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  1. #1

    Relax, I'm hilarious's story

    Hello all

    Well, like many of you I've been reading these forums for a few weeks and finally decided that it was about time I actually shared my story with everyone else.

    I first noticed that I was starting to thin around my 26 birthday (happy 26th right?), nothing major but a little bit of thinning at the front. I've definitely got an adult hairline but I'd never really worried about it, I noticed that as I pulled my hair back I could see it just wasn't as strong around the hairline as the rest of the head.

    Naturally, I kinda freaked and decided that I wanted to sort this problem as soon as possible. So stupidly I went straight out and being a victim of fantastic marketing, headed straight for some regaine foam. BIG mistake here. I put it all over my frontal hairline (which at the time was actually not that bad) and to cut a long story short, I had to stop after 5 days due to it giving me quite severe headaches. Over the next month I shed like a dog. I've lost about an 1 inch of my entire frontal hairline. After talking to J&J and a dermatologist, I've been told that shedding is normal (even to this level) and that it should come back to what it was pre-regaine in about 3-4 months but suffice to say I regret this whole experience and waiting for hair to regrow is literally torture.

    Anyway... after stopping regaine, I still wanted to tackle my hairloss and after talking to my older brother I found that he had a similar experience to me and had begun propecia. He has been on it for 2 years and said it regrew most of the hair he lost and he had no sides from it. So after reading about propecia (and I'm mean seriously reading about propecia), I decided to take the plunge. I've now been on it for about 2 months and have noticed a little diffuse shedding all over (although not too bad so far) and no real side-effects as of yet.

    I suppose the point of this thread is just so I can continue to post my progress just so anyone else in the same position as me has someone to compare to. At this point I think it is worth mentioning that I am currently a final year medical student, and if my exams go well, I'll be a doctor come June. I also have a degrees in biochemistry and immunology (I know, I've been in education for WAY too long). This has given me a bit of an insight into understanding exactly what to look out for and what to expect with each of the treatments that I'm trying, as I'm trying to look at this whole event from a scientific perspective. It also means that I've read countless numbers of papers on the effects of DHT blockers on the human body to try and get as much info as possible.

    Long term I'm hoping for a positive result as I think I've caught this early but even just stopping further loss would be great and even longer term I guess the aim is to hold on propecia until (fingers crossed) something better comes out. I'm going to try and post once a week or once every other week just to keep updates on where I am and what's going on and hopefully help anyone else in the same position as me. Any input, advice or responses are always welcome!

    That's all folks!
    Anything I say should not be substituted for a medical opinion. Always consult your doctor if your having any problems.

  2. #2

    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story

    OK, so one week on and thought I’d put up a little update. I'm now 2 months and 2 weeks into my Propecia (based on the amount of blister packs i'm through) and shedding seems to have slowed slightly. I now seem to shed worse every other day. Some days it's up to 50 hairs other days only about 20, so fingers crossed the shedding could be coming to an end....
    No other changes as of yet, still lost the hairs at the front due to my Regaine fiasco but I’m still holding out that that will regrow after a couple more months.

    As a side note, for anyone that hasn't yet seen this there was an interesting study into the long term side effects of Finasteride on Japanese men over 3 years, it's the largest study outside of the official Merck one, take a look if interested:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract

