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Saw palmetto for hair loss. Is it safe?


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As I wrote in my introduction topic, I'm 4 years drug free (Escitalopram) and I'm doing quite well even if I don't consider myself totally healed. But I think the darkest days are gone. I write here for an advice. I want to try saw palmetto for hair loss but I'm still hesitant because I'v read some scary stories on the web about it. Some users compare this supplement to finasteride and report severe side effects after only few pills. Everyone one here can immagine my fear to start another journey into the hell. So I want to wait to take a decision and for this reason I ask your opinion.
My question is a technical one: does the 5 alpha reductase play some major role with the chemistry of receptors we have messed up with our medications? 
Thank you all for any suggestion. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Avoid it like the plague. Read the horror stories of what Propecia has done to folks. Saw palmetto works in a similar way and there are reported horror stories. 

Paxil 10mg 2004-2011

7.5mg 4months

5mg. 4months

2.5mg.8 months no wd issues

Dropped pax 4-10-12

5-9-12 started prozac to alleviate symptoms (no relief)

5-22-12 reinstated paxil 2.5mg

5-28-12 5mg pax (couldn't tolerate sides)

6-22-12 Pax 2.5

6-30-12 Pax O

Cerebrolysin to help with wd at 29 months. Horrible decision much worse.

Still suffering sever Brain fog, Confusion, slow thinking,And just feeling sick and weird (hard to explain),facial twitching, weakness, shaking and jerking

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These kind of supplements are generally ineffective or may induce potential side effects. Being natural or herbal doesn't make them any less risky. Saw Palmetto is to finasteride as valerian is to valium. Very similar in chemical structure with similar risks.


The best for hair is sleep, reducing stress, good diet with high calories and correcting any deficiencies.


Other than, you can accept your genetic destiny or pay for new hair. They can replace anything nowadays.

  • 2008: Started Citalopram 30mg
  • Sept 2014: Tapered down Citalopram over 6 months and discontinued Feb 2015
  • Severe withdrawals peaked in July/Aug 2015. Totally housebound.
  • Sept 2015: Sertraline started @ 100mg on GP advice.
  • Oct to Dec 2015: Reduced to Sertraline 50mg due to side effects. 
  • Jan 2016 to March 2017: Tapered Sertraline to 2mg @ 10% per month. 
  • Severe withdrawals peaked again June 2017. Totally housebound. 
  • Diazepam: July 2017 5mg // Aug 2017 2.5mg // Sept 2017 1mg // 12th Dec 2017 0.85mg 
  • Sertraline Reinstatement: 23 Oct 2017 5mg // 15 Nov 2017 10mg // 23 Nov 2017 15mg 
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the suggestions. I have read different stories about saw palmetto but now that I have some experience with SSRI withdraw i have the suspect that the same people used other drugs. So, perhaps, saw palmetto may not be the cause of the side effects. Or, at least, not the only one. Anyway I don't want to use saw palmetto until my full recovery. I'm doing very well and I don't want to lose all my progress. But any inside about the possible link between 5-AR and serotonin receptors, if any, are welcome. 

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