You may have heard about Propecia (active ingredient: Finasteride) as the wonder pill that slows or even stops hair loss in men. According to Wikipedia:
Finasteride is used to treat male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in men only. Treatment provides about 30% improvement in hair loss after six months of treatment, and effectiveness only persists as long as the drug is taken.
The way it works:
It is a type II 5α-reductase inhibitor; 5α-reductase, an enzyme, converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
That 5a-reductase enzyme, which does seem to cause hair follicle death, turns out to be extremely important for the health of any man. How do I know this?
I’ve been taking a generic form of Finasteride for the past year, and let me share with you my journey in androgenous hell. I started with 1-mg a day, but after about 6 months I reduced the amount of .5-mg by cutting the pills in half. Despite taking a reduced amount, the effects were absolutely crippling on my life as a man. It’s been roughly one month since I’ve stopped using it, now my life is slowly returning back to normal.
The first six months were uneventful, and I was even happy with the results: hairs were falling out of my head much slower than normal. My hair loss was not anything extreme – I used to have long bangs covering my forehead and it was receding. I was not losing much hair on the back of my head.
My reasons for taking the pill were for maximum vanity. I wanted to preserve every last hair on my head if at all possible. The price I ended up paying has made me realize my hubris, although in my defense there was no way to know how bad shit could get.
At the end of these first six months, I things ended with a girl was I was banging back in last November after she told me she was going back to Kazakhstan. This would be the last time I would have sex until I got off the pill.
What started the downward spiral was that one day, at the gym, after doing some routine squats, I felt a sharp joint pain in my hip where the femur is connected. I figured I pulled a tendon and I needed to stay out of the gym for a few weeks while it recovered.
A month later, the pain was still there, and I had lost 5 pounds of muscle mass. I was down to 155 pounds at 5’8”. I hated going to doctors so I figured I would just take the month of January to rest some more. I read online that tendons can take a long time to heal.
Three months later, the joint pain was still there. I was down to 150 pounds. I was becoming depressed because I couldn’t lift at the gym and I was starting to walk with a limp. I also noticed that for the past three months, I had absolutely no desire to find women or have sex. I forced myself to go out dancing to pick up some chicks, but when I was dancing with them I never felt like asking them out nor did I feel any desire to have sex. I thought at first since it was deep in winter I was just being lazy, but even looking at porn did little to stimulate me. I wondered if I was just getting old and weak?
6 months later, the pain in my femur at the hip was still there. I weighed 135 pounds. 25 pounds of muscle mass gone. I could see my ribs when I sucked in my stomach. My strength and energy had disappeared. I was constantly in need of sleep. At my step-mother’s 60th birthday party, I fell asleep on a couch in spite of not having a single drink and it only being 9pm. At this point, my father came over to me and asked me to see a doctor, and told me he was worried sick for my health. I looked in the mirror and saw this:
Discovering the truth
At this point, I wasn’t sure what the hell was wrong with me. So I googled, “Propecia weight loss” and I found this forum:
The stories were horrifying, and most of them far worse than mine – men who not only had lost all functionality of testosterone, but many had quit for years and still never recovered! At this point, I felt like a total fool. I threw my pills in the trash but saved a few for the doctor to look at.
The stories on this forum range from guys who took the pill for 6 years before noticing their health was deteriorating, all the way to extreme cases of men who took the pill for one month and their dick shut off, permanently, forever.
Additionally, it turns out that the major studies used to justify the drug’s safety may have large flaws.
BACKGROUND: Finasteride 1 mg (Propecia) is indicated for the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss, MPHL). However, the long-term (> 2 years) efficacy and safety of finasteride in this population has not been previously reported.
Objectives. To assess the efficacy and safety of finasteride in men with MPHL compared to treatment with placebo over five years.
METHODS: In two 1-year, Phase III trials, 1,553 men with MPHL were randomized to receive finasteride 1 mg/day or placebo, and 1,215 men continued in up to four 1-year, placebo-controlled extension studies. Efficacy was evaluated by hair counts, patient and investigator assessments, and panel review of clinical photographs.
They used 1-year studies to assign a drug to men who would take it indefinitely. Some of the men on the forum above took the drug for up to six years. Imagine if someone released a study saying cigarettes were safe because nothing happened to the users after 1-year.
The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy of finasteride in preventing prostate cancer in 18,882 men aged 55 years or older. The PCPT offered an opportunity to prospectively study the effects of finasteride and other covariates on sexual dysfunction.
Concluding a drug tested on men older than 55 is safe for men under 30? Gee, what could go wrong?
BACKGROUND: The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT)-a randomized placebo-controlled study of the efficacy of finasteride in preventing prostate cancer-offered the opportunity to prospectively study effects of finasteride and other covariates on the health-related quality of life of participants in a multiyear trial.
METHODS: We assessed three health-related quality-of-life domains (measured with the Health Survey Short Form-36: Physical Functioning, Mental Health, and Vitality scales) via questionnaires completed by PCPT participants at enrollment (3 months before randomization), at 6 months after randomization, and annually for 7 years. Covariate data obtained at enrollment from patient-completed questionnaires were included in our model. Mixed-effects model analyses and a cross-sectional presentation at three time points began at 6 months after randomization. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Not once do they state the age of the participants, or how long the users took the drug, and yet this study concludes finasteride is safe for men.
From more reading on this forum, I discovered another disturbing fact: most doctors are unable to detect what is wrong with men who are taking Propecia. Blood tests do not reveal any lowered amount of testosterone, or any other anomalies. Thus the men on the forum came up with a different hypothesis.
5α-reductase is similar to the spark plug in a car engine. Without a spark plug in an engine, gasoline will pump into the cylinders but no ignition will happen. Likewise Propecia shuts off this enzyme, which would likely make the testosterone functionally useless. When you take blood samples, most medical professionals will fail to detect anything wrong with you.
Furthermore, the joint pain was caused by the shrinkage of muscles – they squeeze around the joint causing it grind together. I fear I may have caused permanent damage to my femur and hip joint as a result, but as I am writing this the pain has lessened considerably as my muscle grows back. I am currently back at 143 pounds. Still another 17 pounds of muscle to go. I went out dancing last week and I felt the rush of dancing with pretty girls once again. My manhood will survive this.
Heed my warning
Don’t let this happen to you, though. If you are currently taking Propecia or any other alternative, I would advise you to stop right now. Some men’s bodies handle this medication better than others, but the longer you take it, the more likely bad shit is going to happen to you.
Your testosterone is way more valuable than your hair. Trust me. I learned the hard way. Most guys don’t realize just how essential this gift from God is until you don’t have it. Without testosterone functioning properly, you cannot grow muscles, fuck women, or even think straight. It’s essential to every function as a man.
There are currently class action lawsuits against the company, although as usual because it only affects men most people do not give a damn. Based on my research, I think that Propecia is engaged in false advertising on two counts:
1. They say negative side effects only happen to 2%, when it’s clear from the forum I linked above that it’s way higher than that.
2. They say negative side effects are only temporary, when in fact the accounts suggests many men suffer from permanent damage, either in loss of sex function, muscle function, or joint function.
This pill is yet another example of big pharma selling bullshit in order to make profits. Better hair replacement technology is coming in the next ten years anyways. Hair cloning will be ready before we’re dead. Don’t risk your health on this scam foisted upon men.