Waiting to see a doctor for a new concern can be uncomfortable, if not downright unpleasant. If you don’t want to sit for hours in an urgent care waiting room or spend days – or months – waiting for your primary care provider, you can now use telemedicine to soothe common ailments.
The convenience of online health care has created a considerable surge in its popularity, particularly in the age of COVID-19. One survey found that telehealth use in some areas exploded from 1% of visits pre-pandemic to 80% of visits during the pandemic.
Lemonaid Health is one of the leading comprehensive telemedicine services, providing medical reviews, prescription refills, and unlimited messaging with licensed medical professionals for dozens of concerns. However, like all health care services, Lemonaid is not one-size-fits-all.
We’ve thoroughly tested the service to break down exactly what it is – and isn’t – suitable for so you can find out if Lemonaid is right for you.
- Thorough, attentive care for many common health issues
- Easy access to prescription refills for non-controlled medication
- Competitive pricing – often the same or less than it would be with insurance
- Transparency about identification and certification of providers
- Consultation fee waived if you’re not a candidate for services
- Treats a broader range of issues than many competitors
- Does not take insurance
- Many restrictions around potential patients, particularly in mental health
- Must be over 18 for health care and over 25 for mental health care
- New diagnoses are limited to acute, easy-to-identify issues like sinus infections
We judged Lemonaid on several criteria, including range of treatment options, support quality, affordability, and convenience. We also paid close attention to the quality of care, customer support, and privacy. Most of our information is based on our research of the company and tester experiences.
Quality of care
9.3 / 10
The Lemonaid staff’s attention to detail is incredible. They made our testers feel comfortable and genuinely heard, sometimes even more than their regular doctors. Every note you leave on your medical history is pored over before your appointment and then addressed by the provider. Our testers noted that providers checked in multiple times during the appointment to make sure our testers understood the information and to address any questions. All questions were answered clearly and concisely without being patronizing.
Even when staff deem appointments out of Lemonaid’s range of care, they clearly explain how and why they came to that decision. They also offered links to alternative telehealth services that provide better options, ensuring that our testers received the attention they needed.
Though Lemonaid only has thirteen medical staff listed under “meet the team” on its website, 59 total qualified medical staff are on board. Your provider’s name is always visible, and Lemonaid encourages you to check your provider’s qualifications with local medical and nursing boards, linked on their site for your convenience.
8.8 / 10
In most cases, a 15-minute consultation costs $25. Medication typically runs through Lemonaid’s partner pharmacy with a separate charge, though they do their best to keep both prescription and test prices low. Prices can run as high as $115 per month, depending on the reason for the visit, and some conditions such as depression require monthly fees for long-term care. Lemonaid doesn’t take health insurance, so all payments must be made out-of-pocket.
However, these services are less expensive than an in-person doctor’s appointment and are cheaper than many of Lemonaid’s competitors.
9.3 / 10
Convenience is one of Lemonaid’s advertised specialties. We can confirm: Lemonaid is incredibly convenient to use and offers prompt scheduling. First, complete a fill-in-the-blank survey to gather your medical history, which takes no longer than ten minutes. Next, either head into a waiting room or schedule an appointment for later that day. Wait times never ran longer than 20 minutes, even for a complicated, multi-question visit.
The appointments are comprehensive, even though they last only around 15 minutes. If prescriptions are necessary, the provider lets you know, and you won’t have to lift a finger: the prescription is sent to your preferred pharmacy or shipped to you the same day. Shipped prescriptions arrive in 3-5 business days on average.
Communication is also convenient. If you consent to receive emails and text messages, you’ll be notified when you miss a secure message on the website. That way, you know exactly when you’ve heard from your provider and don’t have to sit around waiting. That said, most providers message back within 5-15 minutes. The longest our testers had to wait for a response was two hours. If you need to call, Lemonaid customer care staff picks up within three rings: we never had to hear hold music.
8.8 / 10
Because Lemonaid does not take insurance, none of your health information leaves the site (including prescriptions and testing orders) without your express permission. Your appointment notes, medical history, messaging, and other private health information stay locked on the site with reasonable security measures. There are options to send your appointment notes to your provider following HIPAA guidelines to keep them in the loop. Even their customer support and messaging services are HIPAA-compliant (and, they note, judgement-free).
Lemonaid may email, text, or call you depending on communication settings you can opt into, which are unencrypted and, therefore, not secure. But outside contact doesn’t contain any sensitive health or financial information.
