Anxiety, Mood Swings From Propecia?

I have been talking propecia for about two weeks and I have been experiencing wierd side effects like anxiety attacks, feeling out of it, slight mood swings, etc. However, when I asked my doctor about it, he said that he had never heard of anything like it. There are a number of people online who have complained about similar side effects and I feel that these symptoms are a direct result of propecia. I was wondering if you had ever encountered any similar cases and if so will these side effects go away. Thanks

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Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT. As a result, there will be a temporary increase in testosterone and changes in androgens as well which might (theoretically) produce side effects like those experienced by women with PMS. One of my patients had a real complaint like this and he was a very credible physician. When he stopped the Propecia the symptoms went away. Can hormonal imbalance affect mood swings? Possibly! Some patients have repored changes in the way they feel on Propecia and I have generally discounted these report but now I will make a note of this and watch for more patient comments and blog emails that bring this up. I aleady spoke to a Merck rep about it and hopefully the verbal report will work its way back to headquarters. If I hear more of these type of complaints, I will be more vocal on sharing this with you through this blog.

27 thoughts on “Anxiety, Mood Swings From Propecia?

  1. Severe anxiety, panic attacks, negative thoughts, depression, brain fog. Effected not only myself, but my family. This was not me. Only took for three months. Took much longer for side effects to subside. In my opinion a dangerous drug. May not have the same effect on everyone, but these side effects seem to be common enough to be documented and taken seriously. At this point seem to be being ignored.

  2. Although I am not happy to hear other people experiencing side effects, I am releived its not just me. My doctor also told me he hadnt heard of such a thing. But yes, I also had extreme anxiety, depression, and even paranoia.. a week or os after I stopped it all went away.

    Just be aware there are side effects not labled by the manufacturer.

  3. I’m not realy surew where tyo start, but anxiaty has been a problum for me with this drug.

    what was particulary bad was when i first startted haveing them i dident know what it was so i thought i was going crazy haha, witch made the attack even worse.
    I woull get so dizzy I thought I would fall over and everything seemd to bend or leave trails.

    I havent had a full on attack after realiseing what it was
    but at night i do have anxiaty still.

  4. I started to take finaseride 5mg last year. I used to choped them into 5 pieces so I would get roughly 1mg a day! However, I started to have severe panic attacks, mood swings and depression! I also experienced anxiety and confusion. Funny enough just like the others mentioned above, I also though there was something wrong with my heart, so I went and got some tests done, and the doctor said it was fine! Now im not a stupid person, with 2 degrees under my belt, I narrowed the caused down, and it was only one drug that I was taking which could have possibly caused this sudden random attacks. It was diffinatly the finasteride. THIS DRUG IS NOT SAFE AND SHOULD BE USED WITH GREAT CARE!!!
    I want to ask whether these side effects will go away after stopping to use the drug???

  5. I’m lucky to have always been an emotionally-stable person. Anxiety was never a part of my life. I had essentially never had a panic attack. I started taking generic finasteride (Finpecia, made in India as mentioned by someone else) about 18 months ago at the age of 27 and began to struggle terribly with anxiety. A mild to severe panic attack would strike each night shortly before bed and prevent me from falling asleep for usually between a half to one hour. I’d always, throughout my life to that point, fallen asleep immediately at night. Now on finasteride, I was taking shots of vodka to get over the hump that kept me from sleeping.

    I never thought to associate the finasteride with the anxiety. But within the last two months I stopped taking this drug for unrelated reasons. In these months I’ve suddenly returned to peaceful sleeping. I fall asleep immediately, as I had all my life. I don’t panic before bed. It is a deep relief. Only after reading this webpage have I made the association: the finasteride was probably causing my anxiety. Nothing else about my diet, medication (I take nothing else) or lifestyle changed over these last two months.

    Just as important, as I reflect on this last year and a half having read this webpage I think I can point to other emotional side effects of the finasteride. I’d always been a confident person – attractive, athletic, and academically and professionally accomplished. But in this last year and a half, I’d been distressed to find myself increasingly insecure, particularly in social situations. I’d question whether even my closest friends really valued me, were listening or cared. This insecurity was, unfortunately, a significant factor in the recent collapse of a romantic relationship in which I felt atypically insecure and unmasculine. I’ve noticed my confidence return noticeably since going off the finasteride and, as with the anxiety, only now that I’m stopping to reflect can I see the association with the drug. The perfectly synchronized timing and the stark changes are hard to question.

