Propecia Vs Finasteride - Whats The Difference?

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Propecia and Finasteride are technically the same hair loss treatment. Propecia, however, is the branded version of the drug, whereas Finasteride is the cheaper generic version named after the active ingredient finasteride which is found in Propecia.

Similar to how Hoover and vacuum cleaner mean the same thing, but Hoover is actually the brand name.

Finasteride is just as effective but will be considerably cheaper to buy as Propecia is a more widely recognised brand. It is also worth noting Propecia does contain some other binding and inactive ingredients, which users may react to differently. This is why it is critically important to monitor all ingredients when starting any new medical treatment.

With so much information available online, it can be tricky to get your facts straight when seeking a drug to treat hair loss. There are many different products available on the market to treat hair loss — some good, some bad, and some even downright dangerous.

Propecia is an MHRA approved hair loss treatment specially formulated to treat male pattern baldness. The drug is orally administered and is effective in 83% of users, with most users experiencing results after 6 months of treatment.

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride is actually an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

Finasteride is widely used for the treatment of an enlarged prostate, and male pattern hair loss. The dosage for treating an enlarged prostate is substantially different to the one administered for hair loss - you can find out more on our Finasteride dosage page.

While Finasteride may be combined with different inactive ingredients and sold as a generic drug treatment, Propecia has been branded by Merck Sharp & Dohme — a global pharmaceutical company. You can read more about what Finasteride exactly is and does here.

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Propecia as a hair loss treatment

The branded product Propecia comes in 1mg tablets and is sold in packs of 28. They are often cheaper to buy online and are sold at The Independent Pharmacy for £51.99, after completing a simple online consultation.

Make sure that you answer all the questions honestly during your online consultation, as it’s important that our medical team have as much knowledge as possible before they administer the drug to you.

Finasteride as a hair loss treatment

Finasteride also comes in 1mg tablets sold in packs of 28. As Finasteride is a generic, unbranded version of Propecia, the price is considerably lower. At The Independent Pharmacy, one pack of 28 costs £15.99, so this may be a cheaper alternative to your Propecia treatment.

Can I take Propecia/Finasteride?

Both versions of the drug are of the same strength and require a prescription to purchase. They are most effective in males aged between 18 - 41 and the earlier you start taking Finasteride, the better — it is much easier to prevent further hair loss than it is to regrow hair that you have already lost. Patients are strongly advised to check all ingredients before beginning any form of medical treatment. Propecia is specially formulated for men, so women are advised to seek other treatments and therapies for a thinning hairline. Before taking it is a good idea to research the side effects of Finasteride.

For more information on hair loss treatments head over to our Hair Loss page. Here you can read more about the available products, seek medical advice from our healthcare professionals, and read other blogs on Propecia, Regaine, and Avodart.

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