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Finasteride Side Effects Advice


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I’m 23 years old, I’m here to tell you about my hair loss journey. I started thinning around 18-19 years old. I hopped on minoxidil when I was 20 that worked for a while until it didn’t. Just recently I tried topical fin, but it became to hard to maintain a routine, and my thinning was diffuse so I had to apply the medication on my whole scalp, which became a pain. So I decided to start oral fin again, the first time I did, I had side side effects. This time I had a clear head and started at .25 mg every day. I started around February 17. Almost hitting the two month mark. The first two weeks were rough, with my body adjusting to the drug, I had brain fog bad. It was so hard to concentrate on anything, but that went away. Now I’m experiencing weaker erections, I get no morning wood since I stated the drug. It just doesn’t feel the same down there anymore. My sperm volume is much lower as well. Some days my erections are better than others. If I try to masterbate in the morning I can’t get fully hard, but mid day I actually get decent hard, but it still doesn’t feel the same as before taking the drug. Also if I drink I can not get hard no way. My question is, has anyone experienced these side effects and if they went away after continuance of the drug? Should I quit ? I really want to stay on it, but I’m afraid of permanent sides. Thanks for any and all advice. 

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I never experienced brain fog or cognitive issues, but did have ED. As soon as I noticed I quit cold turkey. In hindsight I was your age, quitting cold turkey was a bad idea. Only you can answer whether you should quit or not.

I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

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Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

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39 minutes ago, Melvin-Moderator said:

I never experienced brain fog or cognitive issues, but did have ED. As soon as I noticed I quit cold turkey. In hindsight I was your age, quitting cold turkey was a bad idea. Only you can answer whether you should quit or not.

When you say you quit cold turkey. Is it because you need to ease off the drug or you wanted to wait longer to see if continuance of the drug would stop side effects? Have you heard of anyone with luck with this method? I’m only taking .25mg every day right now. I assume you were on 1 mg a day?

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If you believe the finasteride to be the causes of the side effects you are experiencing . . It simply boils down to what you value more, ie. in terms of what provides you personally with a better qualify of life. 

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36 minutes ago, Nickpatay12 said:

When you say you quit cold turkey. Is it because you need to ease off the drug or you wanted to wait longer to see if continuance of the drug would stop side effects? Have you heard of anyone with luck with this method? I’m only taking .25mg every day right now. I assume you were on 1 mg a day?

Yes you need to ease off of it 

I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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Years ago when the Merck reps visited the clinic, I recall the many conversations we had about the subject.  Back then there was no generic.  the verbiage included "there is more testosterone with the med than without" so, you should be wanting more, not less.  The patent expired and then came Finasteride, (which is now available as a 1mg tab).  Back then, however, you had to split the 5 mg tab, (which is still being done today). The issue with this is the fact that the tab does not come pre-scored.  So you really never get .25mg regularly, this will vary.  That being said, side effects were also discussed.  The main one was loss of interest when it comes to sex.  It covered none of the issues you have brought up. Could you be experiencing something else and the fact you are taking the pill is just coincidental? Perhaps it is the pill.  So, are you under a doctor's supervision? Who put you on the med? I would start discussing alternatives of use.  You could start by using it every other day and see what happens. Keep in mind there are also other alternatives like Laser therapy, Rogaine, PRP.  But do get on something to help you retain.  Lastly, I have been on the med for 30+ years.  I always think of the med as a positive and not a negative - and concentrate on the fact that I'll have more testosterone." So, it is a mental issue? Perhaps.  Don't over think it and discuss with your physician.

