Getting a prescription for Finasteride

Straight-Dope

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What's the best way to go about getting a prescription for Finasteride?

What type of doctors to go to?
  • Dermatologist
  • Hair loss specialist
  • General practitioner
  • Urologist
  • Will Nurse practitioners prescribe Finasteride?

What to ask for (specifically)
  • Dosage: 1mg vs 5mg?
  • Propecia v Proscar v Generic?
  • Refills and duration of prescription?

How to ask:
  • What background on me to be prepared to share
  • What resources to show the doctor? (Has anyone collected the URLs of the best studies?)


Based on reading this forum I assume that the answers are:
  • Dermatologist
  • 5mg
  • Generic
I'm unsure how to go about asking... any advice, anecdotes or stories would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
 

Eren

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I'd go to your general practitioner and tell him you want to fight your male pattern baldness. Ask him for 5mg generic. As for duration, as long as you want to use it.

If he starts to talk sh*t, then go to a dermatologist etc. Imo, the last option should be buying from the internet.

I always thought physicians in the US were less strict in prescribing meds like finasteride? Let us know how it went.
 

Straight-Dope

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Eren, thank you - I appreciate the feedback.

Per your request, I'm following up:

Background on me
I'm 39 and for the past five years I've been watching my hair thin very gradually but progressively, although my hairline didn't recede much. Today I'm a Hamilton-Norwood scale 2 recession and visible thinning.
Both my grandfathers and my father were Norwood 6's-7's by their early 70's. Back when I was 20 (in the dark days before Finestra and Minoxidil) I decided that when (not if) my baldness became visible I would have hair transplant surgery. This decision greatly reduced my stress on the subject and allowed me to basically ignore the issue until now since my male pattern baldness hadn't progressed enough to justify surgery.

Getting a prescription
My employer has an on-site health clinic with a physician on staff who is a general practitioner.
Early this week I went to him to request a prescription for Finasteride. Cost for the appointment was $130.

This was my first time using this clinic and when we entered the examining room he made the joke that I came to the right doctor because he was head-shaved bald.

I began by briefly describing my situation: almost 40, grandfathers and father were bald, hair has been thinning for 2+ years while I've been on a regimen of over-the-counter minoxidol and Ketoconazole, finding increasing amounts of hair falling out when I brush my hair. I asserted that I'd decided that it's time for me to get a prescription for Finasteride, and that's the purpose for my appointment.
Doctor agrees that finasteride is the right next step for me and begins taking my individual and family health history to determine whether there are any contra-indications to prescribing finasteride. Side-note: he says that Ketoconazole doesn't help - I respond that it doesn't hurt either, and he agrees. After concluding that there are no contra-indications he warns me about the possible side effect of reduced libido then asks me whether I want brand-name or generic finasteride. I ask for generic and volunteer that I'd prefer a refillable prescription for 5mg dose to split - he doesn't bat and eye and agrees to this.

Interestingly, he never approaches me closer than about 5 feet away and he never looks closely at my scalp.

Doctor writes prescription for 90 5mg pills, refillable 3 times (total of 360 5mg pills). I've found that my doctors typically write 1-year prescriptions and this prescription would be a normal 1-year prescription without pill splitting. He comments that with pill splitting, this is now a ~5 year supply.

Filling the prescription
Online research and a few quick phone calls confirm that Walmart or Target have by far the best prices (~$25 for 90 pills). CVS and Rite-Aid cost ~$150 for 90 pills. (https://www.rxpricequotes.com)
I fill my prescription at Walmart, buy a pill splitter (http://www.amazon.com/Apex-Deluxe-Pill-Splitter-splitter/dp/B000EGP5DC), and set a reminder to refill my prescription in 2.5 months.

No results so far since I just started taking finasteride this week, but I appreciate this forum and all I've learned here!
 
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Keeter

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I found out my insurance does not cover finasteride. Well i bought it online. Finasteride stopped my hair loss. I don't if I have actually grown any new hair, but I have not lost any more hair. I started taking it early on during my hair loss so I believe that played a role in how effective it has been for me. I am very happy with the results.
finasterideh.png
 
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abcdefg

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Yeah I kind of wonder the same thing. I have been thinking about trying it lately, but really a lot of doctors are not very sympathetic for male pattern baldness. Right or wrong I think a lot of doctors deal with serious issues all day everyday so when you say im losing hair they tend to think its just a cosmetic thing.
Also keeping in mind plenty of male doctors are more bald then you are. So obviously they dont care much themselves.
What im saying is it can be tough to actually get treatment for male pattern baldness especially early on when its minor and hardly noticeable. Which is funny because that is the only stage right now male pattern baldness is even treatable. If you walk in Norwood 5 propecia aint gonna do u any good
I would make major efforts though to do it legit instead of online especially if you have health care.
 

