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: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Hello. I've been visiting this forum for a few months now reading various threads. Like the title says, I am going through what the majority of people on this forum are suffering with--erectile dysfunction, lack of nocturnal erections, numbness in my penis, and shrinkage of testicles. I've never used Propecia in my life. Please take the time to read my story.

About a year and a half ago I noticed my hair was starting to slightly thin on the top. This made me extremely depressed, so impulsively I went out and bought some minoxidil 2%. By the 3rd month of use I was happy to see that there were some little hairs coming in at the front of my hairline. However, I also noticed that my erections had gradually started to become weaker, however at this point I was still waking up with morning erections and able to successfully have sex and orgasm. By about the 6th month I began weaning myself off the minoxidil just because of lazyness (would forget, or just not feel like applying it). I also didnt like how it inflamed my scalp and made it itchy. Eventually I just stopped using it.

After I was off it completely, I noticed that my full sexual function was back. However, I never linked the minoxidil to my ED to begin with so I was just happy to have my normal sex life back.

About 2 months later I started getting down about my hair loss again so I decided to get back on minoxidil. However, this time I bought the 5% strength minoxidil. The 5% was noticeably more potent as it made my scalp very irritated and itchy. About the 2nd week into using it I also noticed that the erectile dysfunction was back, but this time much more severe. At this point I was waking up every morning completely limp (pre-minox days I woke up very hard EVERY morning), I was having incredible difficulty maintaining an erection during sex (even during masturbation), my penis started feeling numb and dead, and my testicles were visibly smaller and always shriveled up. So, I quit the minoxidil cold turkey. At this point I was suspicious of the it. Up until this time I would of never guessed it was the Minoxidil as I never heard anyone ever talk about sexual side from its use. I was well aware of the side effects that propecia caused thats why I never tried it.

I started researching Minoxidil and to my surprise there have been a number of men who have had similar side effects from using it. I began reading websites that stated "overdose of Minoxidil can cause sexual side effects such as ED and decreased libido". This site even states that these side effects may not go away after discontinuing it: http://www.hairlosscompare.com/hair-loss/reviews/minoxidil.html. Ive even read that Minoxidil acts as a DHT blocker, and from what I gathered from reading this website, the blocking of DHT may be a big cause of our problems. This site states that Minoxidil does indeed block DHT: http://health.ezineseeker.com/how-does-minoxidil-work-14dc9b96b3.html.

It is now been 7 months since I had totally quit the Minoxidil and I have not gotten any better. I havent had a morning erection in months, I no longer have random erections throughout the day, my ability to maintain an erection during sex is very difficult, and my penis still feels like its numb at times (like a dead, uncomfortable feeling). This has depressed me beyond belief. Before I ever started using the minox I never, ever had a problem with my sexual function. Ive talked to my regular doctor and he doesnt see anything wrong. He prescribed me viag, but it was only slightly effective.

Now I strongly fear the cause of my sides is similar to what propecia does in regard to its effect on DHT. Is this going to be permanent? Im only 25 and Im really scared about this. Someone please give me advice.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:34 pm 
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Get blood test as outlined in the FAQ section of the site


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:41 pm 
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I wish I could get blood tests done, however I dont have insurance and I cant afford the tests.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:56 pm 
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The site you quoted from that Minoxidil is a DHT inhibitor has it's information completely backwards.

Minoxidil is not a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor and thus does not inhibit DHT. It is a potassium channel opener and vasodilator, meaning it promotes blood circulation and affects blood pressure.

http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00350
http://www.baldingblog.com/2008/06/30/d ... hibit-dht/

The drug can have negative effects on blood pressure and the heart, so if you are experiencing ED, it's likely that might be why. Go to the doctor and get things checked out. If you can't afford bloodwork, then I guess you'll need to either go make some money, ask your parents, get some insurance, or some other alternative.

IF the minoxidil solution you were using also contained Finasteride (DHT inhibitor) in liquid form, then you might be onto something. However, if not I suggest you investigate hair loss and Minoxidil specific forums for more answers to your questions.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:07 am 
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I kept the bottle of the Minoxidil I was using and only ingredients listed is "Minoxidil 5% w/v". Although I'm not sure what the w/v is?

