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View Full Version : Has anyone heard of stopping and restarting finasteride, inducing persistent sides?



JSmyth
08-14-2016, 06:43 PM
I have been on finasteride for about 4 years now. Over the course of time that I was on it, I did notice reduced libido and less erections but it wasn't too bad. About a year ago, so my third year on the drug, I wanted to take a month off to see if I felt any different. Within 2 weeks I felt a massive spike in my libido, as well as more erections. However I was scared of losing my hair, so I went back on Fin. My logic was at worst I could quit again down the road and stay on until a better treatment comes along.

Fastforward to this summer. Again I decide to take a break. Paranoia got the best of me and I wanted to know if I could still return to normal function after quitting. I am now one month out and absolutely nothing has changed. Low libido and the only time I feel aroused is if I watch something stimulating. I am never compelled to masturbate, but rather I masturbate to see if I can get it up. I went one week with not masturbating and felt even less drive.

Is it possible that by stopping and starting again, I did something that will have a lasting impact on my physiology? It will suck if I am like this permanently. I have nobody to be mad at if that is the case though. I rolled those dice and if it means I have to wait until the next one to be a sexual being, I gotta live with it.

Any advice? Thoughts? Or anecdotal experiences similar to mine?

MYHAIRDLS
08-14-2016, 08:36 PM
I took finasteride for about 6 years. The last two years noticed I developed a problem but could not believe it was the drug. The clinical trial data suggested only 1-2 % develop sexual dysfunction but after market experience suggests much higher incidence. Finally went off it due to loss of libido and difficulty with ED. It took about 8 months for things to get back to normal. Once back to normal I rechallenged myself at much lower dose, 0.5 mg every other day. In about 3 months I started experience difficulties again so I stopped it . Took about another 8 months to get back to normal. Wont risk it again. There has been reports of prolonged and even permanent dysfunction.

Mpbman
08-15-2016, 12:48 AM
I believe that loss of libido/erections can be also due to other factors than just propecia.

Age plays a big role - you're just not as horny at 40 as you were at 20, and your penis doesn't work the same at 40 (or even 30) as it did at 20, nothing to do with propecia.

Cigarettes, alcohol abuse, obesity, bad health, stress and other things can also affect your erections/libido.

maxout777
08-15-2016, 07:15 AM
I believe that loss of libido/erections can be also due to other factors than just propecia.

Age plays a big role - you're just not as horny at 40 as you were at 20, and your penis doesn't work the same at 40 (or even 30) as it did at 20, nothing to do with propecia.

Cigarettes, alcohol abuse, obesity, bad health, stress and other things can also affect your erections/libido.

While all that is true - that's kinda like saying, you smoked for a few years now but your lung cancer could be due to something else, like inhaling diesel fumes.

Obviously it's most likely finasteride at the root of OP's issue.

MYHAIRDLS
08-15-2016, 07:57 AM
I believe that loss of libido/erections can be also due to other factors than just propecia.

Age plays a big role - you're just not as horny at 40 as you were at 20, and your penis doesn't work the same at 40 (or even 30) as it did at 20, nothing to do with propecia.

Cigarettes, alcohol abuse, obesity, bad health, stress and other things can also affect your erections/libido.

Of course these things can affect sexual health, but his question was regarding propecia and sexual dysfunction is a well documented possible side effect

Mpbman
08-15-2016, 01:10 PM
While all that is true - that's kinda like saying, you smoked for a few years now but your lung cancer could be due to something else, like inhaling diesel fumes.

Obviously it's most likely finasteride at the root of OP's issue.

Well, it kind of not saying that.

While smoking causes lung cancer in 90% of patients (according to this page: http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/guide/lung-cancer-causes), the effects of finasteride is smaller.

According to this site:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3481923/
"The review revealed that finasteride is infrequently associated with problems of ejaculation (2.1-7.7%), erection (4.9-15.8%), and libido (3.1-5.4%)."

and

"A large prospective study in as many as 17,313 patients was conducted to look into the effects of finasteride and other covariates on sexual dysfunction as part of the analysis of The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT).[11] Sexual dysfunction was assessed in the 17,313 PCPT participants who received finasteride 5 mg during a 7-year period. Finasteride increased sexual dysfunction only slightly even at 5 mg dosage (which is much higher than the 1 mg administered in pattern hair loss) and its impact diminished over time"

So, it's not that obviously that finasteride is the root of his issues.

Mpbman
08-15-2016, 01:15 PM
Of course these things can affect sexual health, but his question was regarding propecia and sexual dysfunction is a well documented possible side effect


Sure - propecia can be the reason for JSmyth's side effects, but it might not be the only one. That's all I'm saying.

JSmyth
08-15-2016, 01:55 PM
Sure - propecia can be the reason for JSmyth's side effects, but it might not be the only one. That's all I'm saying.

