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 December 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 it 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 the 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 period from August 2020 through July 2021. Propecia held steady for all three retailers until August of this year. Then last month, CVS dropped its price to $3.36, Walgreens to $4.40, and Walmart to $3.89. In October 2021, CVS’s price rose to $4.03, while the other two stayed at their August pricing. This has held into December 2021.
The top three retailers’ prices for a 1 milligram tablet of finasteride also remained stable throughout 2020 and half of 2021. In August, both CVS and Walgreens had significant price drops, to $.99 and $1.18, respectively. Walmart dropped their price by only $.01, to $1.12.
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.
To learn more about Propecia or finasteride, 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.