    I’ll also add that I remember moments from this past year of questioning if I was struggling with something like early-onset dementia. I felt the foggy-headed feeling that others have described, using just those words when self-reflecting at the time.

    If you’re thinking of trying finasteride, I wouldn’t necessarily warn against experimentation. It did seem to have some positive effect on my thinning vertex. Just be alert for changes in your mood. Recognize that sudden and dramatic changes may be tied to the drug and do not reflect your natural character. Then consider if the changes are something you can live with. I could not.

    Good luck everyone…

  6. Oops!… I just wanted to find oud if there was a connection between taking Fina and the way I’ve been feeling for the lost couple of months since I started taking Fina on prescription from my HT doctor. A lot of very serious side effects came up from other people in several forums, like: severe anxiety, panic attacks, feeling nervous or extremely restless without a real reason, negative thoughts, waves of depression, brain fog (not able to think clearly or to get yours thoughts alingned, unsure about yourself and others, conspiracy thoughts, wanting to cry, losing grip on things, listless, lots of things to do but nothing comes out of your hands, unmotivated, sleeplessness, no drive to get out of bed, losing sex drive, overreacting in a bad way, anger, losing your temper quickly; shouting and swearing, suicide thoughts, hughly looking up to things, even the most simplest of things, stressed out, emotionally wrecked, indifferent, realizing something is wrong with your heart….. Does this all weigh up against the benefits? Did your hair really grow back to when you did not have any hairloss? You wanted to see physical improvement (stopping hairloss), but started to suffer mentally instead? Guess what? All of the side effects disappeared after discontinuing Finasteride!!! Oops! The medical leaflet of Finasteride leaves out the most serious side effects! Imagine this; if you went to the doctor and asked for a medicine that would get you all of the bad things mentioned above, but the doctor said; beware, this can stop your hairloss as a severe and only side effect! Wouldn’t this be the exact and thru story?? Just wondering….

  7. I’ve been taking generic Finesteride for about 5 months. I noticed out of the ordinary feelings of anxiety and stress after the first month. While it was a bit of a stressful event the anxiety response was well out of proportion to anything I’ve ever felt. At the time I didn’t chalk it down to the Finesteride. Since then the worsening feelings have progressed.

    Three months later it was really bad around the xmas holidays but subsided some. Now into February, I am experiencing issues with my sleep as reported by others and another stressful event has triggered a massive response of anxiety and depression that has gone on for days. I’ve always been emotionally level and not prone to feeling stress overly much, so this is not a natural response for me.

    I have stopped taking it for 4 days now and hope these feelings subside soon. It’s driving me crazy.

  8. I had horrendous anxiety, depression, depersonalization, derealization, fatigue, disorientation, panic attacks, and a host of other physical and mental side effects from taking this. The side effects started on the 2nd day and continually got worse till i stopped on day 4. This med should be taken off the market and the company should be sued.

  9. I too am experiencing the anxiety from this drug. I have had no sexual sides. Its mainly a social anxiety. I have always been a little socially awkward but after taking this for around 2 years now I am really bad.

  10. I just began taking finasteride after months of coping with the onset of hairloss. I used rogaine for almost two months with little or no results and needed to do something quickly. I, like others, try to use a knife to break the tablets into 1.25 mg pieces. It was literally the day after I took my first tablet that I experienced an unusual anxiety that persisted throughout the day. I had just moved to a new city and thought it was this that was causing my stress. But as the second and third day of similar anxiety rolled around I realized that this was completely unlike me to feel like this for this amount of time. For the first time in my life I entertained what suicide would be like. I was in a total funk. To cope with it I turned to alcohol, thinking that it could take the edge off. It did for the time being but I realize that that can become a much larger problem in the long run. In the end, as many have said, it is a decision between your mental comfortability and hair loss.

    My questions to this board are: Does this anxiety go away over time, perhaps as your body becomes used to the drug? … and Besides rogaine, what other options are there when your back’s against the wall and your at risk of losing all your hair within a couple years??

  11. STAY AWAY FROM THIS DRUG. I have had several severe panic attacks after one month of taking this drug, I have never had such a thing before. Believe me the attack is a horrible feeling, it really is crippling and I can see how it has ruined so many peoples lives, I am just glad I found this out earlier rather than later…..these panic attacks are something I never wish to experience ever again, therefore as of today I am off this drug, they should not be allowed to sell this stuff! Also, I noticed problems when drinking alcolhol and being in the drug.