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2 hours ago, Nickpatay12 said:

I’m 23 years old, I’m here to tell you about my hair loss journey. I started thinning around 18-19 years old. I hopped on minoxidil when I was 20 that worked for a while until it didn’t. Just recently I tried topical fin, but it became to hard to maintain a routine, and my thinning was diffuse so I had to apply the medication on my whole scalp, which became a pain. So I decided to start oral fin again, the first time I did, I had side side effects. This time I had a clear head and started at .25 mg every day. I started around February 17. Almost hitting the two month mark. The first two weeks were rough, with my body adjusting to the drug, I had brain fog bad. It was so hard to concentrate on anything, but that went away. Now I’m experiencing weaker erections, I get no morning wood since I stated the drug. It just doesn’t feel the same down there anymore. My sperm volume is much lower as well. Some days my erections are better than others. If I try to masterbate in the morning I can’t get fully hard, but mid day I actually get decent hard, but it still doesn’t feel the same as before taking the drug. Also if I drink I can not get hard no way. My question is, has anyone experienced these side effects and if they went away after continuance of the drug? Should I quit ? I really want to stay on it, but I’m afraid of permanent sides. Thanks for any and all advice. 

Yes I can relate to all of these side effects... I have just stopped taking it this week after been on it for 5 months (1mg/day). I plan on having a break for a few weeks or so then try it at a lower dose (0.5mg/day) 🤞🏽
At first I had just reduced sperm volume and a slight loss of interest but when it came having sex there was no problem, so I thought I could live with that... but now there’s definitely no morning wood and a definite 20/25% reduction in hardness although I can still manage sex.

I’m worried it might get worse or permanent so hopefully a break and a reduced dose will work as I want to stay on fin if I can.

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2 minutes ago, Newyear newhair said:

Yes I can relate to all of these side effects... I have just stopped taking it this week after been on it for 5 months (1mg/day). I plan on having a break for a few weeks or so then try it at a lower dose (0.5mg/day) 🤞🏽
At first I had just reduced sperm volume and a slight loss of interest but when it came having sex there was no problem, so I thought I could live with that... but now there’s definitely no morning wood and a definite 20/25% reduction in hardness although I can still manage sex.

I’m worried it might get worse or permanent so hopefully a break and a reduced dose will work as I want to stay on fin if I can.

Any improvements with the sides after being off it ? I doubt they are permanent but I think it takes time for your levels to go back to normal, while on it you saw no improvements with erections right? 

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@Nickpatay12 I've experimented with different compounds over the last few years to manage hair loss and find something that's effective, but also something that I'm comfortable using forever. I currently use Finasteride and haven't noticed any side-effects, but I'm not super-thrilled with the idea of systemically lowering a potent androgen for my entire life, so I continue to experiment.

I think if you're getting side-effects, then you're getting side-effects. Maybe consider moving on and trying something else to manage your scalp DHT. It might initially seem like there are very few options, but with some research you can find many.

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10 hours ago, Nickpatay12 said:

Any improvements with the sides after being off it ? I doubt they are permanent but I think it takes time for your levels to go back to normal, while on it you saw no improvements with erections right? 

I’ve only been off it for 4 days so I’m not sure how quickly you see changes (probably different for everyone)

with erections some days were better than others, but on average they were definitely reduced 

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16 hours ago, Nickpatay12 said:

I’m 23 years old, I’m here to tell you about my hair loss journey. I started thinning around 18-19 years old. I hopped on minoxidil when I was 20 that worked for a while until it didn’t. Just recently I tried topical fin, but it became to hard to maintain a routine, and my thinning was diffuse so I had to apply the medication on my whole scalp, which became a pain. So I decided to start oral fin again, the first time I did, I had side side effects. This time I had a clear head and started at .25 mg every day. I started around February 17. Almost hitting the two month mark. The first two weeks were rough, with my body adjusting to the drug, I had brain fog bad. It was so hard to concentrate on anything, but that went away. Now I’m experiencing weaker erections, I get no morning wood since I stated the drug. It just doesn’t feel the same down there anymore. My sperm volume is much lower as well. Some days my erections are better than others. If I try to masterbate in the morning I can’t get fully hard, but mid day I actually get decent hard, but it still doesn’t feel the same as before taking the drug. Also if I drink I can not get hard no way. My question is, has anyone experienced these side effects and if they went away after continuance of the drug? Should I quit ? I really want to stay on it, but I’m afraid of permanent sides. Thanks for any and all advice. 

