Propecia, Brain Fog And Risk Of Dementia | HairLossTalk Forums

Propecia, Brain Fog And Risk Of Dementia

Discussion in 'Dealing with Side Effects' started by Aaron2014, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. Aaron2014

    Aaron2014 New Member

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    This is my first post so apologies in advance if I get something wrong. I want to make clear that I have no agenda - I genuinely want to hear your thoughts and experiences. I am concerned but, by no means, panicked. I am trying to decide whether to continue my current treatment for hair loss, or to stop altogether.

    I am 44 years of age and have been on propecia 1mg for about 24 months. I started treatment because I had early, but aggressive hairloss - NW2 but quickly progressing towards NW3. Since starting treatment, my hairline has stablised and, possibly, there has been some regrowth too. Following my early scepticism, I do believe that Propecia is effective at arresting hair loss and promoting regrowth.

    I have not had many obvious side effects. In the early days, I would feel very bloated but this soon settled. Sometimes, I think have breast tenderness but, again, this is infrequent and, quite possibly, psychosomatic rather than physical.

    However, over the last 6 months or so, I have increasingly become conscious of brain fog. The individual episodes are infrequent (say 3 or 4 times a week) but they trouble me because I have always had a good intellect and memory (both short and long-term). I am noticing a cognitive decline.

    Let me give specific examples. I was talking with my sister the other day and wanted to enquire after one of her friends and I said a name. My sister looked at me blankly for several seconds as I repeated the name a few times. I then proceeded to explain what this friend of hers did and my sister remembered and said, it's so-and-so you're actually talking about. I was quite shocked that my mind had gone completely blank. A similar episode happened to me at work. During the course of a conversation, while a friend and I were discussing a mutual friend, I suddenly forgot who we were talking about and struggled to participate in the conversation. I told my friend, I'd forgotten who we were discussing - we both laughed it off but the episode scared me. Finally, more recently I was musing on my plans for the rest of the year and, momentarily, struggled to recall what season it was and what month we were in. I had to work to recall the information albeit this all happened over a few seconds.

    The best way to describe is sometimes I feel I am trying to wade my way through treacle to reach a memory be it a name, place or event. Sometimes my recall of simple memories feels laboured. I try to remember things by association more often in order that I don't forget them.

    There are several possibilities; first, I am suffering hypochondria and merely imagining that my memory has declined. Second, that my memory has declined but that some decline is to be expected at my age. Third, that I have early signs of dementia linked to heredity or some other factor. Or fourth, that my "brain fog" is linked to the use of Propecia. Of course, a combination of these factors may apply.

    So to my questions? Do any of you using Propecia recognise my symptoms? Could this be a side-effect from Propecia? Is there any evidence that Propecia can cause or accelerate long-term cognitive decline (including causing or expediting forms of dementia)? Could Propecia permanently damage the brain? Any advice or thoughts gratefully received. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Bobster231

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    Propecia is an extremely safe and effective drug and has absolutely no side effects. It's all in your head, propecia is a miracle pill that has saved the lives of countless men.

    It is an irreversible inhibitor of 5 alpha reductase while crossing the blood brain barrier as well as inhibiting several neurosteroids such as Allopregnanolone and THDOC as well as affecting neuro transmission and blocking the biosynthesis and conversion of at least 9 different brain chemical conversions. These neurosteroids effect mood and cognition, memory etc

    But it's all in your head. Side effects don't exist.

    Even Jean Luc BB and GI Joey will tell you the same thing.
     
  3. g.i joey

    g.i joey Senior Member

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    How fast is your hair going? Can you risk taperingnoff the drug to assess how you feel off it for a month or 2.

    Also, when you get these episodes of Brain fog, are you directly correlating It to finasteride in that exact moment, which would kind of distract you? Or is this something you've seen a pattern in after happening a couple times.

    Best bet, taper off the drug or reduce dose till you notice a difference, if you do, you know the culprit. 24 months is a while to be on finasteride.
     
  4. Aaron2014

    Aaron2014 New Member

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    Joey, thanks for your response. I will consider tapering off. I had another episode today after my earlier post where I completely forgot a conversation I'd had earlier with my wife. Needless to say, she too was concerned and said: "have you really forgotten we've spoken about that already?"

    I'm less worried about the short term effects (if indeed these are sides from Propecia) and more concerned about whether I could be doing permanent damage. In answer to your question, I don't correlate my forgetfulness to when I specifically take propecia - the fact is, I've been taking it every day for 24 months.

    In response to the other poster (apologies, I forgot your username), I wish to understand the physiology better but, alas, I am no medical expert, and (with respect) I suspect neither are you. I am content that these drugs go through very rigorous trials and Merck, or any other pharmaceutical company, does its utmost to minimise risk to patients (if, for no other reason, than to protect itself from future claims). However, the human body is complex and no sequence of trials can realistically test every physiology: we are all unique!

    I don't want to lose my hair but if the trade- off is losing my mind, then it's a no-brainer (please excuse the pun!)
     
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  5. DavieJinx

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    This is the shit I'm scared of. Do you feel like you have dementia?
     
