This article isn’t going to be like my other articles here on HD. It’s a bit of an outlier – but I wanted to get this off my mind for a while and decided to put it up here as a hopeful warning to others.
I have to include an obvious disclaimer for anyone that comes here from other sources or doesn’t know me: I don’t write about hairloss ever, and probably never will again after this article. Nor do I sell anything in relation to it. I’m as unbiased as they come.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know what finasteride/Propecia is. But just in case you don’t, it’s an anti-hairloss pill that people take to slow or reverse balding/thinning of the hair.
This article is simple. I’m telling you: Don’t use the shit.
My Story: Why I Say ‘Don’t Use Finasteride’
As for the hair: I have some minor recession in the front of the forehead region (no vertex problems, yet). It’s not horrible, never was, and most people barely notice it. But I wanted to be proactive about stopping it from getting worse if I could.
I went to see a doctor to talk about slowing hair loss as I knew I was genetically prone to it from a young age. Wanted to offset it as long as possible. I started receding around age 19, started minoxidil at 21, and rode a few other treatments until 24.
I still have most of my hair (haven’t had a permanent change, same as when I was 19) but I have always buzzed my hair anyway because I like how it looks.
When I was 24, the doctor I spoke to mentioned finasteride as a potential treatment option. He said he could prescribe it, so I went with it. I looked up some stuff about it online and seen some good results and figured why the hell not give it a shot.
I was prescribed 5mg tablets that I cut into fourths for 1.25mg every other day. Doc told me to take them daily, but I wasn’t going to do that so I took them only about 3 or 4 times a week.
I had no side effects (sexual or anything else) for an entire year.
That I noticed.
Principally because I wasn’t even aware that fin could give severe side effects, or any at all really.
About 2 months into the poison pill I noticed my libido dropped significantly. I didn’t even consider that fin could be the cause. I kept rolling on it for an entire year until I spoke to the doctor who told me I really should be taking it daily for maximum benefit.
So I did. I decided to take more of it. I changed from the 3 or 4 times a week to everyday like the doctor recommended.
And what happened?
I got hit with the worst cognitive impairment issues I have ever dealt with in my entire life.
Brain fog to the extreme. It was impossible to think clearly. After only 4 days on the daily regimen.
My performance nosedived at work (which sucked, because I was in additional training at my job).
Hell, I could barely remember how I was driving to/from work most days. It was all just a giant blur.
Do you realize how difficult life is when you can’t think right? It’s hell. Complete and utter hell. I’d take so many punishments over that fog.
Now, nothing else in my life had changed. I was still exercising 5x a week, still eating healthy, low stress, everything was fine.
I knew it had to be the finasteride that hit me. So I quit taking it. A week later? It cleared right up. No problems.
So I decided to give it another shot with the 3-4x a week again, just to test the hypothesis that fin caused this. Hell, it worked fine the first year after all, right?
And yet again, brain fog the next day after the first pill. It came back.
Finally I looked it up, and what did I find?
There are entire online communities of people talking about problems with this drug. One specific problem? Brainfog. Another? Loss of libido. Both exactly what I had.
I dropped the stupid pill entirely.
Brain > hair.
And I couldn’t believe what it had actually done to me over the year.
After about two weeks, I became floored with how much my libido and general masculinity returned. I didn’t even realize it had hit me so bad.
I didn’t realize it was what was also making me tired after work – now after work I can workout and do more activities nonstop, no problem. On fin? Not a fucking chance. Constantly lethargic.
Brain fog? Haven’t experienced it since.
In the gym? Hulkmode returned.
I was coasting along in life at 60% when I should have been at 100%. There was no reason for this impairment, I don’t care nearly enough about my hair to justify those sides.
On fin, I still had a high sex drive. So I didn’t think anything changed. But I didn’t have that same drive – desire – that returned to me as soon as I dropped it. I had forgot what it felt like.
It was like an old friend coming back to me. I just wanted to bust shit and hit things because of how stupid I felt trusting that doctor without doing my own due diligence.
This pill fucked me for a year, and I was so doped up from the cognitive impairment it gives I didn’t even realize it was messing with me that bad.
All for what? To save a few hair follicles? No thanks.
Not only that, but it feminized me a bit.
Don’t believe me?
Well I got bloodwork to prove it.
My estrogen levels were nearly in the 90’s! I’ve never had an estradiol problem in my life. Always done regular bloodwork every year or couple years since I was 18. The average for men is 10-39. With 30’s being generally somewhat high. I was in the female range for estrogen.
See the actual screenshot of my results:
Got my blood tested after I quit fin for a month. Guess where my estrogen levels were then?
I dropped the fin, everything went back to normal.
Fin caused it.
This pill can actually, truthfully, give you female levels of estrogen. Is that worth it to save your hair?
So after this astonishing result, I started doing some research into this pill and its original manufacturer, Merck, and found some interesting things worth mentioning.
