Took Saw Palmetto to prevent getting PFS and got PFS

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)?

Poland

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?)

Just googled post “finasteride syndrome forum” and this is the one I found.

What is your current age, height, weight?

19, 6’2, 180lbs

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)?
Saw Palmetto extract
What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
300mgs - extract
200mgs - powder
500mgs total a day

What condition was being treated with the drug?

Hair loss - AGA

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

Exactly 5 months

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

18 years old, beginning of january 2019

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

19 years old, 20’th of May

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

Cold turkey

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

At the 5 month mark in May when I noticed slight libido loss

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

Libido loss
Leg/arm numbness during night

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
[v ] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[ v] Erectile Dysfunction
Complete Impotence
Loss of Morning Erections
[ v] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[v ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
Watery Ejaculate
[ v] 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
[v] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion - only during training
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

[ v] Other (please explain)

-Suddenly, the following days after discontinuation of SP, I couldn’t sleep without constantly waking up due to hand/leg numbness. It never occurred to me this frequently except on rare occasions, but now it happens almost every night.

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?

I was taking astaxanthin for a month due to its neuroprotective benefits since a lot of you had theories that it’s a dopamine issue, so I decided to be on a safer side.

Also taken vitamin D3 10 000 IU as I’ve always been

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)?

No pre blood tests, although I checked my estradiol and testosterone in which test - 750ng/dL and E2 - 30pg/mL(middle of the range)

I know I need to include more hormones into my bloodwork, but I’m on vacation now, so that will do when I’m back.

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?

I am a frequent gym goer, and was always passionate about bodybuilding since my teens.

What I noticed is that immediately after discontinuation of the herb, it was very difficult for me to get adequate pump and blood flow into the muscle (I guess it’s due to nitric oxidase problems), hence my training sessions became less interesting/fun. I didn’t experience much satisfaction from my training as I always did. After weeks this side effect normalized more or less, but I still don’t have near as much stamina as I used to before.

-Also lost my insane vascularity and it seems as if I gained a few body fat points on the percentage scale, although could be age related since I’m in my late teens now(lowered HGH/IGF1 etc)

  • Insomnia after days on which I work out, total discomfort through the body when in the laying position, very difficult to fall asleep. Though, on rest days I can sleep like a baby and fall asleep much faster, which is weird because it used to be the other way around.

  • Getting exhausted much quicker during my workouts

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.

When I noticed increased rate of hair fall and my hairline recession seemed to progress, I was freaked out and immediately looked for solutions. I learned about finasteride and its disasterous long term sides several years ago, so I didn’t even think about taking it. What I did consider taking was Saw Palmetto since it is a very popular supplement and there were none of the sexual side effects listed on most health sites except some constipation or diarrhea that is supposed to occur only in some people and are totally reversible. After some research, I went to the nearest health store and purchased the saw palmetto extract. I kept using it for 5 months successfully until on the 5 month mark I noticed slight libido loss that I attributed to my methylphenidate (prescribed) use.

One day, I decided to search info on Post Finasteride Syndrome out of interest while being sure that the condition doesn’t await me, since I never took fin or dut or any of that stuff. Immediately, I stumbled upon stories of getting PFS like symptoms just from Saw Palmetto use. I couldn’t believe it, and I panicked, so I decided to quit momentarily.

Next days I didn’t have any morning wood, and I began feeling the numbness in my legs/hands during sleep on a nightly basis. However, every day I was getting better and better until I completely recovered and had raging libido. I was happy… for about a week until it started getting worse again. For the next several weeks My libido was low, but I had faith that it will come back like it did… and it did… again. I thought it was over, but no… I immediately felt worse.

Now I am stuck in a loop of getting slight improvements and getting excited, all that, but that only lasts until I wake up the next day realizing I’m one step back.

At almost two months I didn’t use anything for hair loss prevention and so far I’m not losing any hair whatsoever. Perhaps, it was just due to stress and SP was unneeded…

I’m scared to death and I still can’t believe this was caused by an herb(that is taken by millions and millions worldwide). It never crossed my mind for a second that a natural supplement like that can cause such effects in some people… life is just too brutal. SP potentially made it over for me before my life even began…

I promise, I will fill out the survey once I will hit the 3 month mark after total discontinuation since that’s a requirement.

Thanks for reading.

7 Likes

Hi nw0ordeath,

welcome to the forum. I am sorry this is happening to you, but you are right, unfortunately: All anti-androgens (incl. some potent natural supplements) are capable to induce the condition that is often (inadequately) called Post-Finasteride-Syndrome.

The good news is that many people recover or at least improve as time goes by. Two months have passed and, while it may feel like a long time now, this is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Give it time and with some luck you will recover or at least improve significantly. If you don’t, we will be here for you and we are trying our best to generate awareness of and scientific research into this condition.

Good luck!

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Interesting that you were taking metilphenidate while using the saw palmeto.

I took it also during some days while I was taking finasteride (and I only took finasteride for 30 days). Some other members of the forum were also taking metilphenidate while on finasteride.

The reason for all the problems we have is clearly finasteride/saw palmeto, but I wonder if the use of metilphenidate while taking finasteride made things worse.

By the way, I have had big problems using ritalin AFTER stopping propecia so if you are a frequent ritalin user, I would recommend to not take it at least for some months.

Thanks Northern_Star!
Yeah, it didn’t even cross my mind that it could be the same as fin. Over the last few days I got better tho, so I hope it will continue to go in that direction.

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Yeah, that’s what caught my attention as well. I think it potentially could be a risk factor since it elevates your cortisol and hence lowers testosterone temporarily. So now you have even less DHT conversion on top of the already present inhibition of 5ar (double whammy effect).
Now I don’t use any methylphenidate since the end of May as I’m done with school now, and don’t really need it for non-study purposes.

So it’s been a little more than 3 months, and I can say that I’m feeling a lot better. My libido is back and all of the other sides are pretty much gone except for my erectile function. It’s still kind of hard to „get it up” and it takes a lot longer than it used to. I just feel there’s less bloodflow in there. What I didn’t realize though, is how the herb impacted my sleep. I didn’t have much sleep problems when I was taking it, but now after 3 months of not using it I fall asleep much faster and sleep way deeper. Basically now I only have one side effect to deal with. Nothing more. Also, went to the doctor on one occasion, showed her my bloods etc and there was no indication of any problem with my endocrine system. I did bloods again tho, and it only showed slightly elevated blood calcium level. Wonder if it could be the calcification that’s holding me back. Nevertheless, I think if I took finasteride instead of sp, things would be a lot worse now since saw is 2-3 times less potent

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Good to see your getting better you’ve dodged a bullet my friend. Hopefully you’ll get back to 100%. Thanks for coming back to update.

1 Like