View Full Version : Propecia side effects & other options

05-04-2010, 06:16 AM
I have a question about using propecia. I have been using Rogaine foam once a day for about 18 mos. I believe it has helped some on the crown however my overall diffuse thinning continues to occur. I have now started applying it twice a day to see if I will notice any improvement. However, after researching propecia it seems as if the side effects outweigh the benefits. From what I can tell every post I have read has experienced some degree of side effects. Some seem to come on rather quickly while others seem to take years to manifest. My question is there anyone who has been on propecia for an extended period (over 5 years) and experienced zero side effects. It seems that almost everyone eventually quits taking propecia after a period of time either because of sides or they feel it is not working. Iím sure there are those out there who take it indefinitely with no problems and therefore never show up on any boards to complain, however I would like to hear from them.
Also what other options do I have, Iím using foam now twice a day and Revita shampoo 7 times a week. Should I swap out my Revita for Nizoral? Is there anything else other than propecia that has a good track record?

Dr. Glenn Charles
05-04-2010, 07:48 PM
I agree that most people who have been taking Propecia for years and have not had any side effects would not be posting on this forum. I have many patients that have been on Propecia for more than five years and swear that there hair loss has stabalized and they have never noticed any side effects. I really wonder sometimes that if patients were not told about the possible side effects, what would be the percentage that claimed to have them and would these be the same as those listed .

05-05-2010, 08:06 AM
Dr Charles,

Have you ever heard of anyone getting or exacerbating tinnitus while using Propecia?



05-05-2010, 04:42 PM
has anyone tried using saw palmetto tablets as a DHT blocker instead of propecia? I've heard that its safer because its more 'natural' and at the same time i've heard it can be just as bad in causing side effects as propecia bc it still 'messes' up your hormones the same way propecia could.

05-06-2010, 07:15 AM
I was wondering the same thing about Saw Palmetto. From what I can tell the sides aren't quite as bad but there is no real evidience that is does anything either. Has anyone on this board ever had any luck with it?

05-06-2010, 03:25 PM
has anyone else tried biotin and silica tablets? I'm currently taking a pill of each a day, but htey're both in low amounts.
Last time i tried taking vitamins in pill form my face broke out in horrible cyst like acne (another thing i had to research through forums just like this to discover certain vitamins and even the gelatin in vitamins themselves can cause these types of breakouts!)
But yes i heard that biotin and silica could help promote hair thickness and strength, right now i dunno if the pills are helping that much since the main thing helping my hair right now is propecia....

05-07-2010, 05:56 AM
Aznstan - What has your experience with propecia been like?

05-07-2010, 09:16 PM
rtpatter- hi there, right now I'm at a crossroads in my hair loss situation...but ill start at the beginning.

I started noticing my hair thinning and falling out at age 23 (im 25 now) so first i tried minoxidil about 7-8 months w/o seeing results, so then i decided to try propecia along with it.
After 3 months on propecia i stopped taking minoxidil, it wasnt getting results for me. I also started taking propecia every other day to cut costs.
I started noticing my hair getting thicker overall and falling out less around the 4th month in.
I'm currently at the 5th month and though my hair is looking noticeably nicer and thicker, i started getting sexual side effects. I was always hesitant to try propecia bc of what i heard can happen to the '2 percent population that got side fx' but after 4 months being on it and still not having any side fx whatsoever (my libido was just as high as ever, had sex and masturbated daily) I figured i was in the clear.
HOWEVER the past 2 weeks the side effects started. They're relatively minor right now, loss of sensitivity on the penis, a slight feeling of disconnect from 'head to penis', loss of morning erections...noticeable loss of libido. This scared me a lot, esp. when i started researching more into it and discovered there are hundreds of guys out there that got permanent side effects years after stopping!! If you want to read up on more of the side fx that the company doesnt tell you, just google it.
The problem i find is, even though i got these side effects, they're not major: just the past few days i've noticed i still do get a bit of a morning wood but just not as freqent, im still able to have erections and masturbate, just today i noticed the feeling of 'numbness and disconnect' seems to be gone...my libido i'm not sure at this point....its hard to guage and you're so paranoid you might F#$% up your sex life forever!
So right now I'm deciding, do i continue taking propecia and *hope the side fx go away? Some ppl say they get some side fx and then they subside, others say they get some side fx that just continue to get worse or return months later and really get worse.
Do I wean myself off the pills til i stop taking them and watch my hair slowly thin and fall out?? The upside to stopping the pills would be that the side effects will hopefully never return and my sex life will be just like before the side fx started.
I'm telling you man just today when i was in the gym i saw a couple of guys w/ completely shaved heads and i DID NOT want that look for me! I don't feel confident w/ short hair, let alone buzzed hair! I'm thinking if I do stop taking propecia my only option is to just save my money and hopefully in the next 2-4 yrs there will be a safer and better procedure/surgery out there I can pay for to restore my hair. I just hope i won't have a bald spot til then!

Anyway bud i know this was a long winded reply but it was kind of a nice release for me to write it, felt great to write all these thoughts down. That's my experience w/ propecia right now.

05-07-2010, 09:47 PM
Nice post Aznstan...somewhat informative.

