0) Where are you from (country)?
Philadelphia, PA (USA)
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?)
Occasionally read various thoughts throughout the years.
2) What is your current age, height, weight?
33 yrs-old, 6'-even, 205 lbs
3) Do you excercise regularly? If so, what type of excercise?
I get some exercise but not nearly as much as when my testosterone titers were above of the third quartile for my age group.
4) What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)?
Very limited fast-food since the year 2005. About 3000 calories/day and includes meat.
5) Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)?
I took finasteride for hair loss.
6) For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)?
I took finasteride for 4.5 years.
7) How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start Finasteride?
I started finasteride at age 25
8) How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
I quit finasteride when I was 29 years old. The approximate date was October 2012 when my endocrinologist stated "Do you want your libido or your hair?" with reference to his instruction for me to discontinue my use of finasteride.
9) How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
10) What type of Finasteride did you use – Propecia, Proscar, Fincar or other generic?
Started with Propecia (TM) for 2 years before transitioning to splitting 5mg tablets (generic Proscar).
11) What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
My dosage with Propecia (1mg) was 1 tablet every day.
12) How long into your use of Finasteride did you notice the onset of side effects?
I noticed an absence of both libido/sexual interest and morning erections sometime between my son being conceived and his birth in February 2012. Additionally, during this time I experienced lethargy and had extreme difficulties with driving my car.
13) What side effects did you experience while on the drug that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Morning erections and sexual motivation have yet to resolve. Interestingly, my inhibited sexual interest (attraction) has indeed resolved, while the motivation to engage in sexual activities is near absent. Also, both my perceived ejaculate volume and perceived penile engorgement during self-stimulated erections are markedly decreased. Further, while I never experienced tinnitus during early years off finasteride, these past few years I have noticed regular 20-30 second bouts (1-2 times a day; not specific to ambient noise scenarios or time of day) of tinnitus.
Put an X beside all that apply:
[X] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[X] Erectile Dysfunction (Only this past year or two)
[X] Complete Impotence (Since December 2014)
[X] Loss of Morning Erections
[X] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ ] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[ ] Watery Ejaculate (On the contrary, it is very dense)
[X] Reduced Ejaculate
[X] Inability to Ejaculate / Orgasm (Better characterized as reduced ability rather than 'inability')
[ ] Reduced Sperm Count / Motility (Not assessed)
[ ] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat (On the contrary, I experience more profound emotionality at inappropriate times [e.g. crying during happy T.V. commercials]).
[X] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating (I now require a prescription of mixed amphetamine salts to prevent excessive lethargy and facilitate my awareness of other cars in my periphery while driving.)
[ ] Confusion (Not so much with my prescription of mixed amphetamine salts)
[ ] Memory Loss / Forgetfullness (Not so much with my prescription of mixed amphetamine salts)
[ ] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought (Not so much with my prescription of mixed amphetamine salts)
[ ] Slurring of Speech (Not so much with my prescription of mixed amphetamine salts)
[X] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[ ] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks (None)
[ ] Severe Depression / Melancholy
[ ] Suicidal Thoughts (None)
[X] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[ ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[X] Testicular Pain (Multi-day bouts [4-7 days] which occur 2 or 3 times a year)
[X] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness (Indeed, my perceived testicular volumes are profoundly reduced. Additionally, they easily retract into my groin at all times and are always situated much closer to my body compared to as I remember)
[X] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
[X] Weight Gain
[ ] Gynecomastia (male breasts)
[ ] Muscle Wastage
[ ] Muscle Weakness
[X] Joint Pain
[ ] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes
[ ] Prostate pain (Not sure but I have noticeable changes in urinary flow)
[X] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[ ] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
[ ] Constipation / "Poo Pellets"
[X] Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness (Have since required prescription glasses)
[ ] Increased hair loss
[ ] Frequent urination
[ ] Lowered body temperature
[X] Other (please explain) (Tinnitus)
14) What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
October 2012 - 7/2014: hCG (2000 I.U./Every other day).
5/2015-Current: Cialis (TM) Once-a-day.
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)?
Regular and extensive laboratory blood-evaluations during the last 8 months on finasteride use, as well as post-finasteride discontinuation. At time of post-finasteride discontinuation I had completed an MRI (negative for prolactinoma) and Liver ultrasonagraphy. Further, I was ordered scrotum Doppler ultrasonography but have not had this test completed to date. I have all these records in my possession.
16) Anything not listed in the above questions you'd like to share about your experience with Finasteride?
About the time of starting Propecia (TM) I sought my first treatment to permanently abstain from my alcohol consumption. At that time I had alcoholism. After 2 relapses between May/2008 and June/2010 I was indeed to permanently abstain from alcohol consumption in June/2010.
At time of discontinuation of finasteride I had transaminitis and hyperprolactemia. Later and again diagnosed with hyperpropactemia. Again, later diagnosed with hyperpropactemia as well as hypercortisolism. Fall 2014 (After hCG discontinuation), both prolactin and cortisol had normalized, however bioavailable testosterone levels were low-normal despite having abnormally low total testosterone. Moreover, these low-normal levels of bioavailable testosterone despite having abnormally low testosterone are consistently found in conjunction with low/low-normal SHBG; recent blood work has confirmed that these parameters have not changed much since post-hCG discontinuation.
TOTAL TESTOSTERONE 9/08/2014: 201 (241-827 ng/dL); 8/20/2015: 343.4 (249.0-836.0 ng/dL); 6/01/2016: 314 (250-1100 ng/dL).
FREE TESTOSTERONE 6/01/2016: 75.2 (46.0-224.0 pg/mL).
BIOAVAILABLE TESTOSTERONE 6/01/2016:170.0 (110.0 - 57.0 ng/dL).
SHBG 6/01/2016: 12 (10 - 50 nmol/L).
Albumin 6/01/2016: 5.0 (3.6 - 5.1 g/dL).
17) Tell us your story, in your own words, about your Finasteride usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
I became had laboratory confirmed hypogonadism in Febuary 2012 while still on finasteride. I have been diagnosed hypogonadotropic hypogonadism since October 2012 where I was given the ultimatum by my endocrinologist: "Do you want your libido or do you want your hair?"