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Dr. Jacobs,
Any thoughts on the studies that show significantly lower serum levels of neurosteroids (e.g., allopregnanolone) in humans taking finasteride?


Oh my god help me I'm fucked because of finasteride.

alan jacobs, md

I do not advise reasoning in reverse. Just because you're on finasteride, does not necessarily mean you get these adverse symptoms. As far as I can tell, it is a subset of men who do. Predicting ahead who is in that subset is the real challenge.


Dr Jacobs,

This article seems to correlate with your findings - and shows that 3-adiol levels can be increased, creating hedonic effects - or in the case of the increasing amount of finasteride sufferers - perhaps a return to normalcy.



Sorry Dr but I came off proscar and crashed and have ALL of the symptoms. Worried I'll be like this forever.


Hi Doctor,

Would post fin sufferers see a decrease in cortisol due to drop in 3-alpha Diol?
How can 3-alpha Diol be increased


if finasteride-induced low-DHT persists, this would lead to decreases in 3-beta-Diol, which would lead to more anxiety and less down regulation of the cortisol response in response to a given amount of stressor. The only way I know to increase 3-beta or 3-alpha Diol would be via increasing DHT, assuming the conversion process is still intact and functioning normally.


If i am reading this study correctly,
it unfortunately indicates that supplementation via DHT increased the 3-diols only 17 percent because the primary conversion of DHT is at the 17-carbon position - Adiol 17-G. Therefore, perhaps it would be more beneficial to directly supplement 3-alpha or 3-beta diol? 3-alpha diol was a "prohormone" supplement before the bush administrations 2004 ban of steroidal precursors, but the compound does exist.


It would obviously be of great interest to use it in a restricted set of circumstances to judge efficacy and side effects. Is there a significant experience out there of men using it?(3-alpha or 3-beta Diol)


As the supplement was banned in 2004 due to the Bush administrations ban of ALL steroidal precursors (a similar compound was highly publicized in use by Mark McGuire, leading to the ban) I believe these precursors are now considered class III substances as are testosterone and DHT, but
I do not see why they could not be ordered by a practitioner for compounding. Note Frye's use of the compound in various animal studies.



I took Propecia for about 2.5 months....while I was taking Testosterone injections.

I have since stopped the injections and stopped taking Propecia. Do you think that short amount of time is likely to cause permanent side affects?


I think the issue of permanent side effects depends on factors intrinsic to each individual, separate and distinct from time alone.


A year ago my partner (41 yrs) started taking Propecia, I found out because we'd been together for 3 years and he had a high libido and we enjoyed a regular exciting sex life then suddenly he lost all interest in sex, it was as if some one had turn the light off. At first thought he may have been troubled with work or money, or even met someone else but when cleaning the home I found an empty pack of Propecia Pills in the bin.

As he is taking the pills in secret, I have not had the courage to discuss this issue with him as his hair loss is obviously of huge concern to him. Its been about a year now and our sex life has come to a grinding halt.

My other concern is that I am wanting to start a family, aside from stating the obvious concern outline above I am also I am afraid of the side effects this drug may have on the fetus.

Are you able to offer me some advise on how to approach the subject with my partner?

Do you have some material you could send for him to read?

Are you aware of any side effects (or claimed side effects) on a fetus due to this drug?

I thank you for you time. I hope more studies will raise the awareness of the side effects this drug has on couples sex lives. I'm sure if men only realised that their woman would rather have a great sex life with them just as they are than bored in bed with a full head of hair!

Thanks again,
New Zealand


@ Annon...send him this link thru an anoynmous email address. that may help him to wake up! although u'll have to delete your post lol

Sandra Halem

My husband began taking finasteride along with his Rapaflo for enlarged prostate in March. He had begun having some bleeding from the enlargement. Suddenly in August during the last 10 days he began to experience panic attacks and anxiety. He has low blood pressure normally and is 72 years old and in otherwise good health except for high cholesterol. he went off Lipitor in December because of shaking symptoms which have since ceased. The anxiety/panic has been constant for a week and he feels weak and vulnerable with little energy. After sexual orgasm he did experience weakness and fainting. Could the finasteride be causing this?


