PROPECIAHELP: Persistent Finasteride Propecia Proscar side effects info & discussion forum

Forum for men with PERSISTENT sexual, mental & physical side effects which CONTINUE DESPITE QUITTING Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar), a 5AR inhibitor drug for hair loss, prostate enlargement & prostate cancer.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:35 pm
Posts: 5
Age: 31
Drug: Propecia
Usage: 3 years
Started: 15 Jul 2012
Stopped: 07 Mar 2016
Location: Brazil
0) Where are you from (country)?
Brazil

1) 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 - finasteride withdrawal symptoms

2) What is your current age, height, weight?
31, 180cm, 71kg

3) Do you excercise regularly? If so, what type of excercise?
Started recently. Jogging and weightlifting

4) What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)?
Trying to eat healthier now, but sometimes I eat fast-food

5) Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)?
hair loss

6) For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)?
3 years and 8 months

7) How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start Finasteride?
27 - July 2012

8) How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
30 - March 2016

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

10) What type of Finasteride did you use – Propecia, Proscar, Fincar or other generic?
Generic Finasteride - Medley (brazilian lab)

11) What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
1mg/day

12) How long into your use of Finasteride did you notice the onset of side effects?
I started having sexual sides during my first month on Finasteride. After the first month, most of the side effects went away as I continued taking the drug.

13) What side effects did you experience while on the drug that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

Put an X beside all that apply:

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

Mental
[X] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[X] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[X] Confusion
[X] Memory Loss / Forgetfullness
[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

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
[X] Muscle Weakness
[X] Joint Pain
[X] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

Misc
[ ] Prostate pain
[X] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[X] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[ ] Constipation / "Poo Pellets"
[ ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[X] Lowered body temperature

[X] Other (please explain)
Chronic Imsomnia

14) What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
Tried different SSRIs without success, the side effects actually gotten worse while on them.
I am currently taking Omega 3, colagen, vitamin D, vitamin B, glucosamine, chondroitin, but none of these changed anything for the better or for the worse.
Started recently working out, which made me more tired actually for now.
Taking bromazepam helped me sleep a couple days, but it seems it quickly lost its effect.

15) If you have pre or post-Finasteride bloodtests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (pls post your test results in the "Blood Tests" section and link to them in your post)?
I'll post my tests as soon as I find a doctor willing to examine my blood thoroughly. For now, I have altered tests for cortisol and DHEA (both low).

16) Anything not listed in the above questions you'd like to share about your experience with Finasteride?

17) Tell us your story, in your own words, about your Finasteride usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
Hello everyone. I'm posting here as my last resort.

First of all, please excuse my bad english since it's not my native tongue and I also feel my brain is not working as it used to for the past months.
I started taking finasteride on July 2012, after consulting more than 6 doctors that guaranteed me it was a safe medication to use. For the first month, I couldn't get an erection and the doctor told me the sides would probably go away if I continued to take the medication. After the first month, I got my erections back and everything seemed ok. I continued taking finasteride and after a while, I noticed my semen had become transparent. I also noticed I was getting more tired than usual, but never thought this could be due to finasteride. I spoke to my doctor once more and he told me the semen would go back to normal once I stopped the medication and that the medication had nothing to do with the tiredness I was feeling. Those were mainly my side effects, watery semen and tiredness. My skin also became pale, my face sagged and I developed black circles under the eyes, but I never thought these symptoms could be from finasteride. I also started having trouble sleeping, but nothing major and never needed any meds to sleep.

Here's when things started to get bad: more than 3 years later (january 2016), I stopped taking finasteride daily and only took it every once in awhile. Coincidentally, I developed severe depression, anxiety attacks, confusion and was always exhausted. Started taking SSRIs that only made the problems worse. Switched to a new psychiatrist that suggested me to stop taking finasteride for good. After I stopped taking it completely (1 and a half months ago) I couldn't sleep anymore: 3, 4 days in a row without sleeping. Started having headaches and couldn't concentrate on simple things anymore. The sexual side effects actually got better for a while: my erections were lasting longer, libido was higher, semen volume was close to normal again, but this only lasted for a couple weeks. At least the semen is still not transparent anymore. Doctor prescribed me bromazepam to help me sleep, but only worked for a few days.

