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It Happened. Sexual Side Effects with finasteride.


Gatsby
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I've been on finasteride for many months now and about a month ago I noticed that my libido felt flat. Up until then, even though I shave my head, I have noticed a definite 'thickness in my scalp stubble' and my crown feels that it has risen somewhat. I stayed with the medication for another two weeks after my libido disappeared and things remained the same (I was on 1mg a day). I then ceased taking the drug and my libido returned about two weeks later to normal. I'm thinking of going back on finasteride on a lower dose and if I have no side effects after sometime I will slowly titrate the drug up slowly.

I don't wish to start an entire witch hunt on finasteride. However I am just asking for people who have had the same experience as I have and if by giving the drug a break found that starting it again (say a month later) at a much lower dose (ie. .5mg three times a week) found that the sexual side effects discontinued? As I am a good Norwood 6, finasteride will be a big part of my hair restoration once I am able to get to Eugenix to have surgery. Without finasteride I am greatly reconsidering going ahead with surgery. Many thanks in advance.

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Similar to me after around 5/6 months at 1mg /day libido was low no, no morning wood and reduced hardness. Stopped for 2 weeks reduced dose to 0.5 every other day, I’m 2 weeks into that new regime so far so good 🤞🏽
If everything stays fine I’ll stop at this then maybe try 0.5 every day.

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17 minutes ago, Gatsby said:

I've been on finasteride for many months now and about a month ago I noticed that my libido felt flat. Up until then, even though I shave my head, I have noticed a definite 'thickness in my scalp stubble' and my crown feels that it has risen somewhat. I stayed with the medication for another two weeks after my libido disappeared and things remained the same (I was on 1mg a day). I then ceased taking the drug and my libido returned about two weeks later to normal. I'm thinking of going back on finasteride on a lower dose and if I have no side effects after sometime I will slowly titrate the drug up slowly.

I don't wish to start an entire witch hunt on finasteride. However I am just asking for people who have had the same experience as I have and if by giving the drug a break found that starting it again (say a month later) at a much lower dose (ie. .5mg three times a week) found that the sexual side effects discontinued? As I am a good Norwood 6, finasteride will be a big part of my hair restoration once I am able to get to Eugenix to have surgery. Without finasteride I am greatly reconsidering going ahead with surgery. Many thanks in advance.

Sorry to hear about the side-effects man but It's good that you gave an honest write-up. Still worthwhile to let people know what is possible and that it's not always 'just a myth'.

Hasn't a couple of new drugs just entered the market now..? Might be worth trying...?

I also heard someone saying the other day that they had tried Fin and it wasn't good for them so then they tried Dutasteride and had NO side effects with it... who knows, worth looking into perhaps. 

But first of all if you're tempted to try again with fin perhaps worth trying the lower dose and weening yourself onto it 🤷‍♂️

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Sorry to hear about your situation. 
 

There is a a trail of thought amongst some that if your donor shows no signs of miniaturisation in your current NW 6 pattern, then finasteride, with respect, at your age, isn’t necessarily as important as it would be for younger patients. 
 

I think @Melvin-Moderator is a fellow NW6 in the same boat. 

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8 minutes ago, Curious25 said:

Sorry to hear about your situation. 
 

There is a a trail of thought amongst some that if your donor shows no signs of miniaturisation in your current NW 6 pattern, then finasteride, with respect, at your age, isn’t necessarily as important as it would be for younger patients. 
 

I think @Melvin-Moderator is a fellow NW6 in the same boat. 

The problem I face is that at my age Finasteride is really benefiting me most with my donor improvement and not the recipient area in terms of preventing further hair loss up stairs. Each morning just before I shave my head I can feel a definite improvement in my hair all over and my donor area feels as though it has benefited the most. This will make a big difference at 54 compared to the hair I had at 34. As I get older this will only become even more pronounced. I may look into dutasteride and the risks of side effects from topical Finasteride at a therapeutic level. 

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11 minutes ago, Gatsby said:

The problem I face is that at my age Finasteride is really benefiting me most with my donor improvement and not the recipient area in terms of preventing further hair loss up stairs. Each morning just before I shave my head I can feel a definite improvement in my hair all over and my donor area feels as though it has benefited the most. This will make a big difference at 54 compared to the hair I had at 34. As I get older this will only become even more pronounced. I may look into dutasteride and the risks of side effects from topical Finasteride at a therapeutic level. 