Beau5

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Alright, I've been researching how to get propecia for a couple weeks now. I really dont wanna go into a derm because I'm prretty young and I think it's kind of embarrassing. I also really don;'t want my girlfriend to find out. My older brother gets it from this site called yoderm. i've also heard you can get it from firstderm but not sure. Anyone tried this yoderm.com thing before?
 

g.i joey

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Alright, I've been researching how to get propecia for a couple weeks now. I really dont wanna go into a derm because I'm prretty young and I think it's kind of embarrassing. I also really don;'t want my girlfriend to find out. My older brother gets it from this site called yoderm. i've also heard you can get it from firstderm but not sure. Anyone tried this yoderm.com thing before?

Ya I know a BUNCH of people who got scammed from yoderm, actually consensus is that they're sh*t!
 

Finjunkie

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Straight dope, ur profile says you're in the US. Costco is better price than anything, by far. I pay $40 for 360 1mg finasteride . If you get the 5 it will cost basically nothing.

Get the 1mg it's easier than splitting the 5 and almost as cheap at Costco.

Prescription-wise, make sure you get it for lots of pills at once with no refills next time. It's much cheaper than getting many refills but smaller amounts at a time. Most pharmacies add a service charge for cost of filling, when you get a shitton at once it costs them a lot less labor. Most docs are used to writing for 30 or 90 at a time with a bunch of refills because insurance will only pay for that many at once. finasteride won't be covered by insurance, so tell them you want it written for all the pills at once and no refills. And again go to Costco. Everywhere else is a ripoff, and you don't have to be a member to use their pharmacy.

The online Rx price sites are probably bullshit, you have to call. There's a lot of coupon scams and similar on the net designed to get your info, including GoodRx, don't use them either. Prices change all the time. And absolutely do not use shady online pharmacies. They're more expensive, illegal, take forever to ship, and full of counterfeits. No clue why so many here use them. Look how shady they are, making fake profiles on the hairloss sites like on this thread to lure people in. f*** that.

Also the Doctor may have given you "technically" a 5 year supply, but he probably didn't mention that the Rx expires in a year. If I was you I would just tell the pharmacy I was going out of the country for the next year and have them fill all 3 refills while I wait lololol. Pharmacies are usually fine with this if it's not a controlled substance. If you decide to do that make sure the pharmacy gives you the pills in original bottles. If you're lucky they will be bottles of 90 or 100. If they ask why just say it makes it easier to get through customs.... But another good reason is that the original bottles will have the expiration dates, since I doubt the pills are good for five years
 

Tosh

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Straight dope, ur profile says you're in the US. Costco is better price than anything, by far. I pay $40 for 360 1mg finasteride . If you get the 5 it will cost basically nothing.

Get the 1mg it's easier than splitting the 5 and almost as cheap at Costco.

Prescription-wise, make sure you get it for lots of pills at once with no refills next time. It's much cheaper than getting many refills but smaller amounts at a time. Most pharmacies add a service charge for cost of filling, when you get a shitton at once it costs them a lot less labor. Most docs are used to writing for 30 or 90 at a time with a bunch of refills because insurance will only pay for that many at once. finasteride won't be covered by insurance, so tell them you want it written for all the pills at once and no refills. And again go to Costco. Everywhere else is a ripoff, and you don't have to be a member to use their pharmacy.

The online Rx price sites are probably bullshit, you have to call. There's a lot of coupon scams and similar on the net designed to get your info, including GoodRx, don't use them either. Prices change all the time. And absolutely do not use shady online pharmacies. They're more expensive, illegal, take forever to ship, and full of counterfeits. No clue why so many here use them. Look how shady they are, making fake profiles on the hairloss sites like on this thread to lure people in. f*** that.

Also the Doctor may have given you "technically" a 5 year supply, but he probably didn't mention that the Rx expires in a year. If I was you I would just tell the pharmacy I was going out of the country for the next year and have them fill all 3 refills while I wait lololol. Pharmacies are usually fine with this if it's not a controlled substance. If you decide to do that make sure the pharmacy gives you the pills in original bottles. If you're lucky they will be bottles of 90 or 100. If they ask why just say it makes it easier to get through customs.... But another good reason is that the original bottles will have the expiration dates, since I doubt the pills are good for five years

You do realize you don't need to enter any information for GoodRx right? You just present the coupon to the pharmacy.
 

Finjunkie

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You do realize you don't need to enter any information for GoodRx right? You just present the coupon to the pharmacy.
All these discount cards enter the pharmacy systems as "insurance" and all of your info including what meds you got and from who are sent electronically to their computers . Look at insurance cards and discount cards, they have the same numbers (id, group, bin). The discount is applied through insurance claim processing systems
 

Beau5

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I would definitely check out yoderm. i just got finasteride for 30 bucks.
 

hiest26

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you can get a prescription of finasteride from forhims.com (~$28) but they have a kit with finasteride that you can get for $5 first month
 
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