I really don't care much about the sexual side effects. I mean, I noticeably have much less libido now, my erections are not as strong and my semen volume is not the same, but I can still manage to have a somewhat healthy sex life.

What is driving me literally insane are the mental sides. I can't think straight anymore, can barely sleep and I'm always feeling exhausted. And although sometimes it looks like I have energy to do simple things, my legs hurt a lot and sometimes fail when I try to walk. I have to stop everything I'm doing to just lie down, because it looks like I can't bear the weight of my own body.

I quit my job because I can't do simple tasks anymore and I feel everyone around me is getting tired of having to take care of me. My wife is probably the only one I have left and still has hope that I'll eventually get better. It's only been one and a half months since I took my last pill, can I still have some hope that these sides will resolve by themselves or at least get a little bit better?
I also started working out, but it makes me feel even more tired.

I'm still looking for a doctor that is willing to investigate this matter further, but I have not been having much success here in Brazil. Somedays all I can think is giving up. Sorry for the long post, but I'm just lost and don't know what to do anymore. Good luck to all of you.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:36 pm
Posts: 32
Age: 27
Drug: None
Usage: 1.5 months
Stopped: 08 Feb 2016
Location: USA
I know it's tough - but hang in there man, I didn't take Fin, took Saw Palmetto, but I didn't see any shift from negative to going in the positive direction until 2 months or so out from the drug. Just think positive, eat healthy, abstain from masturbating (I limited it to once a week, sometimes every two weeks), get a good night's rest every night (if you have problems sleeping, try Valerian Root or Melatonin, just rotate them so you don't build a tolerance, helped me a ton), and exercise a few times a week if you can - that's what's helped me the most. Wish you the best!

_________________
Never. Quit.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:35 pm
Posts: 5
Age: 31
Drug: Propecia
Usage: 3 years
Started: 15 Jul 2012
Stopped: 07 Mar 2016
Location: Brazil
maxout777 wrote:
I know it's tough - but hang in there man, I didn't take Fin, took Saw Palmetto, but I didn't see any shift from negative to going in the positive direction until 2 months or so out from the drug. Just think positive, eat healthy, abstain from masturbating (I limited it to once a week, sometimes every two weeks), get a good night's rest every night (if you have problems sleeping, try Valerian Root or Melatonin, just rotate them so you don't build a tolerance, helped me a ton), and exercise a few times a week if you can - that's what's helped me the most. Wish you the best!


Thanks, man. I really hope you're recovering. I tried melatonin but it didn't help me very much, I keep waking up every 15 mins. After I exercise, my lymph nodes in my armpits end up swelling and I get even more tired. Doctors don't have a clue how to deal with all of this.
The worst part is that I'm loosing my mind. I don't care much about the sexual sides, but the mental ones are killing me. I still haven't reached the 2 months mark, I'll wait a little bit until I take any drastic measures.
Wish you the best too.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:36 pm
Posts: 32
Age: 27
Drug: None
Usage: 1.5 months
Stopped: 08 Feb 2016
Location: USA
tiredguy wrote:
maxout777 wrote:
I know it's tough - but hang in there man, I didn't take Fin, took Saw Palmetto, but I didn't see any shift from negative to going in the positive direction until 2 months or so out from the drug. Just think positive, eat healthy, abstain from masturbating (I limited it to once a week, sometimes every two weeks), get a good night's rest every night (if you have problems sleeping, try Valerian Root or Melatonin, just rotate them so you don't build a tolerance, helped me a ton), and exercise a few times a week if you can - that's what's helped me the most. Wish you the best!


Thanks, man. I really hope you're recovering. I tried melatonin but it didn't help me very much, I keep waking up every 15 mins. After I exercise, my lymph nodes in my armpits end up swelling and I get even more tired. Doctors don't have a clue how to deal with all of this.
The worst part is that I'm loosing my mind. I don't care much about the sexual sides, but the mental ones are killing me. I still haven't reached the 2 months mark, I'll wait a little bit until I take any drastic measures.
Wish you the best too.


If it makes you feel any better, most of my improvements have been on the mental side of the house. I had a few days where I felt near 90% mentally recovered but have gone back down a bit.

