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  1. #1
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    Default Propecia and memory problems/brain fog ?

    I have been taking Propecia to combat hairloss for many years and have also had memory problems for quite a few years yet am in my mid-thirties. I thought it could be from my "party days" in my early twenties....but have heard that Propecia (Finasteride) causes your brain to lose focus..
    I have had a few minor prostate problems which I assume to be related to the Propecia along with sleeping problems and the decreased sex drive..
    Has anyone experience major brain fog the way I have ????...I have to take my daily DMAE or else Im not good for much..
    I do occasionally see a highly respected homeopath who has helped, but only now have I realised that Propecia could be poisoning my mind...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepitclean View Post
    but have heard that Propecia (Finasteride) causes your brain to lose focus..
    That is a pretty vague symptom and could be caused by any number of things...one of the least likely I can think of is finasteride.

    I have had a few minor prostate problems which I assume to be related to the Propecia
    You realize that finasteride is used to treat prostate problems, right?

    and the decreased sex drive..
    Which occurs in a very small number of users and is far more likely to occur when people know they are taking finasteride than when they don't...otherwise known as the nocebo effect.
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





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    Hi Benson
    Yes I am aware that Proscar contains Finasteride which is used to treat Prostate problems, but recent research indicates it could actually cause high grade prostate cancer....(as per FDA forced label change). Using Propecia can also give false positive readings of early prostate cancer so do remember to tell your doc your on Finasteride before you assume the worst..
    Regarding brain damge, this is from a Propecia symptom site.. "these important neurosteroid derivates are unnecessarily lowered (collateral damage) by 5 alpha reductase inhibitors for hairloss. These important neurosteroid derivatives are thought to function in the central nervous system with nb physiological functions including modulation of GABA typ A receptor, sigma receptor function, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, voltage gated calcium channels, and synaptic and brain plasticity"
    As you can see theres quite a bit of conflicting info....so Im trying to guess if using Finaseride is ok...or any of my memory problems are my own fault or something deep in my genetics...
    May the comments continue...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepitclean View Post
    Using Propecia can also give false positive readings of early prostate cancer so do remember to tell your doc your on Finasteride before you assume the worst.
    It can actually reduce your PSA score leading to what would more commonly be described as a "false negative" although the value of the PSA as a screening tool is being called into question recently.

    Regarding brain damge, this is from a Propecia symptom site..
    You would do yourself a favor if you stopped getting your data from a "propecia symptom site" and looked for it somewhere more unbiased.

    As you can see theres quite a bit of conflicting info.....
    Actually, there is not a lot of conflicting info. There is some information that is based on pixie dust and fairy tales and then there is real information based on science...
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





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    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benson View Post
    Actually, there is not a lot of conflicting info. There is some information that is based on pixie dust and fairy tales and then there is real information based on science...
    This cracked me up. Haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benson View Post
    Actually, there is not a lot of conflicting info. There is some information that is based on pixie dust and fairy tales and then there is real information based on science...
    Being a pompous ass as usual.

    OP, try these:

    dihydrotestosterone cognition - PubMed - NCBI
    dihydrotestosterone memory - PubMed - NCBI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odium View Post

    I agree Odium. This post by Dr. Jack Kruse just came out today - very timely:

    Jack’s Blog | Jack Kruse

    For many doctors and hair loss experts they jump to drugs. For them, it’s all about blocking the 5 alpha reductase pathway to stop making DHT (dihydrotestosterone) and estradiol (E2) in men and women. Dutasteride and finasteride are the drugs names. You know them as Avodart and Propecia. These drugs carry major risks of hypothalamic pituitary shut down long or short term. DHT is known to cause early apoptosis of hair follicles so that is why they use it. Most cases of male pattern baldness is epigenetically caused. So once the hair loss begins not much can be done to stop it. Waiting until it stops is best and then one should consider a transplant without any of these drugs! You might have trouble convincing a hair transplant surgeon to treat you this way but if you’d rather go through life known as Mr. Softy the choice is yours.