Launched from San Francisco in 2013, Lemonaid is a telehealth company offering a wide variety of health services. This includes prescribing new medications and refills, analyzing test results, and answering questions. While Lemonaid is reluctant to diagnose new conditions, they seek to provide easy-access care for all. As stated on their homepage, their core mission is “to break down barriers that limit people from getting quality healthcare, empowering them to live happier lives.”
Much of Lemonaid’s service works like a trip to urgent care, getting you in and out of the virtual office in less than an hour. They are an ideal choice for anyone in a time crunch or those who need refills of a medication but can’t – or don’t want to – see their primary care provider.
Major service categories
Lemonaid offers care in six major areas:
- Mental health: anxiety, depression, insomnia, smoking cessation, health & wellness coaching
- Men’s health: premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, hair loss
- Women’s health: birth control, urinary tract infections/UTIs, hot flashes
- Skin concerns: acne, dark spots
- General health: primary care consultations, asthma, acid reflux, cholesterol, cold sores, flu, genital herpes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, migraine, sinus infections/sinusitis
- Testing: COVID-19 antibodies, gonorrhea and chlamydia/STDs, average blood sugar/A1C, cholesterol, ABO/blood type
These services are available in all 50 states and Washington DC. Most states require video consultations for all issues. However, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia allow a non-video phone consultation or message conversation to provide medical services on some topics instead.
In June 2021, Lemonaid launched a telehealth service based out of the United Kingdom called Boots, though Boots does not yet cover the same breadth of concerns as Lemonaid’s American services.
Lemonaid also runs a healthcare support blog, Healthaid, answering common questions and linking to reliable outside sources. Its goal is to help you find care if you aren’t ready to make an appointment.
Like with all medical providers, Lemonaid isn’t right for everyone. They are generally cautious about who and what they treat because they don’t see patients in person. However, they do follow all federal and state limitations for telehealth providers. In most cases, if it is not in your best interest to use their service, Lemonaid fully refunds your consultation fee.
Despite working quickly and providing immediate care, Lemonaid is not an emergency service. If you are in a true emergency, experiencing things such as shortness of breath, confusion, chest pain, bleeding, or the worst headache of your life, please seek care in person or call 911.
Pregnant people experiencing new symptoms of any kind should also see an in-person medical provider to ensure the health of both the parent and baby, as none of Lemonaid’s medical staff are trained obstetricians.
Lemonaid cannot refill controlled substances, medications regulated by the US government because of higher-than-average risks of abuse or addiction. Controlled substances include:
- ADHD medication (ex. Ritalin, Concerta, or Adderall)
- Benzodiazepines (ex. Xanax)
- Opioid painkillers (ex. Vicodin)
- Some weight-loss medications
If you sign up for an appointment to fill your controlled substance and the medical team isn’t able to, you’ll still be charged for the consult. On the bright side, pop-up windows remind you of this limitation when you start making an appointment. Message your regular provider instead.
Lemonaid is a cash-only health service, meaning they do not take any health insurance, HSAs, or FSAs. This helps them to keep costs low and appointments streamlined. If you know that your insurance covers the test, procedure, or medication in full (such as reimbursement for COVID-19 testing), or if you need to use health insurance for any other reason, see a health care provider in person. Lemonaid cannot help with paperwork concerning time off work, disability evaluation, or workers’ compensation claims.
There are no psychiatrists on staff at Lemonaid, so there are strict rules around who can and cannot be seen for mental health treatment. Essentially, if your mental health concerns are something other than uncomplicated depression or generalized anxiety, Lemonaid can’t help. This might look like:
- Hallucinations, delusions, or other symptoms of psychosis
- Active suicidal thoughts or a history of suicide attempts
- Substance abuse
If you have any severe mental health symptoms, please make an appointment with a psychiatrist or other mental health care professional.
Lemonaid offers several services that can help you address mental health issues, such as:
- Depression and anxiety
- Smoking cessation
- Health and wellness coaching
Depression and anxiety
Major depression and generalized anxiety disorders, often known as depression and anxiety, are the most common types of mental health concerns seen in America. They affect 7.8% and 19.1% of adults in the United States, respectively. Less than one-half of people suffering receive proper care, but the rise of telemedicine may change that.
Mental health is one of the most common reasons for using telemedicine, particularly in rural areas or “care deserts” with limited access to mental health providers. Lemonaid is no exception and offers treatments for both anxiety and depression.
Despite having separate treatment pages, Lemonaid treats depression and anxiety almost identically with a medication plan. Both anxiety and depression can be managed with the same common antidepressant medication: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or atypical antidepressants.