  12. This drug is very dangerous- I’m a clam, sane guy but this made me anxious, depressed and provoked serious anger problems- I would flip out over the most trivial of things- it made my temper uncontrollable. I will NEVER take this drug again. The changes to the hormones are too dangerous.

  13. Hi everyone,

    Wow, this whole thread has rocked my world. Along with many other threads I’m sure you’ve all read. I was once a Propecia defender, in fact, I was just a few weeks ago a Propecia defender. Now here’s the thing.

    I have had anxiety all my life, I have had very mild panic attacks that have sent me to the hospital twice, once in my early 20’s and then in my late 20’s. I had tried Propecia for a year when I was 20 but the panic attacks weren’t unusual or I would have never linked them to the Propecia. And they were not debilitating.

    I then took Propecia from 2008 to 2010 and it really grew my hair back. Now, in all of this time I never once had a sexual side-effect. And I had my normal moments of anxiety which I could always relate to something in my life that was causing me stress. I would have never linked it to the Propecia.

    So I stopped taking the drug at the end of 2010 and it is now June 2012. I had again, felt some anxiety and actually moments with lots of anxiety but nothing that I couldn’t handle. Then three weeks ago I was having some relationship problems and I’m stressed about many things in my life, and BAM I had the most terrifying experience of my life. A huge panic attack, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like my life was going to end. I just had a sense of fear and dread that I have never felt in my life. It was terrifying and yes, I would describe it as “hell”. It took me 4 days to go down from it and then I was fine for a few days. During those few days I went to a BBQ and 2 parties and drank quite a bit. The following day I had another one. Not as big as the first but again, I can’t say I link this to the Propecia use, as I was going through some stressful moments in my relationship.

    I basically went to the doctor this past week and have yet to do the blood tests but will be doing so shortly. I will keep you updated on what the results are. The doctor gave me a prescription for Pro Quetiapine and I was a complete zombie the next day. It did help my body calm down but it was like I had smoked 1000 joints the night before. It was not something I could be productive with. So now I tried sleeping pills (can’t remember the name) but I took half of one. Oh right, I’m not sleeping well and the half pill did not help. Actually it did help get me to sleep but I woke up at 6:30am again and couldn’t get back to sleep.

    I’m sorry if this is all over the place. I just woke up and I am lacking sleep and feel as though my writing skills have gone down the tube. I don’t associate that with the Propecia use at all.

    Though I will say, I miss caffeine and the occasional drink. I have found that breathing really helps avoid the panic attacks, sometimes it takes 5 minutes, other times it takes 30.

    I am still skeptical that we are all going through these very common mental problems. I have been on general anxiety forums and it’s pretty much the same kinds of things being written by people who have never touched Propecia. People who have never had anxiety who suddenly get panic attacks. It happens.

    So that being said, I did pick up some Finasteride yesterday, ironically, I was seeing my doctor about the sleeping pills for my anxiety and I mentioned that I wanted to try finasteride again. And he didn’t say a thing about it possibly being linked to my anxiety. I think doctors should really be reading these forums and I will actually tell my doctor about all this.

    However, I am still not convinced any of this is linked to Propecia or finasteride use. Though I am not going and saying that they’re not.

    I hope you’re all doing well and I tell you, the breathing really really helps. When you inhale, fill your stomach. Don’t breathe through your shoulders!!! Count to a slow 5, inhale, hold for 2 and then exhale for 5. Focus on your breathing. STOP any negative thoughts. You can stop them…they’re just being controlled by the panic. Think of beautiful things while you breathe. I guarantee, it may take up to a half hour but you will be in control. And the more you do it, the better you will be in control.

  14. I took propecia for around 6 months, also experienced brain fog & crushing anxiety. Symptoms came on slow & subtle, so that I didn’t think any one thing was causing it. Then I went away for a weekend and forgot to bring my prop. along. After 3 days I noticed the fog lift & anxiety ease, but it started again when I took it following week. I decided to throw out remaining supply. Was one of the best choices I made.

  15. 2 years ago, I started to use generic Finpecia for hairloss. While I was taking it, I noticed a small but noticeable amount of erection problems. I stopped using it after 6 weeks and haven’t touched it since. Few days after that, I had a panic attack, and suffer from debilitating anxiety, depersonalization and irrational fear since.

    I’m not sure if it’s connected to it, but if it is, then that means it ruined my hormones permanently.

