Yeray's Finasteride story

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)? Spain

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: Finasteride side effects

What is your current age, height, weight? 40yo, 1,73m, 82kg

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 mg/day

What condition was being treated with the drug? AGA

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)? 7 months

Date when you started the drug? 7 december 2023

Date when you quit the drug? 30 june 2023

Age when you quit? 40

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

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects? 6,5 months

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.

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

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

[x ] Other (please explain) Insomnia (very severe)

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug? Nothing but BZD to sleep

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)? High total T (850), Very high Estradiol (55)

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 started having the finasteride after a hair transplant, as recommended by the dermatologist who performed the surgery. During 6,5 months I had not a single complaint about the medication. I would even say that my libido got increased (perhaps biased by the fact that I started dating a girl 3 months before my crash). *
*Suddenly one day I was not able to sleep for a single minute. I was living a time of confort in terms of work and personal life. No reason at all for it. In the following days I started developing the rest of the symptoms: blurry vision, anhedonia, stomach problems, lack of sex drive…somehow I felt I was not myself anymore. *

I didn’t quit fin immediately, since I didn’t do a direct connection between my symptoms and side effects, so I kept having it for 15 more days, until I got to search finasteride side effects and I finally quit.

*It’s now 1 month from that, and since then, my symptoms are not getting better. *

My GP (who had no clue about finasteride) recommended Diazepam to sleep while the medication flushes from my body. For the first 5 days while on Diazepam I was feeling better, and creating hopes of recovery, but as my body became used to it, I came back to sleep 2-3 hours per night, and feeling miserable again 24/7. I just switched to Lorazepam, which helps me to go to 5 hours of sleep, but I know I will not last longer, and I don’t want to get hooked to BZD, since I know they also cause cognitive impairment if used long enough. Frankly, while on this level of insomnia the rest of the symptoms seem secondary to me. The day I sleep ok (more than 4-5 hours), some of the other symptoms seem to improve.

I know community that I am still far away of the 3 months mark, but I am starting to feel hopeless while watching no improvement. To make things worst, the girl I was dating has not been supportive at all. I am perfectly aware that I am now a source of sadness, and she is confused on how somebody has switched from a a clownsy, happy, hiperactive guy to a 80 yo retiree. However, at some point she is not even following-up my evolution/health state, she just cut ties, what makes me fell real sad on human condition.

This recent event, has also developed in me fears that my friends and family, very supportive so far, will start retreating from me in the short term. Now I believe they are supporting “the old me”, but if at some point, this is not a temporary state, but the"new me", I believe that I will be left alone and I will lose everything that matters to me in life.

I am feeling very suicidal some days, and I want to really show respect for you guys which have been struggling against this shit for years and years and never giving up

For obvious and selfish reasons I really hope that at some point I will update this post stating that I recovered before the 3 months mark, and it can be of hope to people in the early stages of the finasteride discontinuation. My hormones are so altered that some days I swing moods 4-5 times from believing that I will get better to be 100% sure that having a crash equals PFS

If I don’t come back from this, I don’t know if I will be strong enough to go ahead for too long, so any source of support, including you guys, will be highly highly appreciated.



Hi @Yeraygv ,
Wow, what a sad time this has been for you , it sounds all too familiar I’m afraid…, but I want you to take some comfort from fellow sufferers here and me , who have got through that initial stage of the first 6 months , where everything feels terrifying and doesn’t seem to get better even after weeks.

I remember being 1-2 months in , sleeping 0-2 hours every night , the occasional 2 nights in a row of 0 hours (which I never thought was humanly possible - but welcome to finasteride! :confounded:) tinnitus, unilateral gynocomastia, no libido , soft erections , Anhedonia/emptiness…… I remember one night about 2 months in taking a walk out to Marina Del Rey near where I lived , I sat outside this cafe about 7:pm and had never felt as rough as this in my entire life… it was the lowest point and I thought how do i recover from this? How do I make these things go away?

The things you say here about the ‘old me’ and the ‘ new me’ really ring home to how I felt at the time , I felt like people noticed a change in me , didn’t want to party as much , couldn’t drink anymore how I used to , gone are the days of drinking 4-5 pints and then crashing on a friends sofa. Even if I tried this today I would be lying awake the whole night and pissing every 10 minutes. It sounds like we have been affected in similar ways.