Specifically, they prescribe nine different antidepressants:
- Citalopram (Celexa, an SSRI)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro, an SSRI)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, an SSRI)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac, an SSRI)
- Sertraline (Zoloft, an SSRI)
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta, an SNRI)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor, an SNRI)
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin, an atypical antidepressant)
Lemonaid does not prescribe tricyclic antidepressants or MAOIs, older forms of antidepressant medication, as they have many more side effects and risks. They also cannot prescribe benzodiazepines like Xanax or Klonopin for anxiety because they are controlled substances with higher-than-average risks of abuse.
Lemonaid states that 80% of their patients new to antidepressants using their service see a 50% increase in test scores that measure anxiety and depression in 8-12 weeks. It’s important to note that it takes 6-8 weeks to feel the effects of antidepressants, no matter the type, and up to three months to feel the maximum impact.
There are no psychiatrists on staff at Lemonaid, so if you are experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, or another severe condition, they suggest that you seek care elsewhere. These symptoms include:
- Mania or a previous bipolar disorder diagnosis
- History of suicide attempts
- History of seizures
- Substance abuse
Lemonaid also does not treat mental health symptoms in patients under 25. If you need a different medication than Lemonaid offers, or you have a more complicated mental illness, check out our guide to the best online psychiatrists for more help.
Depression and anxiety respond best to treatment when medication is combined with some therapy. Lemonaid does not offer any therapy and encourages you to seek it elsewhere.
Both depression and anxiety treatment costs $25/month for the first month and then $95/month after. This includes the cost of both consultations and all medication needs for treating your depression or anxiety, and you can cancel at any time. Any mental health medication is shipped in 30-day supplies.
Insomnia can dramatically affect quality of life. Going about your day after not getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. Treatment for insomnia is often a combination of behavioral strategies and medication.
Lemonaid does not have therapists, social workers, or psychiatrists on staff, so they rely on medication to treat insomnia. However, like with depression and anxiety, they recommend seeking behavioral treatment elsewhere in combination with using their medications.
Lemonaid offers two different medications for sleep:
- Hydroxyzine (an antihistamine)
- Trazodone (an antidepressant)
Both of these medications are used off-label to treat insomnia by helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. You have the opportunity to talk with your doctor about which medication works best for you based on your symptoms and medical history. Because of their controlled status, many sleep aids like zolpidem (Ambien) are not available through Lemonaid.
Insomnia treatment through Lemonaid costs $30/month for the first month and $60/month after. This includes the cost of consultations and all medication needs for treating insomnia, and you can cancel at any time. Medication is shipped in 30-day supplies.
Every year, about 70% of adult smokers want to quit, but only 10% succeed. Nicotine is one of the most challenging substances to quit because of its intense withdrawal symptoms and cravings, as well as associations between smoking and everyday tasks and feelings.
While there are many things to help you stop smoking, including behavioral training, therapy, and over-the-counter medications like nicotine gum or patches, Lemonaid offers some prescription-strength alternatives:
- Bupropion (Zyban or Wellbutrin, an atypical antidepressant)
- Varenicline (Chantix)
Lemonaid has been reluctant to prescribe Chantix because it costs significantly more than Zyban and cannot be shipped through their partner pharmacy. Chantix was also recalled in September 2021 by Pfizer due to one of the ingredients increasing your risk of cancer.
It is important to note that bupropion does not help if you are quitting chewing tobacco and is only available in pill form.
Bupropion is most effective when taken in the first 3-4 weeks of quitting nicotine, as that is when your cravings are the worst. These cravings decrease every day through the first month, so Lemonaid does not prescribe bupropion for longer than three months without a consultation.
The service costs $15/month for both consultation and medication, though bupropion only comes in 90-day shipments.
Health and wellness coaching
While Lemonaid does not offer therapy in a traditional sense, they do have a non-clinical equivalent: health and wellness coaching. Their national board-certified Health and Wellness Coaches can help with:
- Weight management
- Life satisfaction
- Stress management and emotional resilience
- Chronic condition management
- Sleep issues
- Holistic care
Coaching is not therapy. Therapy can involve unpacking previous traumas and diagnosing mental health conditions. Instead, health and wellness coaching focuses on empowering yourself and aligning your values with your daily actions. Lemonaid states that most of its users find sustainable change in three months.
In your first session, expect to go through your medical history and goals with your coach before creating a plan to achieve those goals. Regular 45-minute video calls with your coach – at your pace, without a set schedule – and unlimited messaging costs $30/month for the first month and then $115/month for every month after. You can cancel at any time at no additional charge.