I understand you are worrying about it, that is contributing. So try to relax about it, understand that stress is compounding any effects you may be feeling.

The logical thing to do is to take 0,25mg every other day, instead of every day. If you feel the same after say, a month, take 0,25mg every 3 days. This way you may alleviate the negative things you are experiencing, or it may lead to slowly weaning off it. This is two birds with one stone. 

For the record people call it "sperm volume" inaccurately, this is not reduced. Seminal volume may be reduced, no evidence sperm is reduced. 

I have taken the drug for 10 years. For a few weeks or months I experienced lower libido, and occasional testicular pain. No ED issues personally. These were temporary and I live a normal life now :)

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20 hours ago, Newyear newhair said:

but now there’s definitely no morning wood and a definite 20/25% reduction in hardness although I can still manage sex.

I’m worried it might get worse or permanent so hopefully a break and a reduced dose will work as I want to stay on fin if I can.

That part about 20/25, wondering how someone would register a 5% increase or decrease in hardness. Are you taking girth or length measurements when erect? You don't need to answer that, but it does indicate some unhealthy worry and obsessing that are possibly contributing factors to your symptoms.

 

Think about trying this below. I can't say I've tried it, fortunately I've been taking finasteride for about 15 yrs with no issues. But it could help you relax and determine whether the drug is actually causing side effects or whether its you psyching yourself out because of worry about potentially getting side effects.

 

Do you live with anyone currently? or meet with a friend daily? someone that you would be comfortable telling about your hair loss of course. If so, see if they would be willing to administer the pills to you 'blindly.'

-Establish a baseline, stop taking the finasteride until you have no more side effects

-Then have your friend or family member randomly pick a start date, could be weeks or a few months from now, when they start sneaking the finasteride dose (crushed) into something you eat or drink real fast at the start of each meeting. -Or they could just leave it out for you, if they don't have a poker face.

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20 minutes ago, ciaus said:

That part about 20/25, wondering how someone would register a 5% increase or decrease in hardness. Are you taking girth or length measurements when erect? You don't need to answer that, but it does indicate some unhealthy worry and obsessing that are possibly contributing factors to your symptoms.

 

Think about trying this below. I can't say I've tried it, fortunately I've been taking finasteride for about 15 yrs with no issues. But it could help you relax and determine whether the drug is actually causing side effects or whether its you psyching yourself out because of worry about potentially getting side effects.

 

Do you live with anyone currently? or meet with a friend daily? someone that you would be comfortable telling about your hair loss of course. If so, see if they would be willing to administer the pills to you 'blindly.'

-Establish a baseline, stop taking the finasteride until you have no more side effects

-Then have your friend or family member randomly pick a start date, could be weeks or a few months from now, when they start sneaking the finasteride dose (crushed) into something you eat or drink real fast at the start of each meeting. -Or they could just leave it out for you, if they don't have a poker face.

Some decent points there and ideas may I add.

Im honestly  not obsessing as I was more worried the first couple of weeks after I started on fin when I didn’t really have any issues apart from reduced sperm volume, as the months went on I forgot about it really but I have definitely noticed a reduction in hardness lately. I simply picked the 20/25 figure out the top of my head while I was responding to @Nickpatay12 not something I’d thought about before, just to try and help him gauge. I will be trying a lesser dose to see if it helps, it was always an idea of mine to reduce the dosage anyhow after 6-12 months as I didn’t want to be on a high dosage for life but would like to be on it in some capacity until something better comes around 🤞🏽(maybe should have done it the other way round, lower dose first looking back)

thanks for your input @ciaus certainly interesting 

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12 hours ago, PizzaWolf said:

@Nickpatay12 I've experimented with different compounds over the last few years to manage hair loss and find something that's effective, but also something that I'm comfortable using forever. I currently use Finasteride and haven't noticed any side-effects, but I'm not super-thrilled with the idea of systemically lowering a potent androgen for my entire life, so I continue to experiment.

