Used topical Finasteride for 19 days, crashed 16 days after stopping usage, one month later and symptoms are horrible. Advice please!


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)? USA

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? Age: 31 Height: 6’ 1" Weight: 150 lbs.

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)? Topical Finasteride for 19 days.

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)? Five sprays to scalp per day of 0.1% Finasteride.

What condition was being treated with the drug? Hair loss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? 2.5 weeks (19 days)

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug? 31 years old in August of 2018.

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? 31 years old in September of 2018.

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

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

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? Multi-Vitamin, Zinc, and Creatine.

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)? Waiting on blood test results right now.

I was prescribed oral Finasteride by my primary care physician, but I started and stopped taking it two times after only one day since the side effects of anxiety and depression were felt immediately, however after stopping the side effects went away and I went back to feeling normal in a day or two. A hair specialist gave me a topical spray (that I was told wouldn’t cause side effects) with 0.1% of Finasteride and I applied ~5 sprays on my scalp for about 19 days before I stopped usage when I noticed that it made me anxious and depressed (just at a slower more gradual rate of onset relative to the oral). There was a 16 day period where I felt myself gradually getting better and feeling almost normal when I “crashed” and started having panic attacks, anxiety, stomach pain, digestive issues, headaches, extreme brain fog, and testicular pain. The PFS side effects have been exponentially worse than what I felt when I was actually taking Finasteride. I have started taking Zinc, a multi vitamin that includes Iodine, and Creatine, which makes me feel better for a while, but symptoms always return and it has been a little over a month now. I got blood tests done today and am waiting on the results. This is the most unbelievable and extreme reaction I have ever experienced and it has effected every aspect of my life (i.e. job, personal life, etc.). Any advice or suggestions for what I can do to help myself would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance!


Hello @shepa06,

This is horrible, I know. I’m sorry you are going through it.

Some people report that a healthy diet helps with symptoms. I believe that for most people time is a great healer. I would advise against doing anything that involves hormones, prescription medicines or very high doses of supplements. It’s possible to worsen symptoms and you are still early in your recovery.

Do not take any more finasteride in any form.

Zinc inhibits the same enzyme that finasteride does. It might be for the best to avoid it for a while. I believe some people here have had issues with creatine too.

You will find some people will dismiss other people’s intolerances because their experience differs. Most people here seem to have different
mixes of symptoms and there are many degrees of severity.

I am a couple of months further along in my journey and feel that I have significantly improved without doing much aside from eating relatively healthily, trying to get as much rest and sleep (when possible) as I can, reducing ejaculation frequency. I can’t know if eating a diet of 24/7 sugar, never sleeping and having sex as often as possible would have got me to the same point by the same time but logic suggests that putting yourself under the least amount of stress possible would likely be beneficial.

People here are mostly very supportive. Reach out if you need help or have questions. Try to support others. If you can support the PFS foundation do so. Science is our best chance at being fully free of this. Science unfortunately costs.


So you took just 1 pill, right? Sorry, i don’t understand.


@Greek, what if i’m zinc deficient? Before i stopped fin i had high zinc, right after fin. my zinc was below the limit… i have no idea of what this could mean but i suppose that if it’s too low i should supplement. what do you think? and why here and on other forums is full of people who try ti supplement with zinc? it’s like everyone comes up with same idea.


Some people do ok on some supplements that hurt other people.

It might be for the best to prioritise not interacting with 5ar activity? Or might it be better to prioritise your zinc deficiency?

Good that you’ve pointed it out, I just don’t know what’s for the best.

Perhaps we should start a new topic for this?


It looks like he was on finasteride for a month


I used topical Finasteride for 19 days. I am waiting for my blood tests to come back, but in the meantime got a multivitamin that includes iodine, a zinc supplement, and starting taking creatine (this was yesterday), and I am going to start limiting ejaculation today.


Oh and today I am starting a 48 hour water fast.


Hi Shepa06,
Your story has many similarities to mine, and to most others in this forum. I didn’t get the sexual side effects but have had at times debilitating depression and anxiety. Symptoms were so severe that several times in the middle of the night I started packing a bag to go to the psychiatric hospital for admission as I didn’t think I could take it. Here is what I can tell you.

  1. Hang in there: PFS is a very strange syndrome. You WILL feel better. It may take a little time but you WILL. In my experience I had about 4 weeks of debilitating depression. However even during these 4 weeks there would be a day or 2 when the depression would almost go away. Then it would return. A month later it started decreasing for longer periods. I rarely have significant depression now. The one thing that helped the most during my worst depression symptoms was very low dose Ritalin. It was recommended to by one of the physicians in the PFSfoundation forum. My family doctor prescribed 5mg tablets which I would cut in 4 pieces and I would take 1 piece (1.25 mg) during my worst depressive symptoms and it would take the edge off the depression and help me get through the day. It did help me a lot to survive the worst time.

