What is the cheapest approach for an uninsured American to obtain a basic hairloss prescription
September 19, 2008 8:56 PM   Subscribe

What is the cheapest approach for an uninsured American to obtain a simple prescription for a hair-loss medication?

After several years of ordering the hair-loss preventative drug finasteride (aka propecia or proscar) from overseas, fears of drug counterfeiting are pushing me to obtain a US script and start buying my pills locally. But... I'm uninsured at the moment and without a local doctor. I'd like to avoid making (and paying for) a full dermatology appointment just for this simple (and common) prescription. Are there other, less costly options? (ie, prescribing nurse practitioners, etc)
posted by Auden to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
this site states you can get a prescription from their online docs at no cost and also purchase your propecia from them. Dunno if that's what you are looking for.
posted by mumstheword at 9:15 PM on September 19, 2008

Get a prescription for Proscar (5mg pills meant to treat prostate enlargement) and use a pill cutter or razor blade to split it into 1mg doses. Much less expensive.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:51 PM on September 19, 2008

mumstheword - I pretty much would need to buy from them (more expensive) or pay the consulting fee, based on my understanding of their website.

qxntpqbbbqxl - yes, that's what I've been doing for years. My question is, what is the cheapest way to obtain a US prescription at this point, short of a full doctor/dermatologist visit.
posted by Auden at 11:02 PM on September 19, 2008

Most people make friends with doctors who write them prescriptions. Is there not a doctor that attends your church, hobby group, etc?

That would avoid the appointment. That's how most people I know get prescriptions without a formal office visit. Something like hair loss medication is not ripe for abuse.

On a slightly unrelated note, has it been working for you? I quit propecia for a while ago because it was expensive too and it didn't seem to help.
posted by abdulf at 11:42 PM on September 19, 2008

abdulf - It's hard to know... I've been taking it for nearly a decade now as a way to prevent a receding hairline, not a balding patch in back (where studies show it has the greatest effectiveness). I still have a full head of hair (albeit with a higher "adult" hairline - ugh - and far more miniaturized hairs), but have had pretty strong shedding since my last shipment of proscar arrived from overseas a couple of months ago. Hence, the worry over counterfeit pills. Regarding price, Costco currently has 60 generic finasteride pills for $48 (5 mg, split 4 ways with a pill cutter for a 1.25 mg daily dose) which isn't much more than what I get in the mail now, and isn't too dear.

[On a side note, it appears that topical caffeine may have a antagonistic effect on DHT and may promote hair growth in other ways... I just received a small bulk order of USP grade caffeine that I'm going add to the morning shampoo, just to see what happens.]
posted by Auden at 12:50 AM on September 20, 2008

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