Also, I wasn't aware that they made minoxidil that contains Finasteride, does that exist?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:54 am 
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"w/v" means "weight/volume".

Certain doctors, particularly online, offer solutions with Finasteride mixed in.

Anyway, good luck. I think we've provided as much advice as we can given your situation, since you never took Finasteride or a DHT inhibitor, and say you can't even get bloodwork at this stage.

If everything checks out with the doc, you'll need to consider your issues may be psychological in nature and could benefit from a psychologist or sex therapist.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:56 am 
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So, you really think that my ED, my total loss of morning erections, my numb feeling, shriveled penis and shrunken testicles could just be psychological? lol Man, I wish it was just psychological. Youre starting to sound like the doctors who tell post-Fin sufferers that it's "all in their head".

Im sorry that my sides arent from propecia use, but rather another hair growth product. But it seems the side effects Im experiencing are exactely like what ya'll are experiencing. I'm just trying to get some insight from people on this forum as this has been extremely difficult for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:11 am 
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Quote:
total loss of morning erections, my numb feeling, shriveled penis and shrunken testicles


Fair enough, I'm not going to argue with you here. I don't know why, nobody does, nobody is a doctor here and you can't diagnose over the Internet.

BUT -- the fact is you didn't take a DHT inhibitor, so that in of itself points to another issue. As I mentioned, Minox affects blood pressure and some guys have had issues from it's use in this regard, so it's possible this may be what's going on in your case.

Speak to your doc, get bloodwork. Not sure what else to tell you. Since this is not a Minoxidil forum, I recommend you visit one where others have experienced same issues you have from that medication, and would be more able to provide insights and hopefully treatment ideas.

The mechanisms of Minox and Finasteride are completely unrelated. You did not inhibit DHT and thus by this very fact, the root cause of your symptoms cannot be the same as those of a Finasteride sufferer. Hence why I recommend you seek out Minoxidil specific forums for more answers to your situation -- they will be your best bet. This isn't a "general sexual dysfunction" forum, there are tons of those on the Internet, and this forum caters to a specific demographic (5AR inhibitors).

If you do not fall within this, ultimately the cause of your situation is not related to ours. Sorry but that's the truth. That's not to say the general treatment ideas presented on this site aren't beneficial, but if we allowed every person who had ED to post on this site who had never taken Finasteride or a 5AR inhibitor, there'd be no point in having a 5AR inhibitor-specific forum in the first place; this site would turn into one of the aforementioned general sexual dysfunction type of forums.

Anyway, good luck.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:16 am 
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12xu,

Thank you for your excellent post. I am open minded to your suffering.
I am a doctor myself, but predominantly a sufferer of Finasteride for 9 years. I have made good progress.

I was discussing my suffering with one of my consultants at work (actually we had a phone discussion). He is the most intelligent man I have ever met with a formal IQ of 181. He has written many medical textbooks. He was not surprised to hear of my suffering and stated he stayed away from both Minoxidil and Propecia when he realised he was losing his hair. He suffers from psychotic depression and takes many sensible measures to alleviate his symptoms (selegine, Vit D, 30 minutes of sunshine per day, even refuses to drink out of plastic bottles as the bottles contain phylates which can cause depression!). He stayed away from minoxidil due to its association with depression.

I have also read that minoxidil is a DHT inhibitor. In the same way that finasteride was not supposed to cause permanent damage, it is possible that minoxidil can. And possibly via the same mechanism of action of Finasteride. Certainly long term side effects of discontinuation are associated with Accutane, SSRIs, and other drugs that are not supposed to.

Mew is in charge here, (frankly he rules this site to perfection) and is quite clear that this site is only for Finasteride sufferers. Any expansion would dilute the quality of posts and the undermine the specific goal of this website; to alleviate suffering in our specific group of people.

Indeed doctors are highly frustrating (I am similarly mistreated despite being part of the medical fraternity). Whether Mew allows you to post or not, I'm not sure, but I hope you can gain a lot from our posts and our findings.

Of particular note, please get a full hormone profile done (including Vitamin D and 3 Adiol G level, see HORMONES section). This is vital.

Take care of yourself, keep your hopes up and educate yourself.

JN


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:26 am 
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Quote:
I have also read that minoxidil is a DHT inhibitor.