  2. In regards to anxiety, I found it harder to deal with. After the depression resolved, I had 2 weeks last July when I had no symptoms and thought that my PFS had ended. However in early August I developed severe anxiety and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). It was worse than the depression in many ways because it made it harder to concentrate at work. It was extremely severe until late September. The past 4 weeks it has been there but it is less intense. I would call it moderate and I can work without much difficulty. Again I have days when I have no symptoms. No anxiety, no tinnitus, but these days are by far the exception. I believe that what has helped me the most with anxiety is silexan. During my worst day of anxiety I reached out to one of the doctors at PFSfoundation. One doctor from Europe recommended silexan. It is approved in Germany for treatment of anxiety. It is made from lavender plants. You can do a google search about silexan. That is what I did because I don’t like to try just anything that anyone suggests. In Europe it is sold under the name Lasea. Lasea and silexan are the same thing. When I googled both of these terms along with “clinical trials”, I found articles published in major medical journals where lasea was tested agains Ativan (lorazepam) and placebo, and against Paxil and placebo. In both clinical trials silexan did as well if not better than Ativan or Paxil at 10 weeks, without the side effects of these 2 medications. In fact patients taking silexan reported same side effects as patients taking placebo. One difference is that unlike Ativan or Xanax which give you instant symptom relief (in 30-60 minutes), silexan usually takes 2 weeks before you see the benefits. In my case it took almost 3 weeks, but once the improvement started, every week has been a little better than the previous week. I will take small steady improvements any day. I am now in my 7th week and very happy with the results. I still have anxiety and tinnitus but the intensity is much lower.

Above all, hang in there. We are all here to support you. Don’t give up. I remember days that I thought life was not worth living. The mental pain was so intense, it was unbearable. I am so glad I didn’t do anything crazy. Hang in there, things will get better. During my worst moments, I paced back and forth in my house, tried to find things to distract me, did anything to survive the moment. You will survive and get better. We have all been where you are and improvements are real. I will tell you that for the first time in 5 months, the past 2 weeks I have started dreaming about the future and being happy thinking about it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything like that a month ago. You will too. Just don’t give up. We are all here to support you.


Thanks for the suggestions. Did you or anyone ever have ongoing headaches, and did you find anyway to relieve them? I am googling different headache symptoms to try and determine what kind of headache they are (i.e. tension, cluster, migraine, sinus, etc.).


Sorry for all the questions, if I was more experienced as I assume I will be somewhere down the road, I will have many more answers and be able to help others rather then just ask them to help me, but has anyone had any issues with digestive issues? Like when they eat their stomach is making a ton of noises? Did anyone try probiotics or anything else? And does anyone think that me currently taking creatine, a multi-vitamin with Iodine, and zinc could cause headaches or are they supplements that I should not be taking? Anything else other then what was has been mentioned in this post that I should be taking? Thanks again for all the help and support.


Sorry last one does anyone have a list of what my doctor should be testing for in terms of blood tests? Thanks so much!


Hello @shepa06,

I don’t think the headaches are caused by your multivitamin. I get headaches that last for a long time. I’m not sure what type of headache it is. I don’t take anything for it and just try and carry on until it passes. I gather ibuprofen isn’t good for pfs sufferers so you should avoid that.

Digestion issues are quite common. I drink kefir and eat probiotics often. I don’t know if they’re helping but my digestion has been better recently.


@shepa06, i still don’t understand for how long you took oral finasteride. would you be specific, please?
Example: Took oral fin for 1 month. Stopped for 2 weeks. Took it again for 1 week. stopped it for 1 week. Took the topical fin for 19 days.


By the way, my advice is, if you have enough weight, to fast. A long fast.
I suggest to look at successful (real or not) stories here and on other forums.
You can look for Chi, or CDnuts (and his website) here.
Rick the ruler on swole source.
People here and on other forums would argue if this or that person is a fraud or not: i don’t know, honestly, and i think that we should think with our own mind. Read, search, study and make your own decisions. And let us know what you do and how you feel, of course.
Things that work for some, don’t work for others.

The main line seems to be this: we are intoxicated by a toxic chemical and taking other drugs can help you managing the symptoms but i don’t think that will cure you/us.
Pfs, could be due to immunity, altered microbiota in the gut, a liver disfunction, an adrenal disfunction or all this together which leads to an impaired production of neurocative steroids such as allopregnanolone, thdoc etc…

I spent months searching, reading, trying to understand what pfs really is but if i could go back in time, i’d put weight on in order to fast, now i can’t.


The oral finasteride is irrelevant. I never experienced any adverse effects for months after taking it. It is the topical finasteride that I used for 19 days that cause all of this.


Why is Ibuprofin not good?


No, is not irrelevant. There are guys here who took just one pill…
And is even good for science and to us to know exactly what happened.
And if you had no sides from oral, then why did you stop?


About one year ago, I took one finasteride 0.5mg and felt bad so I stopped taking it and felt fine 24 hours later. 6 months ago I tried again and took one 0.5mg oral and again felt bad so I stopped and felt fine 24 hours later. 2 months ago I used topical finasteride spray for 19 days, stopped taking it since I began to feel bad. Went back to feeling more or less normal until I crashed and I have felt like crap since.


I believe Ibuprofen is to be avoided as it interacts with hormones.