I can actually succeed in my work now (have a job in Cybersecurity) and be an effective worker where as before I was almost a mental handicap.

_________________
Never. Quit.


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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 4:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:35 pm
Posts: 5
Age: 31
Drug: Propecia
Usage: 3 years
Started: 15 Jul 2012
Stopped: 07 Mar 2016
Location: Brazil
It's great to hear that you are 90% recovered, maxout777. Unfortunately, the sexual side effects also got worse. They were very mild before, but now I can't even get an erection anymore.

Updating side effects:

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

Mental
[X] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[X] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[X] Confusion
[X] Memory Loss / Forgetfullness
[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

Physical
[ ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[X] Testicular Pain
[ ] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[X] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ ] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[X] Muscle Wastage
[X] Muscle Weakness
[X] Joint Pain
[X] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

Misc
[ ] Prostate pain
[X] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[X] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[X] Constipation / "Poo Pellets"
[X] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[X] Lowered body temperature

[X] Other (please explain)
Chronic Insomnia
Legs pain and headaches 24/7
Very sensible to noises and visual stimulation, I get scared easily
Double vision
"Sensorial delay" - I don't know if these are the right words, but when someone touches my arm for an example, it's like I only feel 1 or 2 seconds later. Same thing with hearing and sight.

Also lost my job and can't even do simple tasks anymore like going to the supermarket. Can't drive anymore, my reflexes are way too slow and I can't see properly anymore.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:35 pm
Posts: 5
Age: 31
Drug: Propecia
Usage: 3 years
Started: 15 Jul 2012
Stopped: 07 Mar 2016
Location: Brazil
Well, I'm here again to update my status. I think it has been almost 3 months since I stopped taking finasteride, it's hard to keep track of time in my head. I managed to sleep 3 nights in a row recently without the aid of any medications, but my sleep is getting worse again. At least melatonin is now helping me sleep around 6 hours a night, but I still wake up several times.

The "brain fog" got a little bit better. I can now watch some movies and have short conversations. If I try to do something more demanding like riding a car, playing video games, reading, my eyes lose focus and my brain starts to shut down. The same thing happens when I eat a cake, for example. I have already started to eat only vegetables, fruits and meat, maybe that's why my sleep got better and I'm now able to watch movies. I actually don't know if the brainfog improved or if I'm actually getting used to it. Maybe I'm just avoiding demanding things that only made it worse and I'm not actually getting better, I don't know, it's hard to measure.

In the beggining, I thought maybe I could be experiencing symptoms of sleep deprivation, but after I slept better for 3 nights, I noticed that the physical symptoms were only getting worse. So now I'm sure PFS hit me and it hit me hard. I didn't realize the damage it did to my face until recently. I think it started when I was still taking finasteride, about a year ago. My facial features began to change and, at the time, I didn't have a clue why. My nose tip got wider and lost its definition, my face got narrower, bigger and saggy cheeks, jawline disappeared. I got diagnosed with TMJ and jaw degeneration, but didn't think it was Fin related at the time. After I stopped taking it, these problems got even worse: it looks like my face melted and the skin/fat is loose now. And this happened to my whole body, not only face. My skin is very loose and my muscle disappeared. The fat from my body feels much softer now. The skin texture changed and I don't sweat anymore. My skin and hair used to be VERY oily and now I don't even have to take a bath anymore when I wake up because my hair and face looks clean. It's been really hard talking to people I knew because they keep asking if I had nose surgery or saying that I look tired, that I lost weight, that I gained weight. People notice my face changed but can't actually tell what's different.

A few days ago I also started to feel some discomfort inside my anus, probably from the prostate. I have urge to pee, urinary flow is weak and the amount of urine that comes out is very low. I also have a burning sensation that goes from inside the anus to the tip of my penis after I urinate and when I tried to ejaculate. I also lost sensitivity below my waist. My legs, penis, testicles, anus are numb. At least I can't feel much pain in my legs anymore because of this. My anus feels "soft" and loose now, I don't feel my anus anymore when I pass stool.

Went to the hospital twice because of my symptoms. Doctors told me all my blood tests are "normal" and I don't have anything apart from Vitamin D deficiency. I also have cysts in both testicles, liver and thyroid and varicocele. They didn't examine my prostate apart from all my complaints. I'll try to post my blood tests later as my brain is starting to shut down while I'm writing this, but I think my hormones (at least the ones they tested) are actually ok.