What I want to do though is encourage you, if possible. The next 6 months will be challenging but the best thing you can do is work hard for your body and believe you will feel better …. Not necessarily ‘cured’ but just feeling better.

With regards to the girl situation - I know it’s difficult as we feel sad around relationships breaking down no matter if you have PFS or you’re fully healthy- it’s a natural human condition. At the end of the day , you can only control your own choices and decisions - remember it’s our ‘choices’ that define who we are. You can’t control her feelings of disappointment, confusion , etc that’s her journey to go through . Same with family , you can’t control their opinion of the new me or old me either, but girls , friends, family and just about anyone will ALWAYS be impressed by someone with a positive mental attitude, who doesn’t give up, who fights on and uses each day to better themselves.
In order to start feeling better I suggest :

  • diet , eat as healthy as possible

  • exercise most importantly cardio as the heart pumping blood is gonna help other organs to work properly including brain to carry and kickstart neurotransmitters. Weights will help with testosterone and androgens returning. When I did gym after PFS I developed muscle about 2 years in. Seeing my body physically changed gave me the hope that soon mental changes will continue as well.

  • sleep …. Easier said than done! It pisses me off when people say get 8 hours sleep and you’ll be fine … they have no idea what’s happened to me and how hard it is . But still don’t give up - do the usual sleep hygiene stuff , no screens , no caffeine after 3 pm, no stimulation before bed . Exercise will help , but if struggling magnesium glycinate can help , other users have tried taurine , glycine , bacopa…
    I’d personally avoid BZD and Z drugs , they are ok to use in this first six months but I found they interfere with the sleep cycle and made things worse for me in the long run .

  • try and have a hobby pastime , I’m lucky as a musician I can go and do this and it helps with my purpose etc find something to do , it may not feel how it used to at first but over time little bursts of dopamine or ‘reward’ will come back , be patient!

Lastly time is key …. Time helps a lot the only way out is through - keep going forwards not backwards! :slight_smile:
I’m here if you need help , good luck!

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Thanks for your words @Forwardsnotbackwards. It means the world to me knowing that at some point this sh*t will become less painful.

So far, (6 weeks off fin) I am not only not improving but getting new symptoms, what really kills my hope of an early recovery. I am 6 weeks away of the 3 months mark, but given my current state I already consider myself as a PFS case.

New symptoms:

  • Since last week my digestions are extremely heavy and I have stomach and bowels pain 5-6 hours after eating no matter what. I lost 1’5 kg this week.
  • I am now feeling cold all the time. My hands are always freezing…and it is summertime in Spain.
  • And yesterday I started with tinnitus. I wish I had never learned this word. It can really drive you crazy if it lasts too long.

On the other hand (I don’t know if it is good or bad), I think anhedonia has swept even with depression. Now I don’t even feel sadness for myself or because of having lost a nice girl. I guess that’s why the suicidal thoughts are happening less often. At least not on a daily basis.

I am not sure if I will be able to keep my job for too long. I am underperforming, and this is obvious to all my colleagues. I am an engineer, and my job requires a level of concentration that I can’t achieve under these symptoms. Actually, my career doesn’t rank high in my priority list right now, but the idea of having to ask my family for financial support makes me cry.

Something to remark as well is that I am now skipping all social life. When surrounded by friends and family, I am 100% aware that I am not myself, that there is a dumb, bitter, unhappy, unfunny person living inside my head, what really makes me suffer. Nevertheless, while watching TV or just being alone, I am less conscious of my pain, so I am starting to self isolate. I know social life can somehow be a mechanism of relief, and I feel bad because I know my friends and family want to help me (I am very open about my situation), but I guess I need time to start accepting my new condition.