    As someone who was concerned about the side effects (as everyone is I’m sure) I’m going to summarise the key points below in case you can't access the full article:
    [*]3177 men treated with finasteride 1 mg tablets who had a diagnosis of AGA[*]January 2006 to June 2009. The total period of study was 3.5 years.[*]Hair loss patterns of men with AGA were classified according to a modified Norwood–Hamilton (N-H) scale based on inspection and photographs of the scalp taken after the diagnosis of AGA[*]The type of hair loss involving the frontal through vertex areas with a preserved frontal hairline was not applicable to the N-H scale. Such cases were classified as diffuse hair loss.[*]All other hair-growing agents had to be withdrawn during the treatment with finasteride.[*]Scalp hair was inspected and photographed at pretreatment time and following every 3 months in the clinic[*]Hair growth was comprehensively reviewed by comparing the baseline and post-treatment photographs and rated according to the standardized 7-point rating scale (7 = greatly increased to 1 = greatly decreased[*]A total of 3177 patients with a diagnosis of AGA at the first visit received finasteride 1 mg tablets. Efficacy was assessed in 2561 patients (efficacy analysis population), excluding 616 who had only baseline (first visit) assessment, among the entire study population. Safety data was evaluated in the entire study population.[*]In the efficacy analysis population, 2289 patients were classified according to the N-H scale and 272 patients had diffuse hair loss[*]The response rates ranged 81.0–91.3%, and no remarkable differences were observed among different hair loss patterns except for type I (modified N-H scale), which was slightly lower at 60.6%. The proportion of patients who had no change in hair growth was slightly higher at 39.4% for type I; that of the other types ranged 8.7–18.5%.[*]The response rate in the efficacy analysis population by age at onset of hair loss was: 83.6% (271/324) for those aged 19 years or younger; 86.3% (986/1142) for 20–29 years; 89.2% (587/658) for 30–39 years; 90.5% (266/294) for 40–49 years; 83.9% (99/118) for 50–59 years; 87.0% (20/23) for 60–69 years; and 50.0% (1/2) for age 70–79 years.[*]The majority of patients exhibited moderately or slightly increased hair growth. The proportion of greatly increased hair growth was relatively low in patients with hair loss duration of 10 years or more. However, more than 85% of patients with hair loss duration of 15–19 years or 20 years or more exhibited moderately or slightly increased hair growth.[*]Adverse reactions occurred in 0.7% of the entire study population (23/3177) during the entire period of the study. The reactions include decreased libido (n = 8), hepatic functional disorder (n = 3) and unilateral mammary hypertrophy (n = 2).[*]Seven of these 23 patients discontinued the treatment due to the adverse reactions; these included decreased libido (n = 3); hepatic functional disorder, disturbance of memorization and unilateral mammary hypertrophy (n = 1 each); and palpitations, febricula and headache (n = 1). Most of them were mild, and the follow-up data is unknown because of loss of contact. Among the adverse reactions, decreased libido with or without orchiatrophy, decreased blood pressure, and hypertrichosis of the forearms showed no change during the treatment period.[*]In a report from a Turkish study comparing topical minoxidil (5%) and oral finasteride (1 mg/day), the response rate of finasteride was 80%. In this study, the response rate (87.1%) was higher than in the Turkish study (which was being used for comparison)[*]One of the reasons for this could be the characteristics of scalp hair of Japanese men. Japanese subjects generally have less hair density, larger hair diameter, and black color of hair shaft showing a marked contrast of color of hair compared to thinner and lighter color of the scalp hair in Caucasian men[*]The response rate improved with increasing duration of treatment. No major relations were observed in terms of N-H scale, age at onset of hair loss and duration of hair loss.


    So, the papers seems to say that the efficacy rate is slightly higher than Mercks original ideas and that the adverse reactions are lower, however it must be said that even though small, there were adverse reactions and even though they claim no long term effects they were only followed up over 3.5 years and no very long term studies (such as 10 year usage) were assessed. These results are encouraging in terms of the side effects profile being very low and also they state that when the users stopped finasteride the side effects disappeared.

    This paper also has an interesting regression analysis on the different response rates of ages and response rates depending on what type of AGA the patient has. One very interesting point is that they actually monitored regrowth in frontal hair in this study (unlike the merck study) and they found that it did regrow hair in that area, however it was less effective in those which had only frontal loss than in those which had loss on the vertex/crown.

    I'm currently looking at a few papers concerning the effects of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (like finasteride and dutasteride) on the effects of allopregnanolon which is a neurosteroid that is linked in with this system so hopefully my next post will contain some interesting facts about that.

    That's all for now folks!
    Anything I say should not be substituted for a medical opinion. Always consult your doctor if your having any problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member IrishFella's Avatar
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    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story

    Hey man, welcome, the best you can do is research the drug, the clinical studies are what you should paying most of your attention to. They have being consistent which is what you want to see.

    DO NOT listen to random scare stories on the internet, YOU WILL come across them sooner rather than later.

    Good luck, mate.

    1.25mg of Proscar, (0.50mg of Finpecia from February 2012 to January 2013, then switched to 1.25mg of Proscar) 2% Nizoral Monday & Friday, morning multi-vitamin drink and 25mg of Zinc at night time.

  4. #4

    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story

    Thank you for sharing. I am on my 40ish day of fin, and I must say, I have had no sides.

  5. #5

    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story

    Thanks for the encouragement guys!

    As I was saying in my earlier posts, i'm going to keep trying to research all the different papers that may be related to fin or similar products and hopefully just try and help break them down so we can all see the scientific fact and not be so concerned with scare stories.
    Anything I say should not be substituted for a medical opinion. Always consult your doctor if your having any problems.