I really wish the only symptom I had was ED, I think the other ones are far more worse than not being able to have sex. I don't recognize myself in the mirror anymore, and this is making me feel even worse. My friends disappeared and the ones I talked about this, don't seem to believe me. They look at my disfigured and "tired" face and assume all I have is depression and that everything is only in my head. The only person that believes me is my wife, and I don't think that our relationship will last long. We got married recently and all the plans we had together are now gone. I think I am actually making an effort to end our marriage because I don't want to drag her down anymore, it's not fair, she doesn't deserve this. I think she can still live a happy life if she finds someone else and I don't want her taking care of me like a baby for the rest of our lives, she's too young for this. I'm trying to wait for the conclusion of the ongoing studies to make a decision about my life, but I don't know if I'll be able to make it. I wish I had at least a respectable way of dying without hurting the people that I love.

I am sorry for being so negative in this post, I don't want to discourage people, but I think I have a severe case of PFS. I think that maybe some symptoms can be reversed, but I don't think that the physical and mental changes that ocurred with me can be fixed. I'll try to hang on for a while, but I don't think I'll be able to do it much longer.

Good luck to all of you


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:06 am
Posts: 37
Age: 30
Drug: Propecia
Usage: 6 mos.
Started: 08 Aug 2015
Stopped: 02 Mar 2016
Location: St. Louis
tiredguy-

the description of your skin symptoms caught my eye. i've experienced similar dermal issues. skin around my anus was very loose while on fin, though it's resolved somewhat. and your facial skin issues sound very similar to mine. have you had any bone issues by any chance? i am considering the possibility of acromegaly on my end.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:35 pm
Posts: 5
Age: 31
Drug: Propecia
Usage: 3 years
Started: 15 Jul 2012
Stopped: 07 Mar 2016
Location: Brazil
aletheia wrote:
tiredguy-

the description of your skin symptoms caught my eye. i've experienced similar dermal issues. skin around my anus was very loose while on fin, though it's resolved somewhat. and your facial skin issues sound very similar to mine. have you had any bone issues by any chance? i am considering the possibility of acromegaly on my end.


It's hard to notice if my bones changed. My face changed a lot and continues to change, but I think I haven't had any bone issues yet. My chin, cheekbones and jaw look smaller, but I think it's actually the skin/fat/muscle that lost its structure. From my limited knowledge, it looks like I don't produce collagen anymore.

I can't do simple tasks anymore like walking, taking a bath by myself or even eating. I lack muscular strength and start shaking and I have to lay down to avoid falling when this happens.

I want to update my case with all the info I have, blood tests, mri, etc, but the brain fog and anxiety are so severe I can't function properly. I will be back and post more if I manage to get a little bit better.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:34 am
Posts: 106
Age: 30
Drug: Proscar
Usage: 4 1/2 years
Started: 01 Mar 2009
Stopped: 08 Sep 2013
Location: Netherlands
Hang in there. This will be the toughest test you'll ever face in your live. I'v been there too and it gets better in time. Make sure you don't masturbate, don't exercise too much (but do little ones) and don't eat gluten / too much carbohydrates (and this is everything, so also lactose). So first start with those three things. The crashes happen because of an enormous drop in cortisol. The stress in your body is too much.

You can do a complete gut test. 70% of the body's energy comes from te gut.
You can also do a 24h saliva cortisol test (but only after you've tested your gut). No urine or blood test!

be consistent in the three mentioned things. Learn about food! It's a hell of a journey but you will learn so much and come out stronger. At least that's what happened to me.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:07 pm
Posts: 1344
Sorry to hear your bad news. It is still early for you. You need to give it longer and see what improves. Give it a least a year or 2. You mention cysts on your testicles. Can I ask what kind of cysts? Did you get an ultasound? Are they new?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:09 am
Posts: 21
Age: 29
Drug: Propecia
Usage: 14 days
Started: 14 Sep 2010
Stopped: 29 Sep 2010
Location: Northern California
I have very similar experiences and symptoms tiredguy, but I've been off fin for 6 years and it seems the last year or so it's accelerated


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