very temporarily recover as a good sign that I may still totally recover, but I think there are a lot of people on here who have temporary recoveries that never become permanent. I am fortunate to be doing better than many others, but to be so close, yet so far away, is agonising.

I suppose I will start getting more exercise to see if that can have a positive effect. I think that in another month, I will do a write-up, and have to accept that my condition at that stage, if not improved from where I am currently, is likely the one that I am stuck with. All I want is my normal vision and libido back! Here’s hoping.