Fair enough, if you feel your donor is benefiting from it. 
 

I would have thought titrating your finasteride dosage will probably be your best bet in terms of avoiding associated sides, as dutasteride is a much stronger blocker, and inhibits both type 1 and 2 alpha 5 reductase, Suppressing  90% of the body’s DHT as opposed to 70% of that of 1mg daily fin. 
 

If its worked for others though ... I’m sure stranger things have happened ! 

Edited by Curious25
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Just my friendly two bits, but are you lifting weights, working out? What is your diet like and how seriously do you take it? And have you tried taking fin at night?

The above impacts everything, from your libido to your overall emotional well being. Everyone has time to also do the above. fwiw.

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If you look at the literature on efficacy of finasteride, you will see there is not much difference between a smaller dose of .25mg daily versus the 1mg daily. I don't remember the exact difference, but you could look it up.

That being said, I would consider reducing dose and building up. I have also heard that sometimes the body needs time to adjust to new meds.

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21 minutes ago, SLA said:

If you look at the literature on efficacy of finasteride, you will see there is not much difference between a smaller dose of .25mg daily versus the 1mg daily. I don't remember the exact difference, but you could look it up.

That being said, I would consider reducing dose and building up. I have also heard that sometimes the body needs time to adjust to new meds.

Something I just can’t get my head around is as to why a lower dosage would reduce side effects, if it’s still shown to lower DHT levels by a similar amount - logically it doesn’t play out. 
 

I roughly remember @DrTBarghouthi offering a hypothesis something along the lines of it possibly being due to having less a concentration of the finasteride chemical in your body, don’t quote me on that as I admittedly can’t remember exactly what he said, although the this is obviously purely from a speculative standpoint. 

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My cousin, who I recommended Finasteride to a few years back, had issues with reduced libido, and impotence. I then had him take the same pills he bought, crush them into powder, and blend the finasteride powder with Minoxidil in his Ninja blender. He then put the mix back into his Minoxidil bottles and uses the dropper to apply daily. That was 2 and half years ago when he started that method and it has worked brilliantly. His hair has never looked so good, and most importantly he functions completely normally without any side effects. What's more, is that since it was applied topically, he did not have to reduce the 1mg daily intake, and is able to realize the full benefit of the drug. 

Win / Win in my opinion. May be worth considering.

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I put a version of this in another thread recently. I haven't done it myself, been on fin about 15yrs and never any issues thankfully. Just trying to think about how to help negate the placebo effect. 

Do you live with anyone or meet with a friend daily? someone that you're comfortable telling your hair loss about. See if they would be willing to administer the pills to you 'blindly.' 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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28 minutes ago, londonhairlossvictim said:

Which brand of topical are you taking MAchoVato?

I'm taking Maxogen-X. But it looks to be out of stock.

https://www.minoxidilmax.com/maxogen-x-topical-finasteride-8-minoxidil-retinoic-acid

 

They have a new topical Dutateride product. I might try that if they can compound it with minoxidil.

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11 hours ago, champybaby said:

Just my friendly two bits, but are you lifting weights, working out? What is your diet like and how seriously do you take it? And have you tried taking fin at night?

The above impacts everything, from your libido to your overall emotional well being. Everyone has time to also do the above. fwiw.

Interesting. What's the difference between taking fin in the morning as opposed to night time? Also what difference does it make if you lift weights?

Ross.

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1 hour ago, Rossybop said:

Interesting. What's the difference between taking fin in the morning as opposed to night time? Also what difference does it make if you lift weights?

Ross.

I've been taking finasteride and minoxidil both since I was 21 and I am now 39. I've never had any of the purported side effects, but I've also consistently kept a low level of body fat and done regular weightlifting and keep a clean diet with supplements to round out my amino profile. 

Lower libido is common as we age if we aren't taking steps to keep ourselves fit and healthy. This is not to say that the OP is mistaken; I have no doubt that if he observed a sharp decline and knows that the finasteride is the only new factor to consider, that he is accurate in his assessment. 