    This was chronicled in the March 2011 Journal of Sexual Health. According to Dr. Abdulmaged M. Traish, a professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine, almost all men taking these drugs experience side effects. Unfortunately, a study by Dr. Traish finds that some sexual side effects may be long-term or even irreversible. BPH medications may cause the inability to have or maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction), decreased sexual desire, and difficulty ejaculating or decreased volume of ejaculate. In women, these can alter libido, performance, and ability to climax due to changes in blood flow to the clitoris. After reading this I would hope most men would rather have good stiffness over a head full of hair.

    And a study from Dr. Irwig in March 2011:
    Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride for Male Pattern Hair Loss - Irwig - 2011 - The Journal of Sexual Medicine - Wiley Online Library

    Results.  Subjects reported new-onset persistent sexual dysfunction associated with the use of finasteride: 94% developed low libido, 92% developed erectile dysfunction, 92% developed decreased arousal, and 69% developed problems with orgasm. The mean number of sexual episodes per month dropped and the total sexual dysfunction score increased for before and after finasteride use according to the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (P < 0.0001 for both). The mean duration of finasteride use was 28 months and the mean duration of persistent sexual side effects was 40 months from the time of finasteride cessation to the interview date. Study limitations include a post hoc approach, selection bias, recall bias for before finasteride data, and no serum hormone levels.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odium View Post
    Being a pompous ass as usual.
    It's only pompasity if you can't back it up.

    If only we had a multi-year human study that compared placebo to TRT to TRT+finasteride and looked at cognitive function...oh wait, we do have one...although it did employ finasteride at 5x the dose used for MPB...

    J Androl. 2007 Nov-Dec;28(6):875-82. Epub 2007 Jul 3.
    Exogenous testosterone alone or with finasteride does not improve measurements of cognition in healthy older men with low serum testosterone.
    Vaughan C, Goldstein FC, Tenover JL.
    Source

    Division of Geriatric Medicine, Wesley Woods Health Center, 1841 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.
    Abstract

    Testosterone (T) levels decline as men age, but it is unclear whether this has an effect on cognition. Some studies indicate that lower T levels are associated with memory loss; thus, maintaining a higher T level could have positive effects on aspects of cognitive function. Concerns exist, however, about the effect of T therapy on the prostate in older men. We hypothesized that T replacement in older men with low T levels would improve aspects of cognitive function and that the addition of finasteride would not affect the T-induced cognitive improvements. Healthy men, 65 to 83 years of age, with baseline total T below 350 ng/dL and no evidence of cognitive impairment were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 regimens: 200 mg of T every 2 weeks by intramuscular injection with placebo pill daily (T-only), 200 mg of T every 2 weeks by intramuscular injection with 5 mg of finasteride daily (T+F), or placebo injections and pills (placebo). Sixty-nine men completed baseline cognitive testing; 65 completed at least 4 months, and 46 completed all 36 months of the study. Participants were given a battery of cognitive evaluations at baseline, 4 months, and 36 months, along with measurement of serum hormone levels. Serum total T, bioavailable T, and estradiol levels in the T-only and T+F groups significantly increased throughout the treatment period, whereas these hormone levels did not change in the placebo group. Only minimally significant differences were seen among the 3 groups in any evaluation of cognitive performance, either in the short-term (4 months) or the long-term (36 months) analysis. These results indicate that T replacement, whether given alone or in combination with finasteride, for 36 months in healthy older men without cognitive impairment at baseline has no clinically significant effect on tests of cognitive function. Further studies are warranted to determine whether hormone replacement in men with preexisting cognitive impairment is beneficial.

    PMID: 17609296

    Exogenous Testosterone Alone or With Finasteride Does Not Improve Measurements of Cognition in Healthy Older Men With Low Serum Testosterone -- Vaughan et al. 28 (6): 875 -- Journal of Andrology
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





  9. #9
    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    You do understand that the study group for this "study" was not randomized...they surveyed men to ask them if they had side effects that they believed were caused by finasteride and included only those who responded in the affirmative...

