Post Finasteride Syndrome: PFS

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February 13, 2014 | 37 Comments

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  1. Heartbreaking story. But, even more tragic, is that it’s all too common. As we speak, thousands and thousands of men across the globe are suffering similar fates. The only good news is that clinical studies on PFS are in the works. To learn more, log onto the PFS Foundation’s website at pfsfoundation.org

  2. It is well established at this point that Merck is literally getting away with murder, and has been for many years. The list of dangerous drugs which they have produced and covered up side effects in the name of profit is disgusting. I just logged onto pfsfoundation.org and am disgusted as I see what all of these medical professionals from elite establishments have to say about this drug. I have a very special feeling that Kenneth Frazier will have a very special place in hell for all of the people and their families that he has hurt. This is unreal … the man in this story was a police officer for crying out loud!!!

  3. Now that its real dangers are known, why would anyone be stupid enough to take this drug? Notice even those idiots on Hairlosstalk Forum don’t defend Propecia anymore .

  4. We have had a few similar cases – who have never taken finasteride – to this which may relate to complex reactive autoimmune disorders of the CNS such as myelitis and MS. My job as a GP is to get a definitive causal diagnosis which may require acute and convalescent MRI. Finasteride may certainly provide a component to the malaise and it sure has some hormonal effects – but ADRs are grossly over interpreted as causes of complex illnesses when reactive disorders such as CRPS are almost always the cause ..essentially forms of segmental myelitis for which diagnostic tests may in fact necessitate simplle trials of corticosteroid and a sensible imaging strategy rather than deciding ‘which of my medicines would have done this’. The body is complex and i am not convinced that the above detailed description is a pure finasteride ADR.

    • Jon

      Thanks for posting but while its helpful to have all inputs I’m not sure this one nails the issue in the manner you suggest.

      In the case of PSSD, all the features common to PFS can be present within a few doses of an SSRI. Seems a huge coincidence to have something like this happen on just a few specific drugs and not on much else in hundreds, almost certainly thousands of people and to have it endure for decades.

      I’d be with you if it showed some reversibility and if I saw the same thing on antipsychotics or mood-stabilizers etc. We’re about to submit a paper on 120 cases next week, so if you have specific hypotheses and references that we can take into account it would be much appreciated if you could send

      DH

  5. Taking Finasteride is the worst decision I ever made in my life it has effected me both mentally physically and sexually. I wound’nt wish its side effects on my worst enemy. When I was prescribed Finasteride I was not told anything about its side effects this drug is given out far too easy. People should be aware if they choose to take Finasteride they are potentially making a life changing decision.
    I really dont think anyone would take the drug if they knew about ALL its side effects which can last for years after discontinuing the drug.

    • Hi i can varify that i have exactly the same as the officer in this post.my heart truely goes out to him. I have been on thos evil drug finasteride for an enlarged prostate for 12 months and have all the same side effects. I have come off it now and really pray my body’s functions return to normal. It is very heartbreaking for a man to realise that hes got ED impotency .
      The people who make this drug should NOT be allowed to sell this. Not enough warning on this.

      • I took 5mg of it for 15 days for prostate problems too i have the same symptoms attempt of suicide ed but not completely as if you say ed not geting any errections period i wake up semi every morning but withers away what can we do

  6. I have a very similar story to the one given. Taking finasteride for mild hair loss ruined my life, giving me impotence and complete loss of libido, severe muscle loss, difficulty concentrating and motivating myself, weight gain and gyno to name just a few.Essentially the side effects of a castrated man except any attempt at restoring my testosterone has been doomed to failure. I lost my career and my romantic life and it has been several years without improvement. I really wonder what is going on with a society that allows the perpetrators to make this happen and get away with it.

  7. Finasteride has destroyd my entire Life..I was perfect healthy before this Poison and now i suffer from more than 20 sideeffects.My Sideffects are Bone loss, Muscle Loss, Chronic Constipation, Dry and very thin skin, eyedamage, Tinnitus, fatigue, depression, impotence, no semen, shrunken penis and testicles, teeth declining, gum declining, many infections all over the body, brittle nails, tired all the day, no appetite, Suicide Thougts every day, Prostate Pain, Food allergies against most off all Foods, not able to enjoy Life that i enjoyd all my Life, No Motivation, Brainfog, and and and in my Opinon Merck and the Doctors who prescribed that Posion are Murder.My Future is gone because of a Hairpill????Is this true??