  16. I can’t believe it. I have been taking propecia and fighting anxiety for years. A few months ago I ran out of propecia and just by chance, I didn’t renew my prescription. The last few months my anxiety has been under control. I have had a much easier time speaking in public, which my career demands and I thought, finally all my hard work and public speaking training was paying off. And then last week, not noticing the correlation I began to take propecia again. That week I had a panic attack at a meeting and struggled to present the information. I had no idea what happened. Could it be the propecia? I stopped taking it immediately. Started looking on the web and found this site. It is only a week later, and I am feeling more confident about my next presentation. I cannot prove it was the propecia but I’m done with it. When I think about all the hours I have spent battling anxiety, it really makes me upset that anxiety is not mentioned as a side effect. Good luck everyone.

  17. Googled panic attacks and propecia and found this forum. After about 2 months of being on the drug, I experienced a severe panic attack. I thought I was having a stroke, as i had no idea a panic attack could have the symptoms I was having, and called 911. Went to the ER and the doctor found nothing wrong and told me I had symptoms of a panic attack. Anyway, for the next month or 2, I continued having random panic attacks, and it was crippling. I would feel them coming on and the run to an empty room and try to tell myself “this is just a panic attack, nothing dangerous” and talk my way out of the attack. After reading a few forums, I quit taking propecia and (after about 1 month) my attacks were gone. Havent had one since and that was 4 years ago! I have less hair now but i’d rather have less hair than to have daily, crippling panic attacks. Good luck guys, and if its any consolation, like I said, once I stopped taking the drug, my symptoms cleared up after a month.

  18. Josh- the EXACT same thing happened to me while I was driving on the interstate. It was like a quick feeling of deja vu,followed by the onset of an extreme panic attack. My whole body went numb, I could barely breathe, and my arms started trembling badly. I had no clue what was going on and it scared the shit out of me. I called an ambulance and went to the ER. The Dr. said I had symptoms of a panic attack… during this time I was taking Vyvanse for ADD, and figured that had to be the problem so I quit the Vyvanse, as well as the finasteride just to be safe. I would have small panic attacks for the next few weeks, which were very unpredictable. After about two months of being off vyvanse and finasteride, I started to feel normal again thankfully. I got back on propecia, but stayed off the Vyvanse. However, Today (about 5 months later) I had another panic episode… I havn’t taken vyvanse in 5 months, so now im almost positive that the propecia had to set this on.. it was the exact same feeling as before. I honestly thought that I would never know what caused my first panic episode, but after seeing a few similar stories I think the reason is finsteride. I am done with this drug for good now, hopefully there is no permanent damage.

  19. This drug will creep up on you and will gradually change you. I took it for over 10 years and just recently linked everything with this drug. Now after causing slow changes the scales have tipped and now I suffer from : severe depression, anxiety/ nervousness, severe insomnia, muscle waisting, tinnitus, and nany many other symptoms. This drug needs to be removed from the market. Its pure poison.

  20. It is somewhat comforting to know that I am not alone in this. I started taking propecia in 2002 and since then have been dealing with persistent anxiety. I have been to the ER twice thinking I was going to die and have been on the verge of calling 911 on many occasions. I have been off for about 3 weeks and I am hoping the anxiety goes away. I have had moments of feeling like myself but still have had mini attacks like irrational thoughts, like thinking i am going to say something I shouldnt say, almost a fear of having a Tourette’s moment, the need to flee or run, racing heart, heart palpitations. I am hoping the longer i am off and this stuff gets out of my system the better I will become. I truly believe that this side effect from propecia has adversely effected my personal life, friendships and relationships over the course of the last 11 years and most doctors look at me as crazy until I point them to the recent research. Anyone have a time line of when things get better?

  21. A dangerous drug. The symptoms of anxiety, brain fog and light depression came on very slowly. I became less and less productive, lost motivation, lost focus. I had always been a driven and focused person my entire life. The symptoms are so gradual that they are very tough to recognize until one day you wonder what happened to you. I have stopped use of propecia and my symptoms are slowly fading away. My focus is back, productivity is back up, my mood swings have stopped, and my depression is fading. Scary stuff..