Concerning the 4 points you mention as a starting point to feel better, I am already working in some of them:

  • Diet: I am eating only healthy food these days. Basically my diet is vegetables, fruit and meat. Nothing else. However, I can hardly eat 2x a day, since my stomach hurts for hours after eating. Last saturday I did my first 24h water fast, noticing no improvements besides, perhaps, better mental clarity the hours after refeeding. I will try to implement one 24h water fast weekly, to see if I can notice anything.
  • Exercise: Maybe it is too soon for me to work out, because when I try to do anything physical I become wasted in less than 10 minutes and have muscle pain for days. This really freaks me out, since I used to run 4 times a week for 40’ to 1hour until I started with the side effects of fin.
  • Sleep: I have already implemented all well-known sleep hygiene measures. To avoid benzos, I started a couple of days ago with CBD and magnesium glycinate, since I have seen many people in this forum which has been using them with some success. 3 nights on them and I still don’t see much effect. I am stuck at 3-4 hours sleep. I will go with benzos once or twice a week to at least get a 5+ hours sleep night from time to time. I’ve read that they are unlikely to create addiction if only used with low frequency.
  • A hobby…also unlucky here. Most of my leisure implied physical effort. I played padel tennis, ultimate frisbee and do mountain hikes. Nowadays I can’t do any of them, so I think it is a good tip to look for something else to keep me busy. I’ll think about it.

Again, thanks for your support. I am getting plenty of support from my closest ones as well, but I realize they actually don’t understand how does this feel, and how fearsome it is believing that a drug has changed your body and, most importantly, who you are…perhaps for life.


I know it’s a challenge , as I mentioned so many of the points, symptoms and situations you mention are painfully familiar …. It will be a difficult few months ahead for you , but stay focused and rise and aim for the challenge of feeling ‘better’… not cured yet but ‘better’.

Great that you have considered some of the points I mention already , I really think if you hone in on these areas, with the help of time there will be improvements for you.

I know it’s a tough thing to hear but putting your hopes on trying a solution and hoping for immediate impact where you feel back to normal … is slim.
Give these things a bit of time …. For example Magnesium glycinate took a week or two before I noticed a difference , same with things like exercise . Usually you can tell if something doesn’t work for you straight away … i tried several sleep meds straight away that weren’t much good- things like Belsomra (ironically created by Merck!)
Otherwise stick with them , give them a bit of time. Listen to your body and with everything, be careful.

At 18 months after discontinuation I was still struggling with severe insomnia … i read that most people’s sleep here improved around 6-9 months afterwards so I was really frustrated . I kept thinking why me ? Why is my sleep affected so much ? I really couldn’t see much of a way out … but what I did was drop the Z drugs and Benzos as they worked on the spot but found they messed up the rhythm with me after a while. It was around this time that magnesium started kicking in for me .

Re job and employment … I was lucky where I was in a position to be able to step back from work and live with a family member for a while as I improved . I know not everyone has this opportunity , but I will say this to hopefully encourage you , since discontinuing Finasteride and suffering from PFS I have:

  • Released an album , that I produced, arranged sung, played instruments on.

  • I’m currently 2/3 through a BSc degree , and seem to be doing well in the modules.

  • have worked 2-3 part time jobs alongside this degree

  • made new friends and acquaintances even after Anhedonia and anxiety ravaged my personality.

  • currently performing around 4-5 times a month at live music events, jamming with others onstage and also open mics . More than before PFS!!

  • made an even deeper connection with my family members , that is beyond what it was before when I was “normal”

At the stage you’re in now if you had told me this stuff I would have laughed and said not possible , life is over etc. life is full of surprises and if you believe and work hard against this , there will be plenty of surprises and good days ahead for you.

Remember , another tip that I implemented is what is recommended for patients suffering from CFS/ME.
These guys are unable to do exercise very easily, so they start off really small . It might be a walk outside their house for 2 minutes and then back. Then this gradually increases to 3 minutes. Then 4 minutes and so on .
This method can be used for Anhedonia and the hobby and pastimes thing too. Do something that gives a slight ‘reward’ boost in the brain… nothing crazy that gives a rush but something small, a little and often and you will see changes . It might take months but keep at it.
I can tell from the way you have written, that already you’re someone that is going to do well. You’re going to be someone that gives PFS a nice long middle finger and works on the good things in life again.
Keep going , on the really bad days don’t give yourself a hard time , PFS is already doing this for you! keep plugging away a little and often and you will get stronger and good days WILL return in time.