  8. I started taking Propecia in the late 90s. At the time I was naive enough not to question an FDA approved drug. In fact in a way I felt lucky that the drug had become available at a time when I was only starting to lose my hair. I was doubly naive in thinking that it was a double win in that it would also help prevent prostate cancer, which my grandfather was suffering from. It is only through my negative experience of taking this drug (I experienced limited side effects whilst on the drug, although the side effects I did experience were no less devastating; and further side effects on cessation) that I have been placed in that unfortunate position of discovering that both the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA do not have as their primary aim, the health and well being of patients. It appears that in some cases the patients are only there to be hoodwinked, then milked for profit. As I’ve read before, if this was the automotive industry there would be a timeous safety recall if there was any potential threat to customer safety. It is not good enough that we are reliant on the courts to prove causation and then only to be rewarded compensation which the industry has already factored for and can readily afford. What needs to happen is for there to be criminal sanctions with real consequences for those where wilful negligence can be proved. It is only then that real change will happen. Maybe if the many thousands of victims of various drugs were to pool together and speak as one voice then our governments might actually put the lives of those who vote them in first.

  9. I suffer the same fate. I started this drug in my early twenties with my whole life ahead of me, and here I am a decade later praying that a miracle gives me any kind of acceptable future. I went from a normal man to a senseless, brain dead automaton void of passion and incapable of enjoying anything in life. I honestly feel like I died the day I took that first pill. This drug is poison; please, please god, DO NOT TAKE IT.

  10. I have experienced the same things. I am 28 currently and was on Finasteride for hair loss from ages 21-25. Experienced sexual side effects, weight gain in hips, chest (gynecomastia), so stopped the medication. The crash period after stopping Finasteride was much worse than being on the medication. If a doctor were to ask me the worst side effect I still experience, it would be the cognitive impairment (commonly known as “brain fog”). I never experienced anything like this before and it has not improved. Also after stopping finasteride, I experience heart palpitations, an increased rhythm in my heart rate, higher blood pressure. I have been on the Paleo diet for several months now and am exercising regularly, I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life as far as lifestyle goes, but none of the side effects have changed. My body remains changed, the shape around the hips and chest (feminine fat distribution), the continued sexual problems, and cognitive impairment have drastically altered the course of my life. What is most frustrating is that there are no real answers right now. In addition to diet and exercise changes, I am also taking a series of herbal supplements to see if they help improve hormone function. But there is no doubt about it, the quality of your life is not the same, and frankly I do not expect it to be now, unless there is some treatment available in the next several years.

    I saw Dr. Shalender Bhasin at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston (he is one of the doctors who is leading the PFS study) and I thought there would be some suggestions, answers, yet after leaving the appointment, I realized I know just as much about this condition than he does. No one knows what causes this yet.

  11. I forgot to mention the chronic anxiety I’ve experienced after stopping Propecia 3 years ago that I’ve never had before. It is not anxiety that comes in waves, rather it is always here, even when I am doing something relaxing, I am anxious. Also, constant sleep problems, not being able to sleep at night even if you’re tired and have not slept from the night before. So fatigue is always an issue.

    -How I would describe cognitive impairment (or “brain fog”) to those who do not understand: it is as if everything is delayed in conversation or doing the most random of things like filling up your car with gas. It’s like your body is on autopilot and you try to connect your mind and body but there is a disconnect. I have to think about everything I do now because my mental faculties are not the same, I am not as quick, have trouble retaining information, and following some conversations. Socially I feel entirely out of it, because I have to try and focus all the time from the perpetual fogginess. I feel like I am not as intelligent, lively, enthusiastic, or engaged as I used to be. I am doing my best, everything I can now, but this is the most discouraging side effect because it changes your life, your behavior, and how you function in society. Also, people really do not understand this.

    • anche mio figlio è diventato così , anche se è in cura e prende psicofarmaci ,proverò a dargli del magnesio che aiuta per l’insonnia e l’ansia ,poi speriamo ma oltre alla sua vita anche la mia è rovinata ,grazie Merk

  12. This really makes you re-evaluate the country you live in, its societal constructs and how government has been taken over by parasites. I took only one 1.25 mg proscar/finasteride and as soon as I took it, I could feel it. It was like something shut down in my gut and my mind (alpha 5 reductase 2 enzymes no doubt) and while I have tried hard, exercised diligently, quit smoking cigarettes, and eaten very healthy, things have not returned to normal. I’m even fasting for 5 days water only in hopes that it may cause a regeneration in cells ever since USC came out with a report that fasting can create new cells in the body. Finasteride and Propecia show how corrupt our nation truly is, how all the reports of unrelenting negative side effects of people are handled, dismissed, negated and discredited at every turn by people who took a public oath or a hippocratic oath. All for profit and ignorance, and blind trust in “authority”.