  6. #6

    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story

    2 months and 3 weeks into propecia treatment, and still no problems as of yet to report. My hair shedding seems to have come down a bit to between 20-50 hairs a day which i think is kinda normal (although i don't know because i never really checked before i started the pills), however I’m losing some hair from the back and sides which is weird because i thought they were permanent hairs. I'm attributing this to the stress i was under when i first noticed the hair loss coupled with a few things that have been going on over the past couple of months = little bit of extra TE to couple with the hair loss. Not to worried about these hairs though, as I’m sure they will return soon. No regrowth on the front still but after i spoke to the people at Johnson and Johnson (regaines manufacturer) they said it can take 3-4 months after a shed for the hair follicle to reorganize itself before regrowth so following that i shouldn't see anything until about Jan/Feb time. They also stated that given my problem with the regaine (see first post) I should get back all the hair shed and go back to my baseline level. They said sheds are usually a good sign and it was a shame that i couldn’t continue with it because it sounded like i would have been a great responder, c'est la vie....

    Anyway i promised i was going to do some research each week into finasteride and it's different effects on the body to try and bring some science into the mix so this week, as promised, it's effects on the neurosteroid allopregnanolone:

    Allopregnanolone, a.k.a 3?-hydroxy-5?-pregnan-20-one or 3?,5?-tetrahydroprogesterone is neurosteroid present in the blood and also the brain. Being a direct metabolite of progesterone via conversion involving 5-alpha-reductase (the enzyme finasteride lowers), it is a modulator of the GABAA receptors. GABAA receptors control ?-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels - the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system responsible for regulating neuronal excitability, basically meaning it stops our neurons from overfiring. GABA is also inhibitory for glutamate, epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine and can promote relaxation and sleep. Inabilities to produce GABA have been linked with anxiety disorders, depression, MS and other problems. This is basically the current theory behind why 5-alpha-reducatse inhibitors such as finasteride or dutasteride may cause depression or anxiety.

    Now the reason I’m mentioning all this is because depression and anxiety is an actual side effect listed on the packaging of finasteride, however whilst the above explanation is one example of how this can happen, the vast majority of people will never experience this. I always remember my endocrinology professor telling me that the human bodies greatest strength was its ability to adapt. Think about it this way, when testosterone and DHT levels drop, such as in aging or in obese individuals you don't suddenly become depressed as the body adapts to these lower levels. This (I believe) is why most people will not see a problem when taking finasteride with mood and depression as the body will adapt to the lower amount of allopregnanolone and reduce or raise tolerances accordingly. The people that need to be more concerned are those with a pre-disposition to conditions such as depression or anxiety. Those who already have an imbalance which causes depression (even if they don't know it) may find it exacerbated when losing another regulatory neuro-steroid, however for everyone else (the majority), they should be fine. I reckon (and again this is just my theory) they may notice a slight change in mood over the first couple of months as their body adapts but then it will return to a normal level, it may be so subtle that you never even notice it.

    One point i would like to make is that when i've read a lot of people talk negatively about finasteride in the past they often cite scientific studies that use mice and rat models and not human ones. Whilst rat and mice models are good models to start with they are not human models and therefore their results should be viewed as such. For example, finasteride in rats affects both type I and type II enzyme in equals measures whereas in humans it has a 100 fold affinity for type II over type I. This is just one of many, many, many reasons why rat and mice models are used in science to say more investigation is needed and are not used to say that the effect is the same in humans. For those of you that are more interested in this topic I recommend printing off and reading a paper on this (link below), it is excellent and gives you a full detailed analysis of finasteride and many of its effects, just to give a brief conclusion it states that:
    "The fact that finasteride does not appear to produce anxiety, depression, increased seizure susceptibility, sexual side effects or precipitate alcohol withdrawal in a large proportion of patients bodes well for its continued clinical application for the treatment of BPH and androgenetic alopecia. Nonetheless, side effects have been reported with finasteride in a small percentage of patients, suggesting that caution might be warranted regarding the use of finasteride in susceptible populations."

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract

    Right that's your lot for this week. Next post i'm going to try and do some research intot finasteride and memory as people sometime talk about brain fog when on it so i'd like to get to the bottom of that or the effect of finasteride on athletic performance. Being a keen athlete myself and a massive gym rat, I wonder what effect it has. On the two months i've been taking it my workouts have actually got a lot better but I did also change my weights routine which could be the other reason....

    Until then take care y'all!
    Anything I say should not be substituted for a medical opinion. Always consult your doctor if your having any problems.

  7. #7
    Senior Member IrishFella's Avatar
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    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story



    Congrats, bro. You're doing exactly what every should do before they start Fin, research the drug. It sure did put my mind at ease.
    1.25mg of Proscar, (0.50mg of Finpecia from February 2012 to January 2013, then switched to 1.25mg of Proscar) 2% Nizoral Monday & Friday, morning multi-vitamin drink and 25mg of Zinc at night time.