  22. I started taking Fin September of last year, with sexual side effects being my biggest fear. I started a few days before a vacation I had lined up. I chalked a lot of odd feelings up to visiting my old home and finally being away from a very demanding schedule. When I returned from my two week vacation I started experiencing a wave of feelings that had never been part of my realm of consciousness- anxiety for no reason at all, complete restlessness and panic. I experienced things like jealousy and an unavoidable fear of the future. Not to be regarded as sexist, but the best way I could describe myself would be being on a period 24/7. These changes are VERY in characteristic of my personality. I’m very outgoing, not at all shy, and very much the life of the party in most cases. I started drinking a lot more to take the edge off. I suspected two months in that my feelings might be linked to the drug and I asked the doctor who prescribed it to me and he kinda brushed it under the rug. My boyfriend and closest friends have all noticed intense changes in me, and my therapist started really being concerned about a month into me taking it. I literally cannot even bring up my feelings without wanting to cry, and (let’s all be adults about this, not to be ficicious in any way) I’ve experienced things like the desire to get pregnant, along with COMPLETELY switching sexual roles from a “top” to a “bottom”. Manic sexuallity, an unreal appetite for sex and feelings of total abandonment when I didn’t get it, along with insane mental sensitivity, including self-destructive tendacies.
    I’ve stopped taking it as of last night, and I wanted to do some more research to see if my suspicions got me somewhere. Every thread I find on the subject is startling. Going back and reading a journal that I started one year ago I sound like 2 completely different people before and after I started taking the drug. I don’t know why it took me so long to decide to at least try not taking it to see his I feel, because despite what all the threads if doctors may say, my personal pile of facts is getting higher and higher the more I examine it. I’m hoping that I might see some sort of improvement in my mental state on a while- I need to give my body some time to hopefully flush it out of my system. I do what I can to help others who may be suffering from taking this drug without even knowing it, so I’ll report on my state of mind in a while. I hope I go back to the way I was, because having the perfect head of hair wouldn’t be worth all this shit.

  23. Well boys, I’m 46 and have never had anything close to a panic attack until today. I had to walk out of an important meeting and have my partner finish with our clients. I just started taking Propecia a little over one month ago (about half way through second bottle). After reading this, I’m off this drug. Today was awful – I can’t imagine what someone with anxiety goes through. Whew!

  24. Googled ‘panic attack’, ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’ & finasteride. Came to this forum. Amazing. I’m taking the drug for almost 14 yrs now. And with the information I found on this forum, and looking back I can see myself changing from a normal person to this freak. I have learned to think I am like this, but no, I became like this. I always thought the change in my behavior was due to changes in my life (University, getting married, having kids, changing jobs, etc). I had my first panic attack, thinking my heart would stop at any moment.. Then almost a couple years went by, going to every cardiologist in town. Perfect health, they said. Then, I went through persistent thoughts about every imaginable possible disease, from asthma to cancer. If I had a red pimp in my arm… skin cancer! Having had severe negative thoughts, daily. And, all that without making any correlation with finasteride, ever..
    One day, last month I ran out of the drug (I moved to another country, and was having issues on getting it), and I was off it for a week. I can remember I started feeling “normal” again! It was amazing. But then wasn’t sure anymore, and decided to go back to the drug, after all, I didn’t want to loose my hair..

    Today, after more research, I decided I can’t take it anymore. I need my life back. I decided I will start taking 1/2 pill (0.5mg) per day, until I ran out. Then will just stay off and hope my brain will get back to normal.
    Just wanted to write this, maybe could help someone.

    Good luck to everyone.

  25. I had anxiety , severe brain fog to the point I couldn’t think strait , slurred speach , dizziness , depression and crazy thoughts. I knew I wasn’t myself anymore. I just wanted to be normal again. I thought I had vertigo, or high blood pressure. I quit drinking alcohol. , but nothing helped. I also had heart palpitations. I thought I was going to die soon. I finally googled side effects of propecia and found all these horror stories. I have quit taking the drug for about a week now. I threw away my new prescription and I hope I turn back to normal. It seems like the brain for has lifted some so far.

  26. Holy shit…. I am at the beach now ran out of finesteride till I found some generic ones at the drug store 5mg. Been battling anxiety attacks for the longest time have been on fin for 3 years…. I thought my anxiety attacks were due to stress as well. Or changes in my life until I havent had it for a couple of days…. I wouldn’t have put 2 and 2 together if I hadn’t made google search. Fuck not lossing your hair compared to all the stress these mental problems have been causing me.

  27. Holy crap…. I am at the beach now ran out of finesteride till I found some generic ones at the drug store 5mg. Been battling anxiety attacks for the longest time have been on fin for 3 years…. I thought my anxiety attacks were due to stress as well. Or changes in my life until I havent had it for a couple of days…. I wouldn’t have put 2 and 2 together if I hadn’t made google search. F* not lossing your hair compared to all the stress these mental problems have been causing me.

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