Several of Lemonaid’s services fall under the category of men’s health, including help with:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
- Hair loss
Approximately 40% of men aged 40 and 70% of men aged 70 are affected by erectile dysfunction (ED), or the inability to have or maintain an erection during sexual activity. This is often a difficult or uncomfortable topic to discuss, but with so many men experiencing it, Lemonaid wants to help break the stigma and get you the help you need.
Lemonaid offers two different medication options for men who are healthy enough for sexual activity but struggling with ED:
- Sildenafil (Viagra)
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
Both sildenafil and tadalafil are PDE5 inhibitors, which work by relaxing muscles and arteries enough to let blood circulate where it needs to go and stay there. These two medications are available for occasional use as needed. Tadalafil is also offered for daily use, which is recommended for men who are highly sexually active. There are other options too, which we outline in our guide to the best ED treatments if you’re looking for more flexibility.
Getting treatment for ED follows standard procedure for Lemonaid: a private online medical history questionnaire followed by a video chat. There aren’t many situations where you would be denied medication, but you will need to know your average blood pressure to get a prescription, as PDE5 inhibitors can lower your blood pressure.
Once you’ve been cleared, receive your medication in 1-month packs with 11 refills. You can get these as either 1- or 3-month shipments. If you are prescribed occasional use medication, you receive ten pills per month. It only costs $30 for your first month of treatment, including your consultation fee and prescription.
Afterward, the cost varies depending on the specific medication you receive but averages about $20/month and $240/month for occasional and daily, respectively. If you have run out of refills or haven’t seen a Lemonaid provider in over a year, Lemonaid also offers a free consultation to restart services.
Premature ejaculation is a complicated concern. No one knows what causes it and whether those causes are biological or psychological. However, most people concerned about premature ejaculation do not experience clinically significant symptoms. Lemonaid’s health professionals can help you identify whether your symptoms need medical or behavioral treatment.
If you do qualify for medical support, your options are wide open. Treatments can range from psychological approaches and behavioral techniques to condom use and topical anesthetics. (If you’re looking for a more temporary solution, we’ve put together some resources to help you find the best delay spray.) Lemonaid offers two different families of oral medications to treat premature ejaculation:
- Sertraline (Zoloft, an SSRI)
- Sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis), both PDE5 inhibitors
These medications are used off-label as the FDA has not yet approved any drug specifically to treat premature ejaculation.
SSRIs like sertraline have many side effects, with delayed orgasm being one of the biggest. Studies have shown that sertraline can delay time until ejaculation more than double men’s average. If you are prescribed sertraline, it may take 5-10 days to start seeing effects and up to 2-3 weeks to see a full effect.
Sildenafil and tadalafil are commonly known as erectile dysfunction medication but work to improve your stamina rather than delay an orgasm. Erectile dysfunction is also a common underlying cause of premature ejaculation, so this treatment method hits two birds with one stone. You will need to know your blood pressure to make an appointment, as sildenafil and tadalafil both lower blood pressure.
A consultation with a Lemonaid physician or nurse practitioner costs $25, as is standard for Lemonaid’s consultation fees. Three months of sertraline costs an additional $30/month (or $90), and three months of sildenafil or tadalafil costs $20/month (or $60). Note that if you need more than three months of sertraline, you will need to make a follow-up appointment with a Lemonaid medical professional, as Lemonaid will not automatically refill SSRIs.
No matter your age, hair loss is never fun. Androgenic alopecia, otherwise known as male-pattern baldness, affects up to half of both men and women any time after puberty ends. It is genetically determined, so if men in your family have it, you may be staring down the clock. Hair loss can be a ding to self-confidence, and Lemonaid has options for men who want to slow, stop, or reverse hair loss. Even though women can also have male-pattern hair loss, Lemonaid does not treat it or treat hair loss due to something other than male-pattern hair loss.
Take pictures of your head and hairline from several angles and upload them as part of your medical history questionnaire to qualify for treatment. Lemonaid’s medical providers analyze whether or not your hair loss is due to male-pattern baldness. This is part of the standard test a doctor would perform in person. You must have experienced this hair loss for at least six months – any earlier and the cause may not be determinable.
All hair loss through Lemonaid is treated through a medication called finasteride (also known as Propecia). Finasteride blocks 5-alpha reductase, the hormone that is responsible for male-pattern baldness. If you cannot take finasteride due to an allergy or other concern, Lemonaid may prescribe you minoxidil (Rogaine), which has a lower risk of severe side effects but is much less effective.
A consultation for hair loss costs the standard $25, and finasteride costs $10/month packaged in 3-month shipments for $30 total.
Not happy with finasteride, or tried it and don’t like it? Take a look at some other options to treat hair loss that we’ve put together for you.
