Booming Demand: U.S. Sees 200% Surge in Finasteride Prescriptions Over 7 Years

A new report from Epic Research (developed on behalf of NBC News) has concluded that U.S. finasteride prescriptions in men over the age of 25 increased 200% over the last 7 years. This rate of growth is unprecedented for such a long and well established drug. Most of this rise in popularity is due to the growing use of finasteride as a hair loss medication in young males.

Finasteride was originally approved by the U.S. FDA as an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) treatment drug for older men in 1992. It was later approved to treat male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in 1997 via the well known brand Propecia.

But over 25 years after its approval as a hair loss drug, what could explain the sudden surge in young and middle-aged men trying finasteride out for the first time to treat their thinning hairlines?

Telehealth Companies, Ads and Social Media

Perhaps the single biggest reason is the proliferation of telehealth companies such as Hims, Keeps and Roman (now Ro). Such businesses employ doctors that can diagnose hair loss patients via online consultations; then prescribe their own generic finasteride (and other oral and topical hair growth medications); and then deliver the drugs directly to your doorstep. So there is no need to ever visit a doctor or pharmacy in person. Convenient, fast and a bit more private.

Moreover, all of these new companies have managed to raise significant investor funds that they use to bombard young men with advertisements. Social media platforms and sites such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit are also rife with miraculous before and after photos of people taking finasteride for hair loss. There is nowadays unprecedented awareness about hair loss drugs such as finasteride, dutasteride and minoxidil.

Even general practitioners and dermatologists are getting far more in-clinic requests for finasteride prescriptions for hair loss. In the NBC News article linked earlier, New York based dermatologist Dr. Jerry Shapiro states the following:

“It’s like water in my clinic. I’m prescribing it all the time.”

Side Effects

While some people who take finasteride do get sexual problems, gynecomastia, or other side effects, very few get permanent issues. Nevertheless, the awareness of post-finasteride syndrome (PFS) is increasingly widespread.

Note that according to Dr. Shapiro:

“Permanent side effects are so, so rare. I’ve never seen it in a patient, and I’ve treated thousands of patients.” Many people are choosing topical finasteride, which can theoretically lead to lower rates of side effects than oral finasteride. A host of online companies now sell the topical version of the drug.


The rise in popularity of hair loss drugs such as finasteride is now likely a long-term trend. This is due to the convenience of telemedicine combined with the increasing awareness of finasteride’s hair growth potential. Moreover, in an age where people are under immense pressure to post their photos online, insecurities surrounding hair loss have become ever more pronounced.


Anand, the visionary behind HairLossCure2020 (HLC2020) since 2013, brings more than just a blog—he offers a testament to resilience and dedication. Having relied on hair loss medications for over two decades, his journey is fueled by a personal quest to regrow his hair and advance regenerative medicine.

HLC2020 stands as the premier destination for the latest news and analysis on new hair loss treatments, clinical trials, and groundbreaking research.