I think if you're getting side-effects, then you're getting side-effects. Maybe consider moving on and trying something else to manage your scalp DHT. It might initially seem like there are very few options, but with some research you can find many.

Can you give me the compounds you are experimenting with to reduce scalp DHT?

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23 hours ago, LaserCaps said:

Years ago when the Merck reps visited the clinic, I recall the many conversations we had about the subject.  Back then there was no generic.  the verbiage included "there is more testosterone with the med than without" so, you should be wanting more, not less.  The patent expired and then came Finasteride, (which is now available as a 1mg tab).  Back then, however, you had to split the 5 mg tab, (which is still being done today). The issue with this is the fact that the tab does not come pre-scored.  So you really never get .25mg regularly, this will vary.  That being said, side effects were also discussed.  The main one was loss of interest when it comes to sex.  It covered none of the issues you have brought up. Could you be experiencing something else and the fact you are taking the pill is just coincidental? Perhaps it is the pill.  So, are you under a doctor's supervision? Who put you on the med? I would start discussing alternatives of use.  You could start by using it every other day and see what happens. Keep in mind there are also other alternatives like Laser therapy, Rogaine, PRP.  But do get on something to help you retain.  Lastly, I have been on the med for 30+ years.  I always think of the med as a positive and not a negative - and concentrate on the fact that I'll have more testosterone." So, it is a mental issue? Perhaps.  Don't over think it and discuss with your physician.

Yeah I think I’ll start doing every other day and see what happens. I got it off Roman, I’m not under any doctor supervision. 

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3 hours ago, ciaus said:

That part about 20/25, wondering how someone would register a 5% increase or decrease in hardness. Are you taking girth or length measurements when erect? You don't need to answer that, but it does indicate some unhealthy worry and obsessing that are possibly contributing factors to your symptoms.

 

Think about trying this below. I can't say I've tried it, fortunately I've been taking finasteride for about 15 yrs with no issues. But it could help you relax and determine whether the drug is actually causing side effects or whether its you psyching yourself out because of worry about potentially getting side effects.

 

Do you live with anyone currently? or meet with a friend daily? someone that you would be comfortable telling about your hair loss of course. If so, see if they would be willing to administer the pills to you 'blindly.'

-Establish a baseline, stop taking the finasteride until you have no more side effects

-Then have your friend or family member randomly pick a start date, could be weeks or a few months from now, when they start sneaking the finasteride dose (crushed) into something you eat or drink real fast at the start of each meeting. -Or they could just leave it out for you, if they don't have a poker face.

This is honestly a brilliant idea, I think if sides continue I’ll slowly get off the drug. Wait for all the sides to go away and go back to normal. I’ll have to give this method a go. Just hoping that if I continue the drug maybe the sides will go away as my body gets used to it.

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12 minutes ago, Nickpatay12 said:

This is honestly a brilliant idea, I think if sides continue I’ll slowly get off the drug. Wait for all the sides to go away and go back to normal. I’ll have to give this method a go. Just hoping that if I continue the drug maybe the sides will go away as my body gets used to it.

Yeah that’s my plan... find a dosage which is manageable and hopefully body gets used to it

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  • 3 weeks later...

An update: so I still stayed on .25 mg everyday. Only side effect I have is weaker erections, some days are better than other. I’ve been on the drug for a little over two months, don’t see any noticeable change in my hair. I am a diffuse thinner, just want my hair to be thicker again. Also contemplating if I should continue the drug. I literally can’t remember the last time I had morning wood. I have had a few sex dreams which I can recall getting erections, don’t know if that counts. Moving forward I need some advice is this a mild side effect? is there a possibility of it going away as my body adjusts or should my body have already adjusted since I’ve been on the drug for over two months. I’m still fairly new, how common is weaker erections. Does it fall under the category of ED? I still get erections just not spontaneous or super hard like before starting the drugs. Thanks for any and all advice.

