Finasteride Cost: Pricing Comparisons & Savings Tips
Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Sheryl George
One day you’re researching the best AYCD brunches on a budget and then one day, you’re Googling the best hair loss treatments and how much they cost. Life can be weird like that. But hair loss happens — and the good news is that there are hair loss treatment options that can help you regrow hair.
If you’ve been looking into finasteride for hair loss, you may already know it’s one of the best options for male pattern baldness. In this article, we’ll cover how to get finasteride at the best price so you can save money and put that hard-earned cash towards brunch instead.
And if you want to know more about finasteride results before you add it to your cart, this guide is an excellent resource to the type of outcomes you can expect.
Finasteride Costs: The Basics
Finasteride 101 is in session, and here’s the rundown on everything you need to know. First, it’s a drug that is used to treat hair loss, specifically androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride, a type II 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, helps block conversion of the hormone testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the main culprit of male pattern baldness
While finasteride is not over-the-counter, this prescription drug is fairly simple to get if you have signs of male pattern baldness.
It works best when started as soon as possible after hair loss starts, instead of waiting until you reach combover status. It’s also got some great research to back it up, so have a chat with your healthcare provider to get that prescription if you’re starting to see more scalp.
One meta-analysis of 23 studies found that, after 48 weeks of hair loss treatment, 5mg and 1mg doses of finasteride both led to significantly higher hair count than other treatments. It’s important to note that after fewer weeks of treatment, other treatments led to slightly higher hair count, but finasteride did lead to improvements there too.
When you’re looking at finasteride options, you’ll likely notice that generic versions tend to cost less than the brand name version (which is commonly sold under the names Propecia® or Proscar® — finasteride is the active ingredient in these formulas). More on that breakdown below.
Generic Finasteride vs. Propecia Cost
When it comes to pricing for finasteride, you’ll typically save more with a generic option over a brand name. Generic drugs are often sold at a lower price than brand name versions across various types of medications. Think of it like Heinz® ketchup versus Target’s in-house brand (Market Pantry) generic ketchup. They are likely very similar in taste and will both make your hot dog taste better, but the generic version is typically less expensive than the brand-name formula. You may have heard of Propecia®, a brand name version of finasteride produced and marketed by Merck. It typically costs more than generic finasteride — a month’s supply of brand name Propecia usually costs $100 to $150, depending on your pharmacy or healthcare provider of choice. Merck, the drug’s manufacturer, occasionally offers discounts on Propecia. These can lower the price of this medication, particularly when it’s purchased over the long term.
Interested in learning more about Propecia? This guide covers it all.
Finasteride, the generic version, is sold by various brands (including Hims). Typically, a month’s supply of generic finasteride costs from $20 to $60 (or a bit more) per month, depending on the specific brand you choose and the pharmacy or healthcare provider from which you purchase your medication.
Keep in mind, you should use finasteride for six to twelve months before gauging whether it’s effective for your hair loss, so that one-month cost is really more.
Regardless of whether you go brand name or generic, finasteride is a prescription medication, so you’ll need to speak with a healthcare professional before you can purchase it. Depending on your location and co-pay or level of insurance coverage, this may cost $15 to $200 or more. And we’re sure we don’t have to remind you, but no, you can’t just take medical advice from a buddy and buy finasteride online.
While there are dosages of 1mg and 5mg available for finasteride, typically only 1mg/day is prescribed for hair loss. In fact, most studies of finasteride for hair loss use the 1mg dosage. That’s good news for your wallet, because the lower dose tends to be cheaper than the 5mg dose, both when using insurance and with coupon codes if you’re not using insurance.
Think of this as a less is more situation — more medication doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see more results. And like any medication, speak to your healthcare provider right away if you experience any side effects, even on the 1mg dosage. You can learn more about dosage in our guide to finasteride 1mg vs. 5 mg.
Some varieties of finasteride available at Hims include:
Topical finasteride and minoxidil spray. Starting at $35 a month at Hims, this two-in-one spray combines the powers of both finasteride and minoxidil for an effective way to kickstart hair growth.
Does Insurance Cover Finasteride?
Finasteride is FDA-approved for two purposes. The first is treating and preventing male pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, usually at a dosage of 1mg daily.
The second is treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlarged prostate gland. When it’s used to treat BPH, finasteride (or brand name Proscar®) is taken at a higher dosage of 5mg per day.
Most insurance plans cover finasteride when it’s taken to treat BPH. But like many medications used for cosmetic enhancements, a lot of insurance providers do not provide coverage for finasteride when it’s used for treating and preventing hair loss.
Insurance plans vary though, so if you’d like to take finasteride and want to learn more about your coverage, contact your insurance provider for more information.
Hims has helped thousands of men regrow their hair
Tips for Saving Money on Finasteride
While you may have to spend a little money on hair loss treatments, there are affordable options. Some ways you can save money on finasteride include:
Go generic. Like that store-brand ketchup, finasteride may be less expensive if you choose a generic finasteride formula over a brand name.
Make it a double. Finasteride can be effective on its own, but using finasteride in combination with other hair loss treatments will give you even more bang for your buck. Try that two-in-one spray mentioned above, or combine oral finasteride with topical 5% strength minoxidil foam if that’s more your speed.
Be consistent. You’ll need to use finasteride every day to prevent hair loss and maintain any hair you grow back. Make sure to be consistent with usage and take your medication at roughly the same time every day to ensure your DHT levels are reduced. If you’re using it here and there, you won’t get the results you’re looking for and will ultimately just waste your moola.
Clip that coupon. Some brands will offer coupons or discounts if you opt for a subscription bundle, which can help save money and reduce finasteride prices over time.
Shop by treatment options
No matter the treatment plan, the best place to start is somewhere. Early action is the best hair loss prevention.
Finasteride Cost: Takeaways
Finasteride can be an affordable option for treating hair thinning in men. But speaking with a healthcare provider will give you the best options for which hair loss treatments are right for you.
The main things to remember are:
Generic versions of finasteride will likely save you the most money.
Couple it with other hair loss treatments for the most efficacy, like a minoxidil solution or foam.
Move fast, since finasteride works best when it’s used early on versus once your balding is more advanced.
Truly, confidence is priceless so investing in your hair may be worth it. If you’re looking to make a move, start your hair consultation today.