  13. Oke, wow. First if all very sorry to hear all these stories. The best of luck to all of you.

    I live in the netherlands and i just started using finasteride 5 Mg (spread over 4 days) Teva. No Side effects whatsoever, besides some pain in the balls at day 2, for an hour. After that nothing. The pain was nothing special so i decided to ignore it. Nothing i havent felt before once or twice every half year after having sex(maybe bad positioning). In Holland i went to several doctors and hairtransplant clinics. I have read researches and have spent hours on independent hair forums. Never have i heard about these stories and never has a total forum been so negative about it. I am a bit scared now, but i still feel maybe most in here were just allergic for some part of the drug, or recieved bad drugs? Which a good doctor(i have the same doctor for 20 years now, he has always had my best interest in mind (i really trust this Guy with my life) and he recommended finasteride) could have spotted. Can anyone help me with some sites or research or doctors reviews about these Side effects.

    Sorry if my “doubt” is offensive, i am just suffering under my hair loss and i am not really ready letting go of the last drug(after using minoxidil for a long time) that can help me. Besides, the health care in Holland is among the best in the world. I cant image a drug with these possible effects can get recommended in Holland.

    Greetings

    Karel

    • Karel

      Your doubt is not offensive. Hair loss is a terrible thing. Any remedy is great to have. What is a problem is if those attempting to make money out of the desperation people can feel in these circumstances completely deny that anything can go wrong – or attempt to lay the blame for a side effect like PFS on the patient. The companies who make huge amounts of money out of these drugs are best placed to help us work out what happens to some people – is it an allergic reaction. I think some basic honesty from companies would be welcome and would put them at much less risk of lawsuits etc

      David

    • Karel, if you continue to take this drug after reading all the available info. on the dangers then you deserve to get sick. Stop NOW!
      You will thank me later. This drug has ruined my life completely.

    • That pain in your balls is your all signal shutting down testosterone production.

      You don’t have side effects now but you soon will.

  14. Doc, you can completely piss off. Until you have experienced this don’t talk. Take finasteride for two years if you are so convinced and then we can talk! I went from testosterone levels of 850 before finasteride at age 39 to consistently 120 to 190 at age 42 and that is being on testosterone replacement therapy for the last six months. My receptors don’t even acknowledge the testosterone. I apologize for the swear word above and would replace it with five minutes behind a closed door with this clueless singled disciplined myopic “practicing” doctor. Changed the swear word to pics but you can guess what it used to be.

    • Jason, I understand where you’re coming from, this is a terrible, ongoing syndrome with no solutions. Did you try Clomid/Arimidex to raise testosterone, block estrogen? I know some people, like Irwin Goldstein in San Diego, are treating PFS this way. I have been trying to go the natural route, but still have all the same side effects. I understand what you’re going through, hoping things will get better.

  15. i started taking propecia when i was 29 after noticing some slight hairloss,,,i took the drug for around 3 years,,,i did notice some very small side effects from the start like a slight dip in erection strength and libido but these were so small they were barely noticable,,,i thought these were the possible side effects mentioned in the leaflet which came with the medication,,,it certainly stopped my hairloss in its tracks so i thought it was a good tradeoff,,,i was still having great sex and enjoying life all the time i was taking it until one day in 2007 everything went wrong,,,i suddenly felt like the life had litrally been drained from my body,,,out of nowhere i got chronic fatigue and severe sexual problems,,,my libido has been none existent for the last seven years,,,morning,spontanious and nocturnal erections are none existent,,,my penis is totally numb now,,,no sexual urges atall,,,this drug has devastated my life,,,i used to be a normal man with a normal healthy sex drive with a lot of living in front of me,,,now its like my life is on pause until some cure or answer comes along,,,im not living now just existing……………..

  16. Reading this is absolutely devastating. I suffer from impotance myself, why I do not know, it may have something to do with hemhorroids but I am unsure. I am hoping to get that cured withing the next year as it is unbearable. This carry on with finasteride however sounds even worse. Not only does it render you impotant but weak and mentally unbalanced.