Look plain and simple this drug is no joke, I don't work for anybody in relation to this post.. I'm just your normal everyday person with crap salary. Ive been taking Propecia since I was 22 I didn't start having problems until I switched to the generic version of Propecia which is cut into 4 pieces to equal the same dosage. I started suffering with anal pain which resulted in a lot of things being put up there with nothing for results, then progressed to testicular pain which resulted to me being in the hospital with some old lady doing this weird slimy scan on my testicles with that machine they use on pregnant ladies then progressed to digestion issues where everything was unbalanced and inflamed with certain dietary changes gas like crazy! like explosions of airy farts... Then progressed to moobs lol aka man boobs and seriously I'm 5,11 and 140 pounds there shouldn't be much room for man boobs I'm skinny and 26 years old so really? Other side effects since I have been on and off the drug, blurry vision, problems thinking sort of foggy brain function, lack of interest, sex? totally gone unless I find some random stripper which can erect even the oldest man and also a slu of random psychological problems. As for everyone wondering if theres other issues medically with me.. No nothing had all the blood tests, cancer screening, hormone tests, allergy test, viral tests everything 100% perfect and healthy. And one more thing I don't eat fast food or sodas.... water and vegetables and fresh meats with fruits and stuff like that is what I eat!. THIS DRUG CAN SERIOUSLY MESS WITH YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE!
My Recommendation if your young and having hair loss use this drug to get you to that age where you don't care anymore and then stop forever.

Sandra Halem

Just wanted to report that my husband's anxiety/panic stopped completely after going off the finasteride (Propecia) within 48 hours! Energy has returned and personality is normal again. This was after 2 straight weeks of terrible emotional distress. Thanks for this alert. He will tell his urologist.
Smiling again in Ohio

K. Shreve

My father has been on this medication for about 6 months. Prior to that he was taking Flomax and was taken off of it because I complained about it affecting his memory. It was like someone flipped a switch! Now I find out finasteride has many of the same side effects at the Flomax. His brain fog, confusion and memory has become so bad he can barely function. I have watched him deteriate rapidly and had no idea of this side effect of the finasteride. I am stopping it today and would appreciate any comments or suggestions from anyone who has going through this or has advise. I am praying he doesn't have permanent damage. Good luck to all affected by this medication.


OMG, I think we've unearthed what ails my husband!
All symptoms are matched. G's been on Propecia, and then, as a cost effective alternative, 1/4 tablets of Proscar per day, for at least 4 years. Tonight he said he wondered whether this med. was in any way responsible for the utter exhaustion he experiences at the end of each day. I am usually one to check the labels of everything we put in our mouths, and 'am devastated at this obvious slip. (Ironic, I've always harangued my parents for not researching their prescribed meds!) I have read that as men stop the meds, the symptoms kick in. We are already there! Will stopping 'cold turkey' exasperate symptoms?
Any advice/suggestions asap will be most gratefully received.


Yes, the brain fog is true. This side effect MUST and SHOULD BE declared by Merck, though, of course, they are not going to risk their billion dollar business. Consumers are ripe for a class action lawsuit. Irony is that I was studying for my law degree whilst on propecia, and the brain fog caused me to mess up some of my exams, else I could litigate for us all!


Dr Jacobs,

I took a herbal dietary supplement last year for hair loss for a period of 3 weeks that included, among other ingredients, the herb Saw Palmetto, He Shou Wu (Chinese herb), Pumpkin Extract, Phytosterols and Quercetin. Saw Palmetto mimicks the effect of Finasteride in inhibiting Type II 5-alpha reductase, and possibly Type I as well. I mainly suffer from low libido, a feeling of prostate shrinkage,scrotal and testicular shrinkage, reduced sensation in the penis. I haven't taken any medication yet to alter the negative side effects of the drug, and I am mainly suffering from the following hormonal imbalances:

Low-Normal DHT.
Very-Low-Normal FSH. (at the minimum edge of the reference range)
Low-Normal LH.