Where have you read this? Please provide a scientific source.

Quote:
Mew is in charge here, (frankly he rules this site to perfection) and is quite clear that this site is only for Finasteride sufferers. Any expansion would dilute the quality of posts and the undermine the specific goal of this website; to alleviate suffering in our specific group of people.


I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just stating the obvious: if we took membership from every person suffering from ED, loss of libido etc when they never even took Finasteride/5ARIs, the site would become exactly as you state: diluted, non-specific case studies unrelated to 5ARIs... ultimately making it pointless in the end.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Mew wrote:
Quote:
I have also read that minoxidil is a DHT inhibitor.


Where have you read this? Please provide a scientific source.

Quote:
Mew is in charge here, (frankly he rules this site to perfection) and is quite clear that this site is only for Finasteride sufferers. Any expansion would dilute the quality of posts and the undermine the specific goal of this website; to alleviate suffering in our specific group of people.


I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just stating the obvious: if we took membership from every person suffering from ED, loss of libido etc when they never even took Finasteride/5ARIs, the site would become exactly as you state: diluted, non-specific case studies unrelated to 5ARIs... ultimately making it pointless in the end.



I put the link in my original post--that's at least where i read it. Also, the link you put up to argue against it, well that on that same site that same doctor replied to another user who complained about suffering from the sexual side effects of rogaine. He basically told the user that its impossible for rogaine to cause sexual side effects. Its like all us former minox users who are complaining about this are just making stuff up? I don't believe that doctor is very credible.

You don't seem very welcoming, I apologize for being so burdensome to you and your site you man. The only reason I posted here is because my problems are caused by another hair growth med. This isn't just random getting old type of ED (im 25!). This is something in Minoxidil that has seriously fucked me up type of ED. Again, my side effects are EXACTLY like what people on here are going through--that's why I came here. These are not typical performance anxiety/psychological problems: My Dick has shriveled, my at any given moment my balls are either shriveled or hang really low, my morning erections are completely gone, I never get random erections anymore, my penis feels totally lifeless and numb, I can no longer get hard by thoughts/visual stimuli...I had absolutely NONE of these problems until I started on the Rogaine.

And I have posted on other sites, but have had little feedback. You know, like when you complain about side effects and then PEOPLE TELL YOU ITS ALL IN YOUR HEAD. Yeah, I think you can understand the frusteration.


Last edited by 12XU on Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:23 pm 
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sufferer2001recovered2009 wrote:
12xu,

Thank you for your excellent post. I am open minded to your suffering.
I am a doctor myself, but predominantly a sufferer of Finasteride for 9 years. I have made good progress.

I was discussing my suffering with one of my consultants at work (actually we had a phone discussion). He is the most intelligent man I have ever met with a formal IQ of 181. He has written many medical textbooks. He was not surprised to hear of my suffering and stated he stayed away from both Minoxidil and Propecia when he realised he was losing his hair. He suffers from psychotic depression and takes many sensible measures to alleviate his symptoms (selegine, Vit D, 30 minutes of sunshine per day, even refuses to drink out of plastic bottles as the bottles contain phylates which can cause depression!). He stayed away from minoxidil due to its association with depression.

I have also read that minoxidil is a DHT inhibitor. In the same way that finasteride was not supposed to cause permanent damage, it is possible that minoxidil can. And possibly via the same mechanism of action of Finasteride. Certainly long term side effects of discontinuation are associated with Accutane, SSRIs, and other drugs that are not supposed to.



Mew is in charge here, (frankly he rules this site to perfection) and is quite clear that this site is only for Finasteride sufferers. Any expansion would dilute the quality of posts and the undermine the specific goal of this website; to alleviate suffering in our specific group of people.

Indeed doctors are highly frustrating (I am similarly mistreated despite being part of the medical fraternity). Whether Mew allows you to post or not, I'm not sure, but I hope you can gain a lot from our posts and our findings.

Of particular note, please get a full hormone profile done (including Vitamin D and 3 Adiol G level, see HORMONES section). This is vital.

Take care of yourself, keep your hopes up and educate yourself.

JN



Good I am glad someone else has also read about its DHT inhibiting effects. That link I posted wasnt the only place Ive read about it, Ive just generally heard about it blocking DHT in the past, thats what I was under the impression it did to stop hair loss.

