Topical Minoxidil/Saw Palmetto-induced 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)? 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

What is your current age, height, weight? 21, 170cm, idk my current weight

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

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? Topical saw palmetto once daily for 2 months. Topical minoxidil twice daily for one week (also used it on my beard to thicken it up)

What condition was being treated with the drug? Suspected diffuse hairloss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? 2 months (SP), 1 week (minox)

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug? 21

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

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

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects? 4 days into using minox

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

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.

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

Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
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

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

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? 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)?

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.

My life was amazing during late 2019/2020, I was doing great at uni (I major in linguistics), found myself a great group of friends and an amazing girlfriend, I noticed that my hair was starting to thin somewhat but it didn’t really bother me too much as I was in a good relationship and felt accepted for who I was.

Then things started to go downhill, I broke up with my gf in March and as a result started to really dwell on my perceived hairloss. I already knew about PFS and so have always been scared of finasteride, and instead I opted for topical saw palmetto and used it for two months every night, everything was okay until 10 days ago when I purchased some topical minoxidil and started using it on my scalp and beard twice daily. After a few days I immediately noticed a sudden drop in libido, which was always high previously as long as I could remember, I didn’t think too much about it until my 7th day of using minox by which point I wasn’t really getting erections at all. I searched the internet and found lots of anecdotes about minox (as well as saw palmetto) inducing PFS-like symptoms and quit immediately. That’s when the panic really set in.

It has been four days since I quit, and I’ve noticed some potential slight improvements but nothing too much really. The slight pain in my testicles has subsided, and since the day before yesterday I’m getting almost full nocturnal/morning erections no problem. I can also manage pretty forced pathetic erections during the day time if I really force myself - but otherwise I have 0 libido (except for slightly during noctural erections) and never get random erections during the day. I feel like a castrate and my penis feels dead.

My side effects are mainly all sexual. I still have plenty of energy and mentally I still feel very sharp. I am still very active and managing to keep on top of things, but have had recurring suicidal tendencies due thought of potentially having to live like this forever. In terms of other side effects, I do have some very minor joint pains in my legs, but that’s maybe because I’ve been going on very long walks with my dog every day as a form of cope.

I’m aware I haven’t taken fin but I’m still scared that I have induced PFS with minox/saw palmetto.

I’m here because of Minoxidil. But this was most likely the saw palmetto.

1 Like

That’s likely, thought the minox couldn’t have helped either. Now I’m just hoping things don’t get any worse, I feel as if I’ve still gotten off lightly compared to those poor folks who actually took propecia.

Wait , Wait ,

Minoxidil can cause problems to? i was thinking on using it but no way after reading this

There have been a few member stories here of those who developed PFS symptoms from minoxidil alone. Some have been made worse by it after assuming topicals were a safe alternative.

Aye, minox is horrible stuff, a lot of guys have had similar sides to me. It’s definitely not as bad as fin, but I’d still strongly urge you to stay clear of it.

Update: sexual health is getting better but I’ve got chest pains now which get worse after working out or walking (most definitely a side effect of the minox) and I’m worried about my cardiovascular health. Fuck you Johnson & Johnson.