  8. #8

    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story



    Thanks man. I'm just hoping that if i can put some stuff up here it will help put some others peoples mind at ease as well
    Anything I say should not be substituted for a medical opinion. Always consult your doctor if your having any problems.

  9. #9

    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story

    No in depth message this week as i'm stuck revising for exams coming up so just an update on how things are going.

    I'm just about coming up to the end of month 3 and as of yet no real change. Like last week i'm still shedding sporadically, some days more than others but haven't really noticed any change, some days about 50 hairs, others about 20. Saying that i wasn't expecting any change yet so i'm not exactly disappointed. Still anxious to see if there will be any regrowth on the front after my regaine foam fiasco but as of yet nothing.... Well i say nothing but i can see a few fine hairs coming through but i'm going to hold out judgement on those at the moment because unless they become thicker and darker then they don't really count. Just as a question if anyone knows if hair can change from small and light to thick and dark as it grows please tell me because i have no idea.
    Still no problems with the propecia either although i was using nizoral and had to stop because it was making my scalp really itchy and my hair quality awful. I may try it again when my scalp settles down in a couple of months but i'm not sure if it agrees with my head.

    Jut wanted to mention something else, one thing i have discovered is concealer. I'm using toppix and even though people say you can't notice my hairloss, it's noticable to me and that's all that it takes to hit your confidence. I find that some days when i look at it and i'm particularly sensitive about it, using a bit of concealer does the trick to make you feel a lot better about yourself. I know it sounds kinda stupid and vain but it works, so i'd recommend anyone that's thinking of giving concealer a try to go ahead.

    I'm still hoping to do some research on the effects of the propecia on exercise and weight lifting, being an ultra keen gym rat and boxer myself i'm particularly interested but i'm just too busy at the moment so will get round to that in a couple of weeks.
    Anything I say should not be substituted for a medical opinion. Always consult your doctor if your having any problems.

  10. #10

    Re: Relax, I'm hilarious's story

    Hey dav489

    I read your story on your thread and have to say, i admire how strong you've been through the whole thing. I can tell you've been through some real lows with this and i can't imagine how hard it has been to deal with it but your really lucky having a really great girl and your ability to persevere through this whole thing is a real inspiration to all the others guys on here! I know how hard it is to talk to people about it and my girl puts up with a lot with me looking at my hair in the mirror and moaning about it, although she does make me go to watch twilight so i guess me and her are even!

    I'm on the standard 1mg a day dose, there an interesting paper here which shows the different effects of dosages of fin on 18-36 year old men:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10495375

    Basically they showed that 0.2mg per day or above was effective but 1mg and 5mg was the most effective. However they showed little statistical difference in effectiveness between 1mg and 5mg dosages. I think i understand the theory behind what hassan and wong are saying, i'm going to take and educated guess and assume that they believe, and the studies they quote, will probably say that taking for more 5-alpha-reducatse inhibitors (taking 2.5mg) will effectively stop more of the enzyme, however as with all enzymes there is a cut off point where adding more and more of the inhibitor will be ineffective, e.g 25mg would be no more effective than 5mg. I'd definitely say consistency is more the key, taking the pill every day rather than every other day would be my advice over uping the dosage as this would help maintain a constant gondal hormonal axis which i personally believe is the key in treatment.
    Also it's worth noting that when manufacturers make pills they are not always divided equally so cutting a 5mg pill doesn't necessarily give 2.5mg in each part. It could be that one half has 1.5mg and the other 3.5mg.
    From reading on the forums there are plenty of guys who take the whole 5mg a day and are doing fine on it, also the pill was originally developed to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia and was given at a dosage of 5mg, this has been around for over 20 years so there is TONS of info on the the benefits and problems with this dosage over the long term, including how there were debates on giving every man over 50 years old finasteride prophylactically to prevent BPH ever occuring, however people don't usually get BPH until they are in their 50's so the data tends to be on older guys.

    As for the hair on the sides of my heads, it has thinned a bit all over, especially at the sideburns area i would say but oddly not the temples, which they do say is more indicative of TE rather than MPB, however this could be TE bought upon by hormonal change which could (and i stress could) be caused by your body adapting to the increased dosage and my body adapting to starting fin.

    Hope this helps a bit and i'm more than happy to answer any other questions you've got.
    Anything I say should not be substituted for a medical opinion. Always consult your doctor if your having any problems.

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