    You also understand that finasteride is subject to a very powerful "nocebo" effect and that men who are informed that finasteride may cause sexual side effects are 300-400% more likely to experience them than men taking the same dose of the drug who are not told this?
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





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    Quote Originally Posted by Benson View Post
    You do understand that the study group for this "study" was not randomized...they surveyed men to ask them if they had side effects that they believed were caused by finasteride and included only those who responded in the affirmative...

    You also understand that finasteride is subject to a very powerful "nocebo" effect and that men who are informed that finasteride may cause sexual side effects are 300-400% more likely to experience them than men taking the same dose of the drug who are not told this?
    Sure, I understand what you are saying. My rebuttal is that the study that reported the nocebo effect also reported that 15.3% of the users experienced adverse effects, which is much higher than what Merck will report.

    Regardless, there are more than few FDA medications you could not pay me enough to put into my body, and Fin is one of them.

    Finasteride 5*mg and Sexual Side Effects: How Many of these are Related to a Nocebo Phenomenon? - Mondaini - 2007 - The Journal of Sexual Medicine - Wiley Online Library

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    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    5mg is also the dose used for BPH, not for MPB...the side effect incidence rate at 1mg/day is very low.

    And from my n=1 study, neither finasteride nor dutasteride have produced any side effects after years of use. I got more "sexual side" effects from meloxicam than I ever got from a 5ARi
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





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    Quote Originally Posted by Benson View Post
    5mg is also the dose used for BPH, not for MPB...the side effect incidence rate at 1mg/day is very low.

    And from my n=1 study, neither finasteride nor dutasteride have produced any side effects after years of use. I got more "sexual side" effects from meloxicam than I ever got from a 5ARi

    IIRC there isn't much difference in 5AR inhibition between 1 mg and 5 mg?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    I can't recall off the top of my head but the side effect profile is worse in 5mg users.

    BPH is associated with ED and similar issues so its hard to say what is causing the increased incidence, the condition or the dose. But an older man suffering from BPH is going to be far more likely to suffer sexual dysfunction issues than a younger man with MPB.

    Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





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    Thanks for all contributing your ten cents worth of info ...So I guess I will take my chances and pop my daily 1mg Finpecia(Propecia generic).
    Any brain fog I experience is probably due to my "active party lifestyle" in my twneties..

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    And fwiw, I took dutasteride some odd 7 years ago for around 6 - 8 months. I definitely noticed brain fog, in fact it was the only side effect I had from it, but it was intense, and almost derealizing at first. But duta inhibits both both types of 5ar, one of which is more "active" in the brain.

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    Interesting..tough call a person needs to make....the hair is holding well....thank goodness for DMAE which sorts my brain out..

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    Hi all
    Been off Finasteride for about three days and there has been a slight improvement in both memory and depression...
    I think I will save for my transplant. Read that green tea extract with saw palmetto can help hold onto hair.

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    Senior Member Benson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepitclean View Post
    Hi all
    Been off Finasteride for about three days and there has been a slight improvement in both memory and depression...
    I think I will save for my transplant. Read that green tea extract with saw palmetto can help hold onto hair.
    That is commonly know as the placebo effect.

    Maybe you missed the well-controlled, peer-reviewed study showing that finasteride had no effect on men's cognition over three years at 5x the dose you are currently taking...
    Remember, believe none of what you hear and half of what you see...





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    I stopped Fina also.. Face was always oily, brain fog, penis was somewhat desensitized also temporarily lost girth, and sometimes taking a piss turned into a nightmare having to wait for it to drain out.. Luckily all these effects disappeared within 2 weeks of discontinuing propecia.

    Worked great for hair, and my physique certainly improved..

    I too will just save up for an implant, the brain fog boneheaded feeling I couldnt deal with it.

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    Benson..I would love to agree with you regarding the Placebo effect, you could be right regarding my cognition issues. There is scientific evidence that states that those who are predisposed(hereditary) to depression will be affected most (me). My mood has improved as in night and day since stopping Propecia.
    Syphon80 I have also had those dribbly pees and sides you mentioned..

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