The Original Manufacturer – Merck
Merck made a different drug called Vioxx that was withdrawn from the marketplace:
Vioxx was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2004. Vioxx is in a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Vioxx works by reducing substances that cause inflammation, pain, and fever in the body.
Vioxx is used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and certain forms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; to manage acute pain in adults; to treat migraines; and to treat menstrual pain.
You want to know why Vioxx was withdrawn from the market?
Because it was literally fucking killing people.
And Merck knew it was killing people AND HID IT:
But Merck executives had become aware of potential cardiovascular risks associated with the drug as early as May 2000 and did little to pull back the reins on the drug’s development and marketing.
Clues about troubling side effects emerged in a large clinical trial launched in 1999 that compared the gastrointestinal side effects of Vioxx with side effects of an older painkiller, naproxen.
As Merck had hoped, results from the Vioxx Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research study (VIGOR) showed that patients taking Vioxx suffered fewer ulcers and bouts of gastrointestinal bleeding.
But during the study, 79 of the 4,000 patients taking Vioxx suffered serious heart problems or died — a number twice as high as in the naproxen group.
Despite the red flags, marketers at Merck decided against a study aimed specifically at Vioxx’s effects on the heart. They feared it might send the wrong message and interfere with Merck’s competitive edge on the rival drug, Celebrex.
They ended up paying over 5 billion in lawsuit settlements in regards to Vioxx.
And yet you trust the studies these same researchers do on finasteride?
This company knowingly killed people with their drug, and yet you think they are too noble to buy a researcher to give finasteride a glaringly positive review?
Are all those people just full of it? Am I lying for no reason, even though I don’t have a market interest in this either way? What other drug has 2 giant forums dedicated to bitching about permanent and damaging side effects?
The Overall Reality of Fin
The pill is dangerous. Some people will get those weird sides, some won’t. But the reward does not outweigh the risk. This is some heavy shit for someone to deal with, especially a young male that needs to be strong for himself and his society.
And the real kicker? A lot of people say they aren’t as lucky as me. The sides didn’t go away.
We have millions of men using finasteride for strictly vanity purposes that has the potential to turn them into cognitive zombies, limp-dick losers, or men with estrogen levels equivalent to women.
And for what? For hair?
Are men lacking confidence so much that we are so concerned with what people think that we would risk our mental and sexual health? Just get a transplant if you’re that worried – damn.
Listen, most dudes don’t care if you have hair or not. In fact, most men tend to be more respectful to bald men because they look more masculine/intimidating. There are plenty of studies on this effect.
The typical response to this is “what about being attractive to women?”. Well my response to that is simple: What is the point of being attractive to women if you have the libido of an 80 year old and a limp dick by 35?
What’s the point of being attractive at all if you can’t think straight – your brain is far more important in the long run than your looks. You’ll still have your brain at 50, but more than likely your attractiveness will decline significantly by then – hair or no hair.
This drug hit my brain. Which means it can cross your blood-brain barrier too. Finasteride targets DHT, and scientists/medical professionals do not know exactly what role DHT plays in the body. You’re neutering it without even knowing exactly what it does in your body.
Well, I definitely know DHT must have some impact with cognitive functioning and with sexual aspects in men. Because it caused me sides there, and immediately left upon cessation.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be able to read, create, and continually learn rather than impress some bimbo at a bar with my hair for 5 seconds.
Listen: I get the vanity aspect of this. Especially because I started receding so young (at 19). I know it sucks. It’s reality. Accept it or fight it. But don’t be stupid. Your hair is not worth your masculinity or your intellect.
No one warned me about this drug, but if you’ve read this article then you have been warned and you have that advantage. Use it.
I wish I would have known the potential risk. I would have ran in the other direction. I don’t play games with my mental health. On the brightside, I learned a valuable lesson: never blindly trust doctors. They can be as brainless as I was during my fin brainfog episode.
I’m not telling you to roll over and go bald. Do whatever you want to do. Try other things like a transplant, or just own it and buzz it like I do. No judgment for either option. I get it.
But keep clear of fin. The other options won’t mentally scar you at least.
And this is coming from someone that had zero known sides for the entire first year of use. I’ve seen reports of people having no sides for 5 years until they get hit. Some as little as a few weeks.
You don’t know when it will hit. You have to take it for life or you will lose everything you gained. Do you want that stress looming over you your entire life?
And yet, when I was researching this online I seen people that knew these risks and still took the dive. Seriously? The risk vs reward here for cognitive issues is very apparent, even if the risk you get it early or at all is relatively small. The sexual side effects are even more apparent, with tons of men dealing with them.
We are living in an age where people are willing to risk their mental capacity and manhood in return for some extended-time vanity. Whether it is cultural conditioning or mental gymnastics, I don’t know. But it’s horrifying. And plain stupid.
In summary: Don’t use finasteride.