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Hair loss affects millions of Canadian men. Luckily, hair loss treatment is effective and easily available.
The first line of treatment for hair loss in Canada is finasteride. Finasteride has been shown to prevent hair loss and foster hair growth. It’s a prescription medication, so you have to talk to a qualified medical professional before you can buy it. But it’s increasingly easy to get a prescription without sitting in a waiting room or having to have an embarrassing conversation with your family doctor.
In this article, we’ll answer all the common questions we hear about getting finasteride in Canada: What it is, why you need a prescription, and how to get one.
Finasteride 1 mg is generic Propecia, a hair loss medication. It’s primarily used to treat androgenetic alopecia (also known as male-pattern baldness or male-pattern hair loss). It’s usually administered as an oral tablet. However, there are now also topical finasteride solutions available in Canada. The topical solution is preferable for some individuals who are worried about finasteride side effects.
Note that finasteride is also used in 5 mg dose pills to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), (enlarged prostate) in adult men.
It works by reducing the production of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Normally, men’s testosterone gets broken down and forms DHT with the help of an enzyme called 5α-reductase. Finasteride is a 5α-reductase inhibitor, so it blocks that enzyme’s activity. That means that less testosterone gets broken down into DHT, so the amount of DHT in the scalp diminishes.
That helps hair loss because DHT damages hair follicles. It miniaturizes them, making them smaller and smaller. Eventually, DHT causes the follicles to die and stop growing hair. By reducing DHT, those hair follicles can be preserved—and in some cases, begin to regrow hair.
Finasteride has consistently been shown to effectively reduce hair loss. Some studies have even found that it can cause hair regrowth in about 90% of men. That’s why finasteride, and its brand-name counterpart Propecia, are among the most commonly prescribed medications for hair loss treatment. Finasteride, together with topical minoxidil, is considered the gold standard for the treatment of androgenic alopecia.
Yes, in Canada you need a prescription from a Doctor or other licensed prescriber.
Why is it a prescription drug?
Because finasteride can result in adverse effects if it’s not used properly. Some possible side effects from finasteride include:
Side effects are typically uncommon. For example, sexual dysfunction side effects of finasteride occur in only 2.1% to 3.8% of individuals taking finasteride. When these effects occur, they typically occur early in the course of therapy and return to normal after stopping finasteride treatment. Still, given the potential adverse effects, it’s important to only use finasteride after receiving a prescription from a qualified health practitioner.
You can read more about the side effects of finasteride here. Always read the package insert before taking any medication. If you experience adverse effects while taking finasteride, seek medical advice.
Or, a common alternative version of this question: Can I get finasteride 5mg over the counter?
No, you cannot legally buy finasteride without a prescription in Canada. It is not available over the counter.
While some websites may try to sell finasteride without a prescription, it is illegal. Some illegal medications contain fillers or other harmful chemicals. They may pose a serious risk to health. Always purchase finasteride with a prescription from a legal clinic.
Yes, your general practitioner or family physician can prescribe finasteride. A specialized doctor, like a dermatologist, can as well. The downside is, of course, inconvenience. You usually have to schedule an appointment well in advance, sit in a waiting room, and then have what can sometimes be an awkward conversation.
The more convenient alternative? Get a prescription from an online men’s health clinic.
Also, note that many doctors will prescribe brand name Propecia rather than generic finasteride. These are essentially equivalent except in one important way: Propecia is much more expensive. If you want to save on your hair loss treatment costs, ask for generic finasteride.
No. Doctors can give you a prescription for finasteride, but it can only actually be dispensed by a licensed pharmacy. You can’t buy finasteride directly from your GP.
One of the convenient things about getting a prescription from an online clinic like Essential Clinic is that we can easily help you buy finasteride right away through our partner pharmacy. Then we’ll ship it right to your door. So you can get your prescription, order your finasteride, and get it mailed, all in the same visit.
The easiest way to get finasteride in Canada is by getting a prescription online, and then ordering it to be shipped discreetly to your house.
You can do that right here: Start your online visit now.
Getting your finasteride prescription online is very easy:
The price of finasteride depends on where you get it. The cheapest way to get it is online. You can even buy 5 mg of Proscar and divide it into 4 with a pill cutter—this can save you as much as 80% off your prescription.
Hair loss is common. It’s treatable. And it’s best to start treatment early.
It’s never been as convenient to get hair loss treatments in Canada. Our medical team can chat with you right now to help you understand the cause of your hair loss and also find the right product for you—whether it’s finasteride, minoxidil, dutasteride, or something else. Once you get your prescription, you can buy finasteride online immediately and we’ll ship it to your door.
Do your hair a favour and get started today.
Kaufman, K. D., Olsen, E. A., Whiting, D., Savin, R., DeVillez, R., Bergfeld, W., ... & Finasteride Male Pattern Hair Loss Study Group. (1998). Finasteride in the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 39(4), 578-589.
Mysore, V. (2012). Finasteride and sexual side effects. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 3(1), 62.
Shapiro, J., & Kaufman, K. D. (2003, June). Use of finasteride in the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss). In Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings (Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 20-23). Elsevier.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.