 I can't say with any certainty, given I've been both on finasteride and training regularly for decades, but I feel like if finasteride was having any effect on my libido that my health regimen is either entirely negating it or it just wasn't happening to me in the first place. Or maybe I started on it so young that my body learned to handle it?

Not a humblebrag, but none of the romantic partners I've had in my life have ever matched my libido levels. I remember hearing about how fin was causing lowered libido years ago and joking to myself that it would be nice to be less randy all the damn time. 

Edited by jjbluejeans
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It's definitely the finasteride. It's been 10 days off it now and I'm as toey as a March hare! No other lifestyle changes apart from the cessation of finasteride. I'll challenge the drug again at a lower dose three times a week and go from there. Thank you all for chiming in with your help. Much appreciated!

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1.25 mg every monday wednesday friday is what i dose at by cutting up a 5mg Proscar pill into 4..very luckily no sides ...try it.

Using Proscar versus Mercks " Propecia" works out wayyyy cheaper too over the course of a year....something like a tenth of a the cost .

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6 hours ago, jjbluejeans said:

I've been taking finasteride and minoxidil both since I was 21 and I am now 39. I've never had any of the purported side effects, but I've also consistently kept a low level of body fat and done regular weightlifting and keep a clean diet with supplements to round out my amino profile. 

Lower libido is common as we age if we aren't taking steps to keep ourselves fit and healthy. This is not to say that the OP is mistaken; I have no doubt that if he observed a sharp decline and knows that the finasteride is the only new factor to consider, that he is accurate in his assessment. 

 I can't say with any certainty, given I've been both on finasteride and training regularly for decades, but I feel like if finasteride was having any effect on my libido that my health regimen is either entirely negating it or it just wasn't happening to me in the first place. Or maybe I started on it so young that my body learned to handle it?

Not a humblebrag, but none of the romantic partners I've had in my life have ever matched my libido levels. I remember hearing about how fin was causing lowered libido years ago and joking to myself that it would be nice to be less randy all the damn time. 

Cool! Glad to hear you're doing ok on it. What difference does it make if you take it at night though?

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6 minutes ago, Rossybop said:

Cool! Glad to hear you're doing ok on it. What difference does it make if you take it at night though?

No idea! That was the other guy who said take it at night. Maybe because that way it metabolizes while you're asleep and you sleep right through any possible downsides when it's at it's freshest? No clue.

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On 4/22/2021 at 4:17 PM, Curious25 said:

Something I just can’t get my head around is as to why a lower dosage would reduce side effects, if it’s still shown to lower DHT levels by a similar amount - logically it doesn’t play out. 
 

I roughly remember @DrTBarghouthi offering a hypothesis something along the lines of it possibly being due to having less a concentration of the finasteride chemical in your body, don’t quote me on that as I admittedly can’t remember exactly what he said, although the this is obviously purely from a speculative standpoint. 

I believe that a daily dose is in line with the half life of the drug in the blood and since it is usually around 24 hours, then logically you need one tablet a day to keep the drug levels sustained. Sustained levels and the bioavailability in the system is probably what is linked to the side effects. Now the interesting thing is that it seems that we dont need the sustained levels in the blood but rather in the scalp tissue and around the follicles. This level seems to last way longer than a day and hence why it is proposed that you will still get DHT blocking effects even with lower doses/ less frequent doses. Not a theory set in stone ofcourse. 

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On 4/23/2021 at 2:56 AM, Gatsby said:

It's definitely the finasteride. It's been 10 days off it now and I'm as toey as a March hare! No other lifestyle changes apart from the cessation of finasteride. I'll challenge the drug again at a lower dose three times a week and go from there. Thank you all for chiming in with your help. Much appreciated!

This happened me. I went off it was fine.

 

Went back on again and crashed again.

 

It can in some people completely mess you up because your hormones are changing so drastically in a short spell.

Took me 2 years then to fully recover

 

I think it general bloodwork should be done before  taking the drug & see how high your dht level is.

 

im thinking people with narural high or average dht will be fine & lowering it a bit will help with hairloss.

People with lower natural dht levels with be at risk for side affects.

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