No. It is not possible to buy Propecia hair loss tablets over the counter. In order to purchase Propecia in the UK you need to have a prescription.

This is so that a doctor can check that the medicine is suitable before issuing it to you. To do this, a doctor will need to assess your medical history, as well as any other medications you are taking.

On this page, we’ll discuss the different ways you can get Propecia, including:

We’ll also look at the other treatment options for male hair loss available over the counter.

Can I get Propecia on the NHS?

It is possible to get a prescription for Propecia by making an appointment with your NHS GP. They will be able to review your medical status and assess whether the drug is right for you. If it is, they can issue a prescription for it.

However, Propecia is not available on the NHS, so your doctor will have to conduct the consultation in a private capacity. This means that they may need to charge you a nominal fee for the consultation and issuing a prescription.

Can I get Propecia from a private GP?

Yes. They will be able to assess your suitability for the drug in person, as an NHS GP would, and issue a prescription where appropriate. Again, because the consultation is conducted privately, there will be a charge for this service.

Can I get Propecia from my chemist?

Yes. A local chemist, supermarket pharmacy or high street pharmacy will be able to fulfil your prescription once it has been drawn up by a doctor.

Some pharmacies also offer a consultation service with pharmacy prescribers or practitioners, who may be able to write up a prescription for Propecia. There may be a consultation charge for these services in some cases.

However, because Propecia is not available on the NHS, patients will not be able to get it at the NHS levy rate. This means that a pharmacy will have to charge the regular market price for the drug (which is typically higher than the NHS levy), which the patient will have to pay in full.

Can I buy Propecia online?

Yes. Online pharmacies do offer the treatment on prescription. Some may also offer a facility where you can obtain or renew your prescription without seeing a doctor in person.

For instance, on, you can renew your prescription for Propecia by completing an online consultation. This involves completing a questionnaire, the answers to which are then reviewed by a registered doctor.

The doctor will then approve the medication and draw up a prescription if, after assessing your case, they deem that the medication is suitable for you. This prescription is then received by the dispensing pharmacy, who will issue the medicine and ship it.

Once again, online pharmacies offering Propecia will have to do so on a private basis. This means that the drug will not be subject to the NHS levy, and you will have to pay the market price for it.

The prices for Propecia displayed on include the cost of the medicine, doctor consultation and delivery (so the price you see is the price you pay).

However, some online pharmacies may charge a separate consultation and delivery fee, in addition to the cost of the medicine.

It is always important to make sure that the website you are using when buying medicines online is genuine, and operating within the required standards of practice.

If an online pharmacy is offering Propecia over the counter, and says that you do not require a prescription then it is not working within the current regulations and should be avoided.

Buying your prescription for Propecia using online services may save you a trip to your GP surgery or your pharmacist in person, and be more convenient. But if you have never taken Propecia before or are unsure about taking it, it’s generally better to talk to your own doctor in person before getting it online.

Over-the-counter hair loss treatment

Whilst you cannot buy Propecia over the counter because it requires a prescription, there are other treatments available which do not, including:

  • Regaine

This is a topical treatment containing minoxidil. It is available as a lotion or foam which is rubbed into the scalp on a daily basis.

Regaine for Men is available in two strengths 2% and 5% (or ‘Extra Strength’). It has been found in clinical trials  to be effective at slowing hair loss, and in some cases increasing hair regrowth.

Although Regaine for Men is available over the counter, a pharmacist will need to check your suitability before they can provide the 5% solution to you.

Regain for Women is also available over the counter for women experiencing hair loss.

  • Caffeine shampoo

The idea behind caffeine shampoo is that it stimulates hair growth. It was developed following a study which concluded that caffeine has a positive effect on hair growth  when applied in vitro. However, how effective it is as a hair loss treatment when applied to the scalp is not yet clear, and some experts think more research is needed.

Before embarking on any treatment for hair loss, it is advisable to speak to your doctor or your pharmacist for guidance.

Page last reviewed:  09/12/2020