As always, I’ll be here if you need any more support … I’m still not there yet myself and learning new things about this all the time :slight_smile:


Today I am reaching the notorious 3 months mark and this is my state now:

  • Symptoms that have disappeared: Stomach pain, Anhedonia, Severe depression, Suicidal thoughts, derealization, tinnitus (it started 4 weeks after quitting the poison and I had it for 3 weeks only)
  • Symptoms that have improved greatly (>80% improvement): Vision blurryness, brain fog, anxiety
  • Symptoms that have improved significantly (>50% improvement): All sexual symptoms, Fatigue, Insomnia (now sleeping around 5 to 6 hours per day having only magnesium glycinate as a supplement, my sleep is not pleasant but not crippling), mental freshness in general.
  • Symptoms not much improved: Memory loss, lose train of thought

All that said, according to the book I am a PFS sufferer. However, these improvements are now good enough for me to have the feeling that my life is worth living, what is a huge step forward from my last post.
I now have the hope of a full recovery, if not in 3 months in 6,9 or 12, but having this hope helps me to get up every morning and do my sh*t. I am again working after a sick leave, and at least feel useful (with new limitations I am not used to, but much better than a couple of months ago). I have resumed social life (not as often as before, but I can enjoy the time with friends) and sport (low intensity, short time).
I started 3 days ago with keto diet, hope to get from it the benefits some of the people in this forum has had. Right now feeling quite weak, flu-like is a good definition, I guess it is the adaptation period for the body to run with fats.
I am considering starting new activities to keep my mind busy and not thinking much on my health. Guitar classes or attending a course of italian are my preferred choices.

I will keep posting, specially if I can give good news. Besides our terrible drug-induced condition, we have a strong psycological damage due to the mourning we have on our old selves, and if these words can help anyone to know there is light at the end of the tunnel, they are definitely not a waste of time.

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Even the improvements on what you have listed here are fantastic - don’t be too hard on yourself , there’s some real good news here.
I think most people can agree there’s no real blueprint layout for symptoms and prognosis …. Improvements and regressions are different for everyone .
You’ve definitely got the right mental attitude to take PFS on , that’s fantastic what you say about the guitar lessons and mental clarity etc

Keep going ! :100: :clap:t3:

hey dude, can u give me more info on your symptoms and how much better you would say you are?

Hi , initially symptoms were : tinnitus , insomnia (severe) , gynocomastia , brain fog(but I’d say only 40%) sexual dysfunction, anhedonia, weight distribution changes were everything suddenly became more feminized , wide hips etc . This came on slowly for several years but came on qymuite severely in summer 2019 , where I bassically accept by this point I had developed full blown PFS.

I got lucky with not ever having stomach issues, or major brain fog . I’d just blank at names like an old person sometimes and pause during speaking because it was like a lag in brain playing catch up.

Since 2019 I’ve improved where I sleep 6-7 hours sometimes more sometimes less but this is acceptable. Gyno resolved (although it’s kind of left it’s mark in the shape of my chest if you know what I mean ) but I can safely take my top off now and everything looks normal.
Tinnitus is still there, although sometimes it gets quieter . I’ve accepted this may never go .
I got worse when I had a relapse briefly in 2021 but it’s decreased the last couple of years.
Sexual dysfunction is prob back at 80- 90%, brain is ok , im doing a degree , writing songs, working , so it seems to be taking in a lot of knowledge and outputting creativity - which is positive.
Anhedonia is generally a lot better from the early days of PFS but I have techniques for helping and incrementing this ….

happy for you, soldier!
when did you got this first?

also, could you explain in more details the diet/exercise/lifestyle routines that helped you the most and the anhedonia methods?

sorry for asking just too much, it’s just that I’m mining info about strategies that I could adopt (I’m 3y in and barely any change in symptoms). take it at ur own time!