Do you have any pictures of the thickness you gained from propecia? What norwood are you in currently?

05-08-2010, 05:24 PM
ive never taken pics pics of my before/after, i guess i should've hehe. To be honest I don't even know what type of stage/pattern of baldness i have. I remember about a yr and a half ago i asked my barber if he could see my hair balding and he said at that point i didnt have a pattern (he just said that my hair was thinning as it does w/ everyone).

I could take a pic of my hair, the thing that mostly got me wanting to use propecia was to help my hairline stop receding (which its been steadily doing the last 3 years) and to help w/ thickness (that i can see a noticeable change). When I put some product in my hair, my scalp doesnt show as much now bc i guess the hairs have thickened or some new hair has grown, i dunno.

Where can you find out about the different stages of baldness? Do i have to go get a consultation with a hair doctor? I live in toronto canada btw.

05-08-2010, 05:32 PM
I am not sure.

You do know it is referred to as a norwood scale right?

You can google it and find some results like that I guess.

I am approaching a norwood 3 vertex. Although not quite there. I still have my crown, it is just getting thin

05-12-2010, 07:52 AM
Thanks for sharing Aznstan. You have confirmed what I fear about propecia. So my question is what other alternatives are there other than Roagine and Revita/Nizoral?

05-12-2010, 08:26 AM
You could try a topical DHT inhibitor/anti androgen like spironolactone. Topical spironolactone has very few side effects if at all any according to minoxidil.com

Although I am no expert and I can't stand behind that claim. I can tell you however that I have used plenty of it at the same time and I didn't notice any sides. Fluridil is also a topical.

I suggest you research the side effects before you try anything.

05-12-2010, 03:06 PM
I would certanly be willing to try a topical DHT inhibitor/anti androgen. However from what I read they do not work. Where do you buy Topical spironolactone and fluridil. Have you noticed any improvements when using them?

05-12-2010, 10:02 PM
I only recently started using spironolactone.

There are definitely some mixed opinions about whether it works or not. I personally believe that it does work. Spironolactone won't grow your hair back, but it probably will cause much less to fall out/die because of DHT.

I think spironolactone was originally used for acne, because it inhibits dihydrotestosterone receptors in human sebaceous glands. So, it can probably do something for hair loss as well.

Enough people believe in it for me to try it. I doubt Dr. Lee from minoxidil.com would make his spiro for $$$ and not believe in it. I think there is science behind it, though a lot of opinions as well. Fluridil you will have to google. I don't have experience with it. Although I have read that there are a good number of people who believe in it and that I would perhaps try it in the future.

Again, I am no expert at ALL. I know nothing, just trying to help.

mr green
05-17-2010, 12:33 AM

my doctor wouldn't prescribe it to me saying that it was dodgy doing it for those that have enlarged prostrate glands let alone for hair loss.

I think am going to follow his advice on the matter.

05-17-2010, 06:31 AM
As much as I would like to give propecia a go the risk do not outweigh the benefits as I have other health issues that I have to consider. My questions is what else is there besides Rogaine. Does monox with Retin-A work better than the foam. Where do you purchase?

05-17-2010, 09:31 AM
I buy from minoxidil.com

You might want to try spiro if you don't want to use propecia.

05-17-2010, 12:12 PM
You guys are putting way too much thought into this. Propecia works and has a very low risk of side effects. If you have the side effects just stop taking the stuff. If you think about it youíll get all of the side effects and they might even persist do to your mind. Iíve been on it for years and have benefited from taking it without any side effects and so have millions of men.

05-17-2010, 03:17 PM
Propecia seems to benefit the ones who's hair is susceptible to DHT correct. Also, there are blood test that can identify genetic markers associated with baldness. So does anyone know of a listing of doctors that will perform this blood test and do miniaturization exam on your hair to give you an idea of how much good propecia may do you? If I had some assurances of results I might be more willing to risk it.

05-17-2010, 06:07 PM
There is a test called HairDX that tests how beneficial finasteride may be, but to my knowledge there has not been a collection of data to prove how accurate the test is. As of 2009 I think it cost $249. (there is also a test to see how likely one is to have MPB, but I think most of us know we have it already)

I have taken Propecia for 6 months. Around months 3-4 I noticed the same symptoms that Aznstan mentioned : less frequent erections, lower libido, etc.

One observation I did make during this time, was that I wasn't getting as aroused when looking at attractive images, but when it was time for the "real thing" I was as hard as usual.

After 6 months, now I can say that everything seems normal except for watery semen, and honestly do I really care if my semen is less viscous then it used to be? Not really.

From what I read, it seems like finasteride is the only treatment that can be successful in the long term. I haven't heard many legitimate long-term success stories where someone had not used propecia, proscar, or avodart.

Unless your penis completely stops working, I would recommend riding out propecia for at least 6 months, possibly longer and see if the side effects begin to subside...one needs to let their body adjust to the decrease of DHT in your system.

05-18-2010, 06:05 AM
The main issue I have is that I typically tend to be over sensitive to any meds. The side effects that are most frequently mentioned libido, fatigue, brain fog are problems that I already deal with. I fear even adding a small amount of propecia would only increase these problems. Has anyone had any luck with .25mg. I read on another board that anything below .5mg a day is ineffective.