  6. Aaron2014

    Aaron2014 New Member

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    I'm not saying that I have dementia nor that my symptoms are definitely being caused by propecia. However, I have sufficient anecdotal evidence to believe there has been a decline in my cognitive abilities, especially my memory, over the period I have been taking Propecia. I'm trying to understand whether there is a link. I suspect there is.

    As Joey suggested the only way to really find out is to stop using the drug for a while. In the meantime, I just want to understand others' experiences.
     
  7. Alk

    Alk Established Member My Regimen

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    Brainfog is a symptom, we cant go into dementia or permenant brain damage thats a stretch at this point. You can try and stop and see if your symptoms recover, if they do then at that point you have to decide your next step at a regimen.
     
  8. qem

    qem New Member My Regimen

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    After 2 years of propecia use if you are just now noticing symptoms, I would be looking at other causes. Anything else changed in your life? Had your thyroid checked?

    People are very quick to blame finasteride for everything, when depression, anxiety, brain fog etc are all extremely common presentations in the general population.
     
  9. Foxi

    Foxi Established Member

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    i have take it 14-15 Years stop it for seven Years
    all Days BrainFog , all Days Headache!"
    an totaly Impotent

    Propecia is sure i can't cry for so a answer, this Drug have destroyed my live
     
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  10. Dench57

    Dench57 Senior Member My Regimen

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    this a side effect of being married
     
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  11. Armando Jose

    Armando Jose Senior Member My Regimen

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    Hi Foxi,
    I'm sorry for what you're going through, you should consult with a specialist.

    A lot of luck
     
  12. Armando Jose

    Armando Jose Senior Member My Regimen

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    http://www.ehealthme.com/ds/finasteride/memory loss/
     
  13. David Novotny

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    Thanks for sharing this. Most cases of Dementia present in older people, however it can happen prior to aging. If dementia is diagnosed early on, then steps can be taken in order to make sure that the patient can have an improved quality of life. There are memory care suites morris county NJ available for them, where they can live under supervision but with independence. To know more you can visit jchcorp.org/lester-senior-housing-whippany-morris-county-nj-community-life/ online.
     
  14. Jetsfan7

    Jetsfan7 New Member My Regimen

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    Hey Aaron2014 i have had similar experiences while taking Propecia, one day at work i completely blanked out and forgot what i was working on throughout the whole day i have forgotten conversations with friends etc. it was a really scary experience. It might be best for you to ween off the drug instead of quitting completely cold turkey.
     
  15. CDF

    CDF New Member My Regimen

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    YES YES AND MORE YES. I was on Finasteride 1mg for 14 months. I experienced brain fog for the first few months, but didn't realize it could be the finasteride and was in denial. After a few months, that turned into short term memory loss. Affected my work and personal life. On month #10, I noticed issues with my joints and trouble with my lower and upper back. Before finasteride, if I strained my back or slept the wrong way, it would result in a sore back that would heal in 3-4 days. On Finasteride, these back issues went on for weeks then months without healing. If I crossed my leg while sitting, this would result in sore knee joints. While looking up symptoms, I notice all these in other men. At month #14 I decided to stop. It has been a week and already I'm feeling less foggy. This drug has some SERIOUS sides effects that the doctors are not warning people about. I did not have the sexual side effects, decreased semen, erectile issues or loss of libido at all. I DID have brain fog, memory loss, joint and bone issues. And THAT was enough for me to stop
     
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  16. Mattb

    Mattb Member My Regimen

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    Did it go away?
     
  17. CDF

    CDF New Member My Regimen

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    The fogginess has subsided drastically, my back has improved. Memory is still an issue at times. Energy is sky high. Confidence is back. Had some insomnia for a couple nights, I suppose from the energy burst. Energy is high, mind is noticebly more active. I'm not going back to finasteride. I took it after a hair transplant to help keep what I had. The negative side affects outweigh the benefit. I'm going with touch up hair transplants going forward if needed
     
  18. Funkymonk1

    Funkymonk1 Experienced Member

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    Of all the sides linked with finasteride this is the one that worries me the most. I find it a bit strange that a lot of guys here seem to be more concerned about the erectile sides then losing their brain.
    Brain fog is a fairly common side of this drug and it's understandable if this scares people but the truth is the long term effects of finasteride on mental health and dementia are not really known. It's not proven that brain fog caused by finasteride is an early sign of dementia but who knows? Perhaps that's why it's scary - you don't really know what damage you're doing to your self.
     
  19. CDF

    CDF New Member My Regimen

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    I completely agree that this side effect would be the most damaging. I am certainly no expert, but from what I read on the blogs it seems that the erectile dysfunction happens to the younger guys under 30 and the memory loss and fogginess seems to happen to the older guys over 30. I am sure this is likely anecdotal evidence, but it certainly is something that needs to be looked into.
     
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  20. Funkymonk1

    Funkymonk1 Experienced Member

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    @CDF - Yes I agree, in fact ther's a lot of things that need to be looked into more with this drug. People read that the studies say only a small minority of men get sides and assume Finasteride is a pretty safe drug but if you research it a bit deeper you'll discover that there are certain sides people have complained about that have had only minimal and/or inconclusive tests done (or none). Also it's a fact that the long term effects of Finasteride havn't been studied at all.
     
    #20 Funkymonk1, May 6, 2018
    Last edited: May 6, 2018

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