Hi! Some update on my evolution.
Almost 3 months into keto diet now, and I can say it has been of much help.
My anxiety is now better than ever. I always (even before finasteride) felt slightly nervous in some ocassions, such as public speaking, when meeting new people, etc, and now, even in these ocassions I feel calm. It is a huge improvement compared with how I was when the sides kicked in.
Keto has also helped with most other symptoms. I feel 90-95% with the sex and mental sides, and only the insomnia remains there. I am sleeping around 5:30 hours per night with no medication. It is good enough, but definitely worst than normal.
However, from time to time I have treated myself and had a single high carbs meal, and many of the sides, specially the mental, come back in a matter of hours and stay there for a couple of days.
I wanted to mention this since I am not aware of anybody who also have this comebacks after a single cheat meal, so maybe it is not a common pattern, and just happening to me.
It is actually on these moments when i remember that i have a long lasting condition, but for the rest of it, i’m back to have a life worth to be lived.
I am also back to dating apps, which was unthinkable to me just some months ago.
So far i haven’t go to doctors to support me with the keto, but now I am thinking to stay keto long term, so i will ask for blood tests to understand if I am using supplements correctly or if I need adjustments.
I’ll keep posting. Cheers

which symptoms did you have?

Hello, well done on your significant recovery to date.

You mention techniques for dealing with anhedonia, I’d be keen to hear about them if you can…

Still not out of the water by any means … but most days are ok and have action plans in place which I stick to and which help.

Anhedonia is a difficult one. Generally if you bring this up to any medical professional they will say it’s just an all too familiar symptom of major depressive episodes , but there’s something slightly different about this anhedonia from regular depression anhedonia.I’d describe it to them as not feeling happy, yet not feeling sad, just completely lack of feeling anything, lack of excitement , lack of pleasure, lack of gratification from the usual stimuli. I’m sure you know what I mean…

My tips are primarily to look to the CFS/ME community for methods and to see how they responded to being unable to exercise.
CFS/ME is a similar syndrome , in respect to the fact that for many years the health industry and just about everybody else didn’t believe it was a real thing. It was only through years and years of persistence that it finally became recognized and they experienced similar struggles in raising awareness and understanding.

Now - exercise is vital for the body to recover, to reach homeostasis , to sleep, to strengthen , to resolve etc.
CFS patients generally are unable to exercise, at least at first, so what they do is start really really ridiculously small and build up from there. They might walk 5 meters up the road and back a day. This continues , and then next month this increases to 10meters . And so on.
Gradually over time they introduce their bodies , incrementally to exercise through increase of duration and distance.
This is what I suggest doing to PFS and anhedonia. I think , many people come on here expecting damaged dopamine brain circuitry to suddenly repair itself over night through some means or medical solution, and to be able to experience abounding pleasure again… but this takes time, work , belief and dedication.

What I suggest doing is do little things that give off mini dopamine releases, daily.
For me an example during 2020 lockdown I noticed that washing up the dishes , thoroughly and sweeping the kitchen brought back tinges of ‘rewards’ to my receptors once I completed these tasks. Now of course this is not to the level of an orgasm from making love to your wife or something ,of course not!! But I believe it ‘micro doses’ the flow of dopamine little by little, which is what you want, on a daily basis.
Setting some small task and completing it could be suitable, and if you can apply this through some forms of exercise , you will see greater feelings of reward sooner (in my opinion) , with running being the absolute king pin for helping dopamine to return and just generally improving your body and mind totally.
I respect not everyone is in a position to do exercise straight away, so really it’s down to you. For me it’s often a case of building that mental strength and pushing through when I’m cycling or running , because I of course don’t ‘feel’ anything either at first.
I’d also recommend a craft or hobby, im a musician so I’m lucky to be able to practice this regimentally, which also brought back feelings of ‘reward’ over time. If you don’t have a craft etc maybe start learning one and use this as the tool and reason to boost your dopamine ? Could be music, art, modelmaking, hiking whatever , designing something you name it, but it has to be something that slowly and subtlety stimulates the dopamine daily .

Of course , no dopamine or ‘reward’ feelings will return if you’re not eating healthily, managing stress, general exercise , sleep, limiting alcohol , etc (I know sleep is a tough one and way easier said than done , but try your best and keep healthy sleep habits and do what you can)

This also seems obvious but ,illicit drugs may return your dopamine on mass but will come at a price and make things worse. Things like gaming marathons and bingeing tv shows will give cheap dopamine release that doesn’t last or help repair …. Not saying don’t do those things of course but they are not key to the long term restoration of your brain :slight_smile:

Anyhow hope this helps a bit and best of luck