1) How did you find this forum? Internet search 3 years ago, now back after attempting several things.
2) What is your current age, height, weight? 29, 6 ft. 2 in, 205 lbs
3) Do you excercise regularly? If so, what type of excercise? weights 3x week, yoga / running 1x week.
4) What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)? organics with meat for weight lifting purposes
5) Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)? I started losing my hair at 17, started Propecia at 18.
6) For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)? 8.5 yrs, until 26.5 yrs old.
7) How old were you when you started Finasteride? 18
8) How old were you when you quit? 26.5
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? Propecia
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 noticed some difficulty getting an erection and decreased sensitivity while still taking Propecia. Further, I had some "IBS" symptoms which I could not seem to get rid of. Knowing what I know now, I believe these were the result of finasteride.
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:
[X] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[ XX] Erectile Dysfunction
[ ] Complete Impotence
[ ] Loss of Morning Erections
[ X] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[ XXX] Watery Ejaculate
[XXX ] Reduced Ejaculate
[XXXX ] Inability to Ejaculate / Orgasm
[ ?] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility
[ XX] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[ XX] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ ] Confusion
[ X] Memory Loss / Forgetfullness
[ ] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
[ ] Slurring of Speech
[ X] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[ ] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ X] Depression / Melancholy
[XX ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[X ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[ X] Testicular Pain
[ XX] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[ XX] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[ XX] Weight Gain
[ X] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ X] Muscle Wastage
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[ X] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes
[ X] Prostate pain
[ ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[ X] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[X ] Constipation / "Poo Pellets"
[ ] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[ ] Lowered body temperature
[ ] Other (please explain)
Trouble voiding; e.g., the feeling that there is still cum / urine in the urethra after peeing / ejaculating sometimes
14) What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
I've tried various natural treatments
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)?
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.
I got off Propecia in 2013 after having trouble with "IBS" and loss of sensitivity. I experienced the usual two week upswing, followed by a crash where I was borderline crazy, and could not get any erections. I saw a string of doctors, some of whom told me I was in my own head, that it was impossible for Propecia to cause this, etc. I found this forum, and felt a sense of dread. I decided to ignore this forum for a while and see if I could improve on my own.
Eventually after 6 months of just weight lifting and eating better, I got to an integrative doctor. He was able to help me with my "IBS." I think Propecia causes inflammation, which led to my problems with digestion. I cleaned up my diet further, went mostly off dairy, and added digestive enzymes (digestizymeV is good) and a probiotic (Orthobiotic - is the brand). Both have been helpful, and I continue to take them today. Further, he added Vitamin D3, and I was already taking fish oil and a multi vitamin. None of this is earth shattering, but combined with diet and weights, I began to improve. Zinc (50mg) sometimes also led to monster erections, which can be fun.
I had about 3 months of serious depression / REM cycle sleep issues. That eventually stopped. My mental sides are the part that is most improved. I think diet, exercise and time are the most helpful things I can point to that have helped me. I've only taken some protein powder ("natural") as a supplement. I've read in a few places, including here, that creatine has led to crashes. I still might try it though.
In the last three years, I've tried a few other supplements that have done nothing for me. They include:
-Maca: no influence. Whole Foods brand pills.
-Evening Primrose Oil (allegedly for penile shrinkage) - no help - Trader Joes Brand.
I also take MitoEnergy, and MitoActivate, which are expensive Copper and Multivitamin supplements, respectively, that my integrative guy recommended. They are also used by people with other chronic, not understood syndromes. I've had other doctors look at the ingredients, and they think that there is nothing harmful in them, but they are also sceptical that they do anything.
Improvements: I have more energy. I think clearly. I was able to get through law school and pass the bar exam and get a job as a lawyer (and I've looked into it, Merck has made it pretty damn difficult to sue on this junk). I can even have sex, so I consider myself fairly lucky. My main problems now, 3 years out, is the anhedonia / flatness, and the lack of sensitivity. Without manual stimulation I can only get off like 10% of the time. And it decreases the longer I'm with a girl. (the newness is helping me out at first).
Nevertheless, last year I was well enough to start a relationship. I'm still dating that girl, and we are good. But she wanted me to try to get some help again. (I've had mixed results - the integrative guy was helpful, but other docs have said it was all in my head, or that I just need to lose weight).
My testosterone was been low: in 2013 it was at 310, then 370, and then this year at 270, despite a focus on weight lifting and eating meat. I've now been back through the ringer of the medical industrial complex, and have done the following: January: went to planned parenthood to try and get antibiotics for prostate pain (I get intermittent dull aches, weight lifting and pomegranate juice help, but do not always alleviate). Dr. won't give antibiotics unless you show an infection, which my blood work never does. Then I get referred to a urologist. He was skeptical and useless. He referred me to a Endocrinologist. Today, she recommended Clomid. I'm about at the end of the line here. I'm worried about the long term effects of low testosterone, and also worried about taking another prescription drug. I've tried to beat this with natural stuff, but at this point I think the risk of Clomid is worth attempting to jump start my testosterone .
My apologies on the grammar of this post, but the last thing I care about is editing for grammar in an online forum for propecia. I already feel like managing this thing has taken over my life; I don't want to spend any more time on this than I have to.
If I had to put a percentage on how I feel, I'd say that on average, I'm at like 60%. I also have had temporary success with some cleanses. I suspect that is from lowered fat percentages, but what the hell do I know, I'm not a scientist / MD.
Ask any questions you might have, I'll check back soonish. I also am curious to hear your thoughts on Clomid. In particular, I am worried about it because I have an epididymal cyst (they ultrasounded and its normal) but I know Clomid has a link to uterine cysts, and I'd hate to exacerbate something if I can avoid it. But I also think it's my only option.