I agree that other factors are at play, but I do not drink or do drugs. I eat healthy and I go to the gym every other day. The first time I went off the drug within a couple weeks a felt an immediate difference in my sexual function, both libido and erections. I am fairly sure that it is the drug which is exclusively causing this symptomatology

Mpbman
08-15-2016, 02:08 PM
I agree that other factors are at play, but I do not drink or do drugs. I eat healthy and I go to the gym every other day. The first time I went off the drug within a couple weeks a felt an immediate difference in my sexual function, both libido and erections. I am fairly sure that it is the drug which is exclusively causing this symptomatology

Well it might also be over-training that's causing the loss of libido. (google "overtraining and loss of libido")

But it seems that propecia is the reason, so you might lower the dosage or quit it altogether. But you'll start losing your hair again.

JSmyth
08-16-2016, 09:39 AM
I took finasteride for about 6 years. The last two years noticed I developed a problem but could not believe it was the drug. The clinical trial data suggested only 1-2 % develop sexual dysfunction but after market experience suggests much higher incidence. Finally went off it due to loss of libido and difficulty with ED. It took about 8 months for things to get back to normal. Once back to normal I rechallenged myself at much lower dose, 0.5 mg every other day. In about 3 months I started experience difficulties again so I stopped it . Took about another 8 months to get back to normal. Wont risk it again. There has been reports of prolonged and even permanent dysfunction.

Did your spontaneous/morning erections come back, as well as the libido?

MYHAIRDLS
08-16-2016, 03:54 PM
Yes, generally. I think my confidence took a hit but everything seems to be back to normal. Was worried for a while. Losing hair is bad enough but not nothing compared to not able to .......

maxout777
08-16-2016, 04:20 PM
Yes, generally. I think my confidence took a hit but everything seems to be back to normal. Was worried for a while. Losing hair is bad enough but not nothing compared to not able to .......

Was it an overnight kinda recovery or did it come in waves? I'm kinda experiencing my recovery in waves....6 months off.

MYHAIRDLS
08-16-2016, 07:19 PM
Was it an overnight kinda recovery or did it come in waves? I'm kinda experiencing my recovery in waves....6 months off.

Definitely waves. Came back slowly.

JSmyth
08-19-2016, 07:08 AM
Definitely waves. Came back slowly.

What kind of hit did your hair take after coming of and how long did it take?

MYHAIRDLS
08-20-2016, 04:40 AM
What kind of hit did your hair take after coming of and how long did it take?

Well it thinned. Finasteride was a very effective drug from me. I started it early when I saw thinning and I kept a nice head of hair. Once I stopped there is a very significant difference over the year. I didnt have major shedding like some people report just thinned from front to crown and if I do not comb my hair the correct way its noticeable. Its especially noticeable by end of day when hair gets a little flat and greasy. That's why I recently had RPR with Acell done in hopes of at least preserving if not improving. I tried minoxidil, which irritated my scalp to the point I could only use it 2-3 times a week, which probably accelerated the thinning process instead of helping it.

pkipling
08-23-2016, 10:29 AM
The finasteride/side effect conversation is always an interesting one to me, because the primary side effect men are worried about (libido and a healthy sex life) can be attributed to any other number of factors over the course of a man's life. I'm by no means saying that side effects aren't possible, and it seems as if this could potentially be the case for you. But why I find this topic to be so muddy is because there really isn't a way to ever know for sure. Our libidos/erections are tied just as much (if not more) to our mental, emotional, psychological, and other physical states as they are to anything related to a drug. Stress and anxiety, lack of sleep, sadness/depression, age, and many other things can contribute to problems below the belt. Even just the mere suggestion that doing one particular thing (such as taking a medication) can potentially cause your equipment to malfunction is enough by itself for your equipment to stop working. This is simply human nature.

When we're on the lookout for something, it's also very common for us to give more importance to otherwise normal situations. "I'm not feeling turned on today... Must be the finasteride. I didn't wake up with an erection... Must be the finasteride." Now, I'm not saying that this couldn't be the case, as it very well could be. But I think we would be doing ourselves a disservice to not consider other options. Are we overthinking it? Are we misremembering just how high our libidos were before we took the drug? How much time do we spend worrying about whether or not the drug will cause side effects? Have we simply gotten older and we're comparing our older self's sex drive to how it was when we were younger?

All of these things can only be answered by ourselves, by being introspective and self aware of our bodies and our mental/psychological habits. Side effects could happen, yes. But even if you don't believe the findings in the initial study (that showed that half of those that reported side effects were given placebos - think about that), the fact is that even if 10% reported side effects, chances are far greater that there is something else contributing to this than the drug alone.

So trust your gut and listen to your body, and you'll be led to the right conclusion for yourself. Wishing you a head full of hair and a healthy libido. :cool:
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I am a patient advocate for Dr. Parsa Mohebi in Los Angeles, CA. My views/opinions are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Mohebi and his staff.