    I will never, ever take this drug after hearing this, I have suffered a little bit of hair loss, probably due to the stress of my impotance but I now realise just how bad this stuff is.

  17. I got persistent side effects myself from PFS but, perhaps luckily, the research I have done into the cause of PFS, and the protocols I adopted to cure it have been very effective – I don’t believe the condition is necessarily permanent.

    I’m writing about it and trying to codify it at the moment so that other people can follow my instructions to recovery:

    http://www.mrfreet.com/blogs/treating-ed/18697819-key-to-curing-post-finasteride-syndrome-inflammation

  18. Robin Williams was taking Finasteride, One other prostate med, Seroquel and Remeron. The night of his death he was researching Lyrica and Propanolol. I learned this about 15 minutes ago. I think Richard Shepherd MD is an awesome Forensic Pathologist, Very Smart Man. But He Said that Robin Williams was taking Remeron For Depression, and Depression is caused by low Neurotransmitters IE Serotonin. It’s amazing how many smart people fall for the Low serotonin garbage. I think He should stay with Pathology and Leave depression to Us.

  19. Similar story here. Was perfectly healthy before. Took Fin for 14 months, and quit almost 2 years ago. I noticed a total loss of libido, complete impotency, and now seems like my life is runed.

  20. All is not lost

    I took propecia for around 7 years. Semen dried up, no wood etc etc. All the common symptoms.

    My take is that finasteride permanently blocks dht receptors or destroys them. It inhibits NO release which alters your strength as your blood vessels no longer dilate. (no sexual flush), reduced skin sensitivity and sexual sensitivity. You have brain Fog because you have no connection between cock and head.. Your brain struggles to feel the world through it. And glans has not enough sensitivity to trigger sexual stimulation of the brain… That why docs say it’s in your headhead.. They don’t understand
    Anyhow, you need to take viagra to keep blood flowing into your cock. Every year a little bit came back. After 5 years I can have spontaneous erection of the shaft, insufficient sensitivity of the glans to fill or stimulate and permanent. Death of Seminal vesicle. However I can have sex and co. E internally through stimulation of my shaft. So guys, it’s not easy or the same as before, nowhere near as satisfying, but you can survive and have a normalish life.. Just give it time

  21. I’m writing this before my death to all young people that want to take finasteride,2 mounts ago I was normal healthy 24 years old young men ,medical student in east Europe , I took this drug for just 3 days and now I’m living everyday in hell , I saw a lot of side effect dangerous of this drug before I start but I didn’t give attention, I gave it a try, now I’m leaved with huge brain fog , insomnia, no sleep more than 4 hours a day, no morning wood , muscle loose,scrotum shrinkage,no normal sex, difficult to focus on a simplest things, tommorow is the last day that I’m alive , before I left this life i wrote a letter to my family and my lovely girlfriend wich we lived together for 4 years , I wanted to warn all of u to even Don’t touch this dangerous drug , it will destroy your entire life , it will leave u with no hope and no emothions,I cannot joy anything,my receptors doesn’t absorb alcohol ,I’m always with a headaches,I cannot live anymore like ,I see my life destroying infront my eyes ,I’ll be gone in few hours left till morning because There is no meaning to live like this anymore , please don’t do this to your life,hope you health and happiness ,enjoy your life while you can feel joy.

  22. I am afraid of using these medications. Glad that I have read this article. I am investigating other hair restoration methods like hair transplant (https://www.hair-skin-wellness.com/hair-restoration/) – not sure if anyone has had experience with Dr Nel?

    Here I read that “Rogaine or Regaine which is a FDA approved medical treatment for both men and women”.

    Any bad experiences with Rogaine / Regaine?

  23. I was prescribed 5 mg Finasteride daily for BPH and continued with the treatment for seven years. I noticed reduced libido and mild depression.
    I also noted an increased interest in same sex contacts.
    After stopping finasteride and starting with other therapies my libido bounced back but I noted a marked desire for homosexual contacts.
    Eventually this led to a breakdown in my marriage and a temporary separation.
    Although we have been together again for over 10 years now, my sexual preferences seem to have changed permanently and to some extent I find relief in cross dressing.
    Although these things may already have been present, but suppressed, I feel that the extended exposure to finasteride did to some extent play a role.

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