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Man with receding hairline.

Propecia and Finasteride Prices at CVS, Walgreens, & Walmart (Updated April 2021)

Fight back against male pattern baldness with Propecia, or finasteride. Prices for these hair-loss medications were fairly steady at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart in April 2021.

Fighting a losing battle against male pattern baldness? You’re hardly alone. According to the American Hair Loss Association, roughly 85 percent of all men experience significant hair thinning by the age of 50. And the primary culprit behind that hair loss is male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia.

Some men choose to surrender to the progressive hair loss process and shave their heads. Others opt instead to conceal that hair loss by covering it up with replacement strategies, including hairpieces, while still others pay hefty sums to have hair transplants.

Finasteride Is the Best Option

If you’d like to try to halt the hair loss process and even regrow some of the hair that’s been lost, your best option, according to AHLA, is finasteride, which is also sold under the brand-name Propecia.

Originally approved in 1992 as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, finasteride also won approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 1997 as a hair-loss treatment. After FDA approval, Pfizer marketed finasteride as Propecia.

‘First Line of Attack’

Medical scientists around the globe continue to search for even more effective weapons against male pattern baldness. However, for now, Propecia and finasteride are your best choices. The AHLA recommends finasteride “as the first line of attack for all men interested in treating their male pattern baldness.”

Prices for a 1 milligram tablet of Propecia and finasteride were stable at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart during the five-month period from August through December 2020. CVS’s price for Propecia held steady at $4.33 for all five months, as did Walgreens and Walmart prices at $4.14 and $4.35, respectively. Those prices held steady through April 2021.

The top three retailers’ prices for a 1 milligram tablet of finasteride has also remained stable throughout 2020. Finasteride prices at Walgreens and Walmart entered January 2020 at $2.58 and $1.13, respectively, and have remained the same through January 2021. The price of a 1 milligram tablet of finasteride at CVS began 2020 at $2.94, fell to $2.70 in April, and has remained stable ever since.

Researchers have found that the primary culprit behind male pattern baldness is dihydrotestosterone, a derivative of testosterone. It shrinks hair follicles to the point that they can no longer support hair growth. Finasteride helps to reduce scalp levels of DHT by blocking the effects of an enzyme known as Type II 5-a reductase. The offending enzyme triggers the conversion of testosterone to DHT. With less of the enzyme around, scalp levels of DHT decrease significantly.

Both Drugs Available Online

For men who prefer the convenience of ordering their drugs online, both Propecia and finasteride are available at eDrugstore.com, a longtime prescription drug service based in Tempe, Arizona. Its prices for Propecia and finasteride were $5.36 and $0.59, respectively.

When you order your medications through eDrugstore, the price you pay covers not just the medications but a handful of added-value services as well. These include free shipping as well as a complimentary consultation service that connects you online to a licensed U.S. physician who can authorize a prescription if you are deemed an appropriate candidate.

In addition to its hair-loss medications, eDrugstore sells a full range of erectile dysfunction drugs, including both brand-name and generic medications. To learn more, visit our Hair loss page.

Dan is a long-time freelance writer focusing on technology, science, health, and medicine, with a lifelong interest in physics, biology, and medicine. His work has taken a particular focus on scientific studies "beyond the headlines," reading the study to more closely examine the results.