Whatever it did it has messed me up badly, and unfortunately the effects feel like they could be permanent. Im not trying to take away from the quality of this site, but I cant help that minox has had the same effects on me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:49 pm 
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12XU,

I understand your frustration. The arrogance and lack of care shown by many doctors is vile and incomprehensible. Most are unwilling to even be openminded. Trust me, I AM a doctor and I am disgusted by the profession; so much so I am considering leaving my job. I have lost a lot of faith. I have spent countless thousands of dollars on simply 'trying to be believed.' We are, however, making progress.

Whilst I am glad you have posted, I agree with Mew that this site should be kept for Finasteride sufferers only. I mean, how far are we going to cast the net in attempt to cure everyone's maladies? No, this site is for finasteride sufferers only.

I accept that your symptoms may be caused by the very same underlying mechanisms which have messed us up. Please, educate yourself with the excellent information we have collated; specifically a full hormone panel (including Adiol G and Vit D...please see hormone sections). This is vital to your recovery process and it's important you channel your anger and frustrations productively. The information contained in the 'Hormone' section is gold.

I'd also advise cross referencing with information from Accutane sufferer and SSRI sufferer sites.

I wish you luck and take care.

JN


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:10 pm 
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Quote:
I put the link in my original post--that's at least where i read it.


The link you provided -- http://health.ezineseeker.com/how-does- ... b96b3.html -- is not from a scientific resource. It's from "Rob Hawkins", some anonymous Internet author. This article is in fact an AD for the author's hairloss treatment products. Note the bit towards the end of article:

Quote:
"Visit my website today to learn more about a cure for hair loss with these natural substances that is excellent for promoting new hair growth and optimum health.

Author Description :
Discover the best natural hair loss treatment available today. Rob Hawkins is a dedicated researcher of nutrition, diet and hair loss issues that affect both men and women. Take a moment to visit his site now at http://hairloss-solutions-site.com to learn about a new natural remedy that he recently discovered
."


Clicking the link above takes you to a landing page. Clicking "learn more about this new natural hair loss remedy" at bottom of THAT page takes you to http://www.provillus.com/ , one of the biggest SCAMS in the hair loss community, as it is simply a bunch of herbs one can buy off the shelf -- http://www.provillus.com/int/men/ingredients.php

My point is, YOU have taken the above SPAM article as scientific fact. That is where the error in judgement lies.

Minoxidil is NOT A DHT INHIBITOR. This is confirmed in numerous scientific papers, and organizations such as the Mayo Clinic -- http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.com/co ... 6.abstract ("Two US Food and Drug Administration-approved hair-loss pharmacotherapies—the potassium channel opener minoxidil and the dihydrotestosterone synthesis inhibitor finasteride").

Furthermore:

Quote:
http://archderm.highwire.org/cgi/conten ... t/123/1/59
Topical Minoxidil Does Not Act as an Antiandrogen in the Flank Organ of the Golden Syrian Hamster

"Little is known about the mechanism of action of minoxidil-induced hair growth in male pattern baldness. We studied the potential antiandrogenic effect of topical minoxidil administered at the same dose and in the same vehicle that has been used successfully clinically in human subjects on the androgen-dependent cutaneous structures of the flank organ of the golden Syrian hamster. Minoxidil applied topically to one flank organ had no androgenic effect. Neither 1% nor 5% minoxidil topically applied for three weeks prevented the androgen-dependent growth of the pigmented spot, the sebaceous gland, or the hair follicle diameter induced by subcutaneous Silastic capsules filled with crystalline testosterone. As a positive control in the same experiments, 5% progesterone did significantly inhibit pigment and sebaceous gland enlargement. We conclude that there is no antiandrogenic component to the mechanism of action of topical minoxidil in the hamster flank organ, and thus there is probably no antiandrogenic role in man either."


