I have been reading this forum for the past 7 months or so and wanted to share my story with everyone. I started using Propecia in early 2002 and quit on January 16, 2010. The first five years I used the drug I didn't notice any problems, my sexual function was great and I didn't have the brainfog or other symtoms, except for dry skin and lower body temp in the winter. In late 2007, I started to have some problems maintaining an errection during sex. I kinda ignored it at first because it didn't happen all that often and I wasn't in a steady relationship. In the spring of 2008 I went to a urolgist and explained the situation to him. He gave me a prostate exam and throught my prostate felt kinda soft and prescribed antibiotics. I also ordered some viagra off the internet since he wouldn't give me any, said I was too young as I was only 25 at the time. I didn't take all the antibiotics because I really didn't think I had a prostate problem and started using the viagra. The viagra worked well and I never suspected propecia was the problem so I kept taking it. In August 2008 I got a really bad prostate infection, felt like I always had to pee but couldn't get a good flow going. I took the rest of the antibiotics and felt better in a week or two. In February 2009 I got another bad prostate infection but ignored it and it eventually went away. Finally in June 2009 I went to a different uroglist and explained my problems to him. He was very nice and prescribed some antiobiotic that started with a D, I forget the exact name. It didn't work at all and I went back a month later. This time he prescribed cipro for 15 days, and it kicked in and worked great. My sexual function came back, no more weak errections, I felt great. This lasted until January 2010 when everything fell apart. I was with a girl in early January, shortly after New Years Eve when I did drink a lot, and could not get it up at all. This had never happened to me before. I felt terrible. I was also having a weak urinary stream and didn't feel like myself. A few weeks later the same thing happened again, I could not get it up at all. When I tried to masturbate it was it was a struggle to get it up but I managed weak errections. Low sperm volume, my prostate felt clogged all the time it was terrible! I started doing some research on propecia and came across this site. I was scared to death and quit cold turkey on January 16th.
The first few days off propecia were hell but about day 4 I started to feel better and by day 5 and 6 I felt great. I was horny all the time, could feel the scalp burning from DHT returning, strong morning errections came back. I though I was cured. Then came the crash, after about a week of feeling great. I went back to the second doctor I visted and told him what happened. He didn't say too much but felt another round of cipro would help things as he felt it was a prostate issue. He did say that finisteride can cause sexual sides and felt I should stay away from it. I did another course of Cipro and felt better, I was also taking viagra which helped with the errections. He tested my T and it came in at 5.2 which he said was normal. On a side note, I didn't have major problems with sleeping or brain fog except for maybe a few days after I quit taking propecia.
The next four months were very up and down for me with good days and bad days. My sex drive was definitly lower than when I was on propecia but my errections and urinary flow were improving. March and April were a real rollercoaster, some good days and some bad days but I was feeling some improvement. I was trying a variety of things to help my recovery such as creatine, horney goat weed, quercetin, etc. Overall I think they helped a little but the effects seemed to wear off if I took them for a few weeks. Creatine seemed to work great for a few days then wore off. By May my errections were much better but the sensation in my penis seemed to be lacking. My urinary symtoms were much better and my sex drive was improving but still no where near it once was. In June things continued to get better with more good days than bad, my sex drive was coming back, sensation was improving and errections were almost back to 100%. I felt like I made some real improvement by late June. This past month has been pretty good, my errections are back to normal, sex drive is still 75% of where it once was, sensation is 90% of where it once was, semen volume is better than it has ever been, urinary symtoms are 100% better. My prostate no longer feels cloged up. This is after 6 1/2 months of quiting.
My overall thoughts on the drug and what it did to me. I think when I was on the drug my problems were prostate related, I think the lack of DHT caused my prostate to get smaller and weaken (over many years) which in turn caused inflamation, weak errections, poor urinary flow. When I quit the drug I think my body's T, DHT, free T, levels got all out of wack. This caused the sex drive and sensation issues. I am not a doctor I am just speculating here. After a few months my body is readjusting to the higher DHT level's and I am seeing improvement, my hair is also thinning out which is a good sign. The first major improvement was with my prostate and I think that is because my DHT levels have improved. I think the sex drive, sensation issues will continue to improve with time. Lastly, I think this drug effects everyone differently. Some people seem to have problems the moment after they start taking it while others develop problems over time. I have done a lot of research and thought a lot about this over the past few months and I still don't understand why I took this drug for 5 years without problems. I do think over time most people that take propecia will develop problems, not the 2% Merck claims. As of today I feel pretty good, proably 90-95% recovered. I think the last 5-10% will come very slowly with time. Feel free to ask my any questions, I may have left a few things out of this long post.