Is Finasteride Available on the NHS?

Many people want to get finasteride treatment for hair loss on the NHS; however, this is not possible, as the NHS does not prescribe the drug. There are no exceptions under which you would be able to get finasteride as a cosmetic treatment on the NHS.

Why Can't You Have Finasteride on the NHS?

The NHS does not prescribe finasteride as it is seen to be an entirely cosmetic procedure. When determining what treatments it will fund the NHS weighs up the cost of the treatment against the benefits to the patient. As the benefits of finasteride treatment are purely cosmetic and it will not have any positive, effect on your health the NHS will not fund it.

Can You Get NHS Advice About Finasteride?

Although the NHS will not fund finasteride treatment, it is possible to get advice from your GP about the treatment, its benefits, and its risks. Your GP is the best place to start, as they will be able to provide you with objective advice about the treatment and whether they believe that it will be a success.

Your GP will be able to diagnose your hair loss condition without charging for this appointment. Being diagnosed with male pattern balding, or female pattern balding, is the first step to getting treatment with finasteride. This can be done by an NHS doctor without you having to pay the high rates of a private consultant. Your GP will also be able to write you a private prescription for the drug, which you can then use either online or in a pharmacy to purchase finasteride.

Your GP can also be helpful if you believe that you are suffering from any adverse reactions to finasteride. If you are experiencing any of the side effects such as:

  • Decreased sexual libido
  • Impotence
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased breast size
  • Symptoms of prostate cancer
  • Allergic reaction

You will be able to speak to your GP who will check that your symptoms are not serious and will recommend either that you continue with the treatment or that you discontinue finasteride.

Can You Get Finasteride for Other Conditions on the NHS?

Finasteride is also used to treat the enlargement of the prostate. When used to treat this it is available on the NHS. Finasteride works by shrinking the prostate gland, which can help you to urinate in a more normal way. Finasteride is one of two drugs used to treat an enlarged prostate and once prescribed is usually prescribed for life to reduce the complications of enlarged prostate.

As a result of this if you have an enlarged prostate and suffer from male pattern baldness it is likely that you will be able to get treatment for your balding on the NHS as it is the same as treatment for an enlarged prostate. Finasteride is prescribed in 5 mg doses for an enlarged prostate. This option will not be available for women due to the fact that the prostate is a male organ and is not present in the female body.

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