Quote:
Minoxidil increases 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 5α-reductase activity of cultured human dermal papilla cells from balding scalp
http://www.jdsjournal.com/article/S0923-1811(98)00048-6/abstract

"Minoxidil is known to induce hair growth in male pattern baldness, for which development androgen plays a central role. We studied the effect of minoxidil on testosterone metabolism by cultured dermal papilla cells from balding or nonbalding scalp and dermal fibroblasts. In all three groups, 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity was much higher than 5α-reductase activity. Minoxidil increased 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity by nearly 40% (P<0.001) in dermal papilla cells of balding scalp, whereas the effect was less marked in dermal papilla cells from nonbalding scalp and dermal fibroblasts. 5α-Reductase activity was also slightly increased by minoxidil in dermal papilla cells from balding scalp. Again, the effect on 5α-reductase activity was insignificant in the other two groups of cells. Whether such modification of testosterone metabolism in dermal papilla cells of balding scalp by minoxidil is related to its therapeutic effect remains unknown."


Knowing this, you do NOT suffer from the same mechanisms which caused Finasteride-induced permanent symptoms. I'm sorry you are suffering from problems, but because both drugs work completely differently, treatment of your problem will likely focus on a much different set of targets. You need to investigate more how Minoxidil works if you want to get help from the doctor -- for example, I've already provided info regarding effects on blood pressure. Changes in blood pressure can affect erectile function.


Quote:
Also, the link you put up to argue against it, well that on that same site that same doctor replied to another user who complained about suffering from the sexual side effects of rogaine. He basically told the user that its impossible for rogaine to cause sexual side effects. Its like all us former minox users who are complaining about this are just making stuff up? I don't believe that doctor is very credible.


Did you neglect to read the link I provided PRIOR to the baldingblog one? Here it is again -- http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00350

That doctor, while he may dismiss numerous permanent side effects from Finasteride use, and possibly Minoxidil use, is only quoting from literature which we are also referencing. The scientific literature I have read thus far does NOT state Minox acts as a DHT inhibitor, rather that it is a potassium channel opener. You need to either provide documented scientific papers that corroborate your belief (not SPAM blogs), or accept this fact.


Quote:
You don't seem very welcoming, I apologize for being so burdensome to you and your site you man. The only reason I posted here is because my problems are caused by another hair growth med.


Honestly, I and the moderators had the choice to APPROVE or DISAPPROVE your post before it was even made, since we moderate all new users. We decided to let you post considering your story. However, now I can see this has been a mistake, for reasons already mentioned -- you do not fit the demographic of this site and hence enabling those who have not taken a 5AR inhibitor to post, often stirs up controversy and wastes everyone's time in the end. I'm not trying to offend you with that comment but honestly, so far all you've done is argue based on false facts in the first place, and counter various useful advice given thus far with excuses.

Quote:
Again, my side effects are EXACTLY like what people on here are going through--that's why I came here.


The title of this forum is Propeciahelp. It's content is related to 5ARI inhibition. Minoxidil is not a 5AR inhibitor. Ergo, a forum dedicated to Minoxidil related issues is your best bet. We are not attempting to cast the net wide to include all people with sexual dysfunction from various medications, as JN put it, otherwise this site would be a general sexual dysfunction website. While I sympathise with the fact you are experiencing similar side effects as users here report, the fact is you took a completely unrelated medication and thus the root cause of your problems will be different.


Quote:
I had absolutely NONE of these problems until I started on the Rogaine.


Hence why you should seek out experts and forums on Minoxidil use. We are NOT those men.


Quote:
And I have posted on other sites, but have had little feedback.


I'm sorry then... perhaps consider finding more sites to post on, or create your own forum and website for permanent Minoxidil side effects to connect with others experiencing same?


Quote:
Good I am glad someone else has also read about its DHT inhibiting effects. That link I posted wasnt the only place Ive read about it, Ive just generally heard about it blocking DHT in the past, thats what I was under the impression it did to stop hair loss.


Again, neither of you has provided scientific evidence to backup this concept. Until proven otherwise, Minox is well known to operate as a potassium channel opender and vasodilator, not a DHT inhibitor.

Quote:
Whatever it did it has messed me up badly, and unfortunately the effects feel like they could be permanent. Im not trying to take away from the quality of this site, but I cant help that minox has had the same effects on me.


Sorry to hear that, but again -- besides the blood test suggestions, not sure what else we can offer you to investigate. I recommend you do some serious reading on Google Scholar and Google Books to better understand Minoxidil's mechanisms of action, so you can hopefully find the source of your issues with a doctor's help.

Good luck.

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