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On 4/7/2021 at 12:32 PM, Newyear newhair said:

Yes I can relate to all of these side effects... I have just stopped taking it this week after been on it for 5 months (1mg/day). I plan on having a break for a few weeks or so then try it at a lower dose (0.5mg/day) 🤞🏽
At first I had just reduced sperm volume and a slight loss of interest but when it came having sex there was no problem, so I thought I could live with that... but now there’s definitely no morning wood and a definite 20/25% reduction in hardness although I can still manage sex.

I’m worried it might get worse or permanent so hopefully a break and a reduced dose will work as I want to stay on fin if I can.

Hey have your sides gone away since stopping fin? Also are you back on it at a lower dose, any improvement in sides? I am thinking of taking a break as well. Would like to know if you’re back at 100 percent since stopping. 

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21 minutes ago, Nickpatay12 said:

An update: so I still stayed on .25 mg everyday. Only side effect I have is weaker erections, some days are better than other. I’ve been on the drug for a little over two months, don’t see any noticeable change in my hair. I am a diffuse thinner, just want my hair to be thicker again. Also contemplating if I should continue the drug. I literally can’t remember the last time I had morning wood. I have had a few sex dreams which I can recall getting erections, don’t know if that counts. Moving forward I need some advice is this a mild side effect? is there a possibility of it going away as my body adjusts or should my body have already adjusted since I’ve been on the drug for over two months. I’m still fairly new, how common is weaker erections. Does it fall under the category of ED? I still get erections just not spontaneous or super hard like before starting the drugs. Thanks for any and all advice.

How old are you, and are you currently sexually active with a partner/partners? 

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7 minutes ago, Curious25 said:

How old are you, and are you currently sexually active with a partner/partners? 

23, no I’m not. I haven’t had sex since starting, so it’s been about 2 months 

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Have you consulted with a or urologist? I’d recommend asking your GP to refer you to one for a consultation, they are the best informed physicians to discuss this with.

 

I hope you start to feel better soon, 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Curious25 said:

Have you consulted with a or urologist? I’d recommend asking your GP to refer you to one for a consultation, they are the best informed physicians to discuss this with.

 

I hope you start to feel better soon, 

 

 

Thanks I’ll give it a go. I’m still using finasteride, just weaker erections unfortunately.

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4 hours ago, Nickpatay12 said:

An update: so I still stayed on .25 mg everyday. Only side effect I have is weaker erections, some days are better than other. I’ve been on the drug for a little over two months, don’t see any noticeable change in my hair. I am a diffuse thinner, just want my hair to be thicker again. Also contemplating if I should continue the drug. I literally can’t remember the last time I had morning wood. I have had a few sex dreams which I can recall getting erections, don’t know if that counts. Moving forward I need some advice is this a mild side effect? is there a possibility of it going away as my body adjusts or should my body have already adjusted since I’ve been on the drug for over two months. I’m still fairly new, how common is weaker erections. Does it fall under the category of ED? I still get erections just not spontaneous or super hard like before starting the drugs. Thanks for any and all advice.

I personally still think you should consider to try .25mg a few times per week, rather than every day. Give yourself some psychological, and potentially physical relief. When you are young, stressed (and/or depressed) about hair loss, stressed about the medication you are taking, not sexually active (right now), these are compounding any issues you may be experiencing. Roughly half of people with traumatic brain injuries experience reduced libido, a lot comes from our brain more so than our body. Any level of medication is reducing DHT, and therefore providing you significant benefits to your hair. You simply need to find a sweet spot, and if that sweet spot cannot occur at a very low-level, intermittent dose, you have to weigh up whether this is something for you. 

