If you live in the United States you need a prescription to obtain Propecia, the only pill FDA-approved for hair loss. Many men take comfort that they can stave off future loss and, in some cases, regrow some of their lost hair by taking Propecia.
But did you know that you can save money on Propecia? It’s true. But you’ll have to get another drug to do it.
First things first: Propecia is composed of 1mg of the active ingredient finasteride, a drug originally marketed by Merck for the treatment of BPH (benign prostatic hyperblasia). For cases of BPH, physicians prescribe Proscar – which is also finasteride – in a 5 mg pill.
Propecia and Proscar are the same thing, just in two different doses.
The average cost of Propecia per month is around $70 USD for 30 pills, which will last 30 days. One can obtain Proscar from the same pharmacy in the U.S. for around $35 for 10 pills, which will last 40 days.
But wait…that math doesn’t add up…or does it? Well, no. You see, even though Proscar is 5 mg of finasteride while Propecia is only 1 mg the pill itself isn’t five times as large. As a matter of fact, the two pills are actually pretty similar in size. The Proscar is only a little bit bigger. This is because all pills have lots of filler of inactive ingredients in them that make up the majority of their size.
The size of the Proscar pill makes it pretty difficult to split into 5 even parts. Not to mention its shape – which is much like that of a heart. What many economically-minded hair loss sufferers do is just split the Proscar into four parts of 1.25 mg apiece. Sure, the recommended dose of finasteride is 1 mg per day but that extra .25 mg difference is pretty negligable. However, if you really are a stickler for the dose and are handy with a pill cutter or X-acto knife, then you can probably actually achieve 5 relatively equal pieces.
If not, then I have included this high-tech chart on the best way I know how to split a Proscar pill into quarters.
You will need to obtain a prescription for Proscar from a physician just like with Propecia. Most physicians will recognize that the two medications are identical and thus splitting Proscar to save some cash isn’t that big of a deal. However, I have heard of some docs balking at splitting a pill due to the impossibility that the concentration of finasteride will be spread evenly throughout the Proscar pill, thus making it impossible to obtain an accurate dose of finasteride from one day to the next. What they are not taking into consideration is that finasteride’s half-life is suitably long enough so that the minor imbalances from one day to the next is hardly a consideration.
Finally, I am not a medical doctor and this is not medical advice. I take absolutely no responsibility for what you do with what pills and how you do it. I’m just sharing what worked for me.