Lemonaid offers a few services specifically for women, including:
- Birth control
- UTI treatment
- Hot flash care
Lemonaid’s birth control service is extensive, with good reason: birth control is one of the leading uses of telehealth among women ages 18-34, and as telemedicine gains popularity and reliability, that number will only continue to grow. Whether you are trying to avoid pregnancy, decrease acne, or regulate or stop your cycle, Lemonaid has your back.
There is an almost hilarious number of birth control options available. As long as it comes in a pill, patch, or ring form, Lemonaid offers it. This includes both progestin-only and combination (both estrogen and progesterone) pills, packs that stop your period, packs that contain sugar pills for a regular monthly cycle, those that plan for a 24-day cycle, those that plan for a 28-day cycle, and more.
If this is overwhelming for you, Lemonaid recommends using Bedsider, a birth control support website, particularly if you’re not sure if birth control is right for you. Medical professionals at Lemonaid are also always willing to help you figure out what will work best.
Though the company’s recommendations are the only things that pop up at first, clicking “search more” reveals seventeen pages – or 162 varieties – of birth control. No matter what you’re looking for or what you’ve previously been on, you’ll be able to find it. Their recommendations include:
- Sprintec (a popular brand)
- Errin (progestin-only)
- Yaz (budget-friendly option)
- Junel Fe 1/20 (low-estrogen)
- Seasonique (fewer periods)
All you need to do to receive your birth control is fill out a health questionnaire and select what type of birth control you prefer. Note that you need to know your blood pressure to fill out the questionnaire. A provider will get back to you within 24 hours with approval or any follow-up questions. Some states require a phone consultation before prescription coverage, so schedule a quick call to go over your health questionnaire as needed.
If you have a history of strokes or migraines with auras, your birth control options are limited. Combined birth control can increase your risk of stroke because both estrogen and migraines with auras increase the risk of blood clots in the brain.
Since Lemonaid doesn’t use insurance, your prescription remains private and secure. After the standard $25 consultation fee, prices vary depending on what type of birth control you select. A vast majority of packs come recommended by staff (you can tell because they are eligible for any sales or coupons) and cost $45 for a 3-month supply; otherwise, the cost depends on the brand.
If you purchased birth control through Lemonaid over a year ago, they waive the $25 consultation fee if you come in for prescription renewal.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Infections through any part of the urinary system, from the urethra to bladder to kidneys, are covered under the label of urinary tract infections or UTIs. They are unfortunately common and can show up in anyone. However, Lemonaid specifically only treats UTIs in people assigned female at birth, as UTIs in people assigned male at birth are inherently complicated due to anatomical structuring differences.
Lemonaid strongly suggests you use an at-home UTI test (which is available over the counter in most pharmacies) to ensure that you are experiencing a UTI before making an appointment. UTI symptoms overlap with several other conditions. Symptoms include:
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Frequent urination
- Bloody urine
- Feeling the need to urinate but not needing to
- Lower abdomen cramping or pressure
Those with complicated UTIs experience the above symptoms as well as:
- Fever or chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abnormal discharge
- Symptoms lasting longer than two weeks
In those cases, seek help in person for more rigorous treatment. Similarly, if you are diabetic or post-menopausal, Lemonaid may not be the best option for you.
UTIs are easily treated with a seven-day course of antibiotics. After filling out a medical history questionnaire and confirming that you experience at least three of the most common UTI symptoms, have a quick video consultation with a Lemonaid provider. Typically, the provider prescribes seven days of an antibiotic. There are several brands of medication that they offer (including Macrobid, Bactrim, and Keflex), but the antibiotic they prescribe to you depends on both personal health history and local antibiotic resistance.
The standard consultation costs $25. Since you should start on the week-long course of antibiotics immediately, the prescription goes through your pharmacy of choice. Costs vary depending on the specific antibiotic and pharmacy.
Hot flash care
Hot flashes occur during menopause when estrogen levels dip low enough that it becomes difficult for your body to properly regulate your temperature. These flashes may be short blips, or they may be extended, nauseating, and disruptive to your day. If you’re finding yourself burdened with this newfound heat, there are easy ways to treat it.
Though Lemonaid labels and advertises this service as hot flash care, it treats any uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. A separate prescription is available through the hot flash service for women experiencing vaginal dryness and pain caused by menopausal vulvovaginal atrophy (thinning of vaginal tissue from a drop in estrogen).
Lemonaid’s menopause services are specifically for women undergoing menopause between the ages of 45 and 59. Women experiencing early menopause should seek care in person. To be considered in menopause, your periods must have stopped at