Would Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate) help in re-boosting the Hypothalamic-Pituiary-Testicular-Axis and reversing these side effects?


Scott Kessler

I am a 39 yr old man crying at the computer as I am reading this. I started taking Finasteride purchased online when I was 30 i.e. 9 yrs ago. I have a master degree in mechanical engineering and consider myself smart. Within the last three years I started to notice that I was always tired. I noticed that I had difficulty with speech and communicating my ideas to others. This is very important as an engineer. I can write well but not communicate verbally. About a year ago the tiredness became so severe that I realized something was wrong with me. I became and am addicted to caffeine. I am a zombie at work. Being the problem solving engineer that I am, I self diagnosed myself with sleep apnea. Three months ago I purchased an Auto CPAP machine to treat the sleep anea. It's an auto adjusting machine that will automatically adjust to the severity of the sleep apean that I had. Well, this machine isn't working. I'm in a complete brain fog as I write this. The machine stats is telling me that if I have sleep anea, it's very minor i.e it's setting the pressure to barely therapeutic levels. I now realize the problem is with the Finasteride that I purchased online in Mexico and India. Tonight in deperation at the extreme fog like state, I speculated a correlation between the drug and what I'm feeling. I know something is wrong with me.


Dr. Jacobs:

My husband has been taking Finasteride for years, in a bizarre ploy to avoid losing his hair--I had been telling him for years that he was crazy, that he didn't need to take the stuff.

At any rate, he ignored me, and went ahead and bought the stuff online, from one of those pharmacies overseas.

Last night he discovered that the issues he's been having now for a couple of years (brain fog, inability to reach REM sleep, being exhausted all the time, breathing that stops suddenly and without warning) could all be caused by the Finasteride he's been taking. To say that I am upset and angry at his having endangered his health in this manner enrages me to no end.

Are there any studies that show that there is a possible link between Finasteride and these kinds of sleep issues? I am horrified that my husband might've done himself so much harm in the name of vanity.

Marc Harman

I started taking finestride in 2000 and noticed a drop in libido and involentry erections but was told that this was rare, by the company,my hair still kept falling out. they told me that there was a more effective drug called DUTASTERIDE i Started taking that and in 5 days my libdo went through the roof for 2 days then plummeted but i thought it was coincdence,that was in 2003 I havn't had a relationship with a girl since then because of i'm unable to get erections, I thought it was my testoserone, I had 2 tests done in london and although they were on the low side for my age the Dr said that should be enough, I never told him that I was on this hair loss drug because the company said that side effects were so rare !and they down played this drug,

Then on chrismas eve 2010 my freind said did you see the BBC programme about that those tabletes causing impotance, We looked it up on you tube and i nearly thruogh up, that was the missing link to the jigsaw puzzle I've sufferd for nearly ten years, I then made the mistake of stop taking them and on the 5th day I woke up as if I was castrated ! I had no feeling beween my legs and absolutly no libidlo, and felt like a 9 year old boy, I had no idea about these tablets and the side effects untill xmas but i've been suffering since taking them,

The strange thing is that after about 7 days I took 1 capsule and my libdo went up for 2 days although not as high as before and I had feelings in my penis that I had n't had for years, so these tabs must turn something of or on ?

I saw my local GP and she said it was all in that mind and to get a good nights sleep,I said could I have some sleeping tabs or anti anxity tabs as I am crawling out of my skin at the thought of never having sex or children or a wife, NO was the answer,So a bottle of wine every night is the only way I can stop my self leaping out of bed.

I had no Idear that all my dreams would be crushed by a drug, And I only wanted to appear more attractive to the opposite sex.

I beg any man dont touch these hair loss capules,I have contacted DR Alan Jacobs and will do anything to get my life back I am a dead man in a shell


Please help, I don't know what to do. I have all the symptoms described for PFS. I feel really terrible for taking those pills. If I knew it would have these kind of side effects I would have never taken them. I don't feel like living anymore.

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