Two months is around when people might notice the cessation of daily hair fall, rather than improvements in hair count, which continues beyond 12-18 months. When I began taking treating my hair loss, a shed was making me feel itchy and play with my hair all the time. After a few months this stopped, and my hair felt more robust and strong like you could pull on it. When you are actively not so worried about your hair, then you know it has starting taking effect. It has a good effect for nearly 90% of people, so there is no question it works. 

Speaking from personal experience in case it helps, I started at the same age as you are now. I don't recall noticing how frequent morning erections were a thing, so it was probably not very consistent and certainly not a predictable normality. Unless you are experiencing serious issues, I would hedge that nocturnal erections are likely occurring, like you mention with having sex dreams. It is the same for me today, 10 years later. Sometimes they happen, but I am not being cognizant of when it happens or doesn't. At that age I got a lot of spontaneous erections, it was quite an inconvenience. This might well be less since taking the medication, but it was a side effect I was perfectly ok with. I think seminal fluid was a transient observation, I have no issues shooting ropes today. Degree of "hardness" was never something I noticed, nor still. My only side-effect that I cannot elucidate fully, is whether I have reduced libido. It was something I thought I noticed when beginning medication, but I was in the same situation as you with compounding stresses. I was with a girl after that for several years and questioned my libido, we eventually parted as a friends due to becoming friends rather than lovers. I am however now with a smoking hot younger girl, and my libido is fine, and better than at any point during those 7 years ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/29/2021 at 3:18 AM, j1mmy said:

I personally still think you should consider to try .25mg a few times per week, rather than every day. Give yourself some psychological, and potentially physical relief. When you are young, stressed (and/or depressed) about hair loss, stressed about the medication you are taking, not sexually active (right now), these are compounding any issues you may be experiencing. Roughly half of people with traumatic brain injuries experience reduced libido, a lot comes from our brain more so than our body. Any level of medication is reducing DHT, and therefore providing you significant benefits to your hair. You simply need to find a sweet spot, and if that sweet spot cannot occur at a very low-level, intermittent dose, you have to weigh up whether this is something for you. 

Two months is around when people might notice the cessation of daily hair fall, rather than improvements in hair count, which continues beyond 12-18 months. When I began taking treating my hair loss, a shed was making me feel itchy and play with my hair all the time. After a few months this stopped, and my hair felt more robust and strong like you could pull on it. When you are actively not so worried about your hair, then you know it has starting taking effect. It has a good effect for nearly 90% of people, so there is no question it works. 

Speaking from personal experience in case it helps, I started at the same age as you are now. I don't recall noticing how frequent morning erections were a thing, so it was probably not very consistent and certainly not a predictable normality. Unless you are experiencing serious issues, I would hedge that nocturnal erections are likely occurring, like you mention with having sex dreams. It is the same for me today, 10 years later. Sometimes they happen, but I am not being cognizant of when it happens or doesn't. At that age I got a lot of spontaneous erections, it was quite an inconvenience. This might well be less since taking the medication, but it was a side effect I was perfectly ok with. I think seminal fluid was a transient observation, I have no issues shooting ropes today. Degree of "hardness" was never something I noticed, nor still. My only side-effect that I cannot elucidate fully, is whether I have reduced libido. It was something I thought I noticed when beginning medication, but I was in the same situation as you with compounding stresses. I was with a girl after that for several years and questioned my libido, we eventually parted as a friends due to becoming friends rather than lovers. I am however now with a smoking hot younger girl, and my libido is fine, and better than at any point during those 7 years ;)

Yeah man, thanks for the advice really helped. I’m still continuing the drug .25 mg daily. Still having weaker erections. I don’t stress about my hair anymore like I used to. I’m at the point where I know I’m doing everything I possibly can to save my hair so that brings me some relief. I’m pretty active as well lift weights etc. Only concern now is performing when I’m with a girl haha. That might be happening soon. Just hoping these weaker erections side effect will go away eventually but it’s been 3 months. No morning wood as well. I’ll keep giving you guys an update. I also added minoxidil 2x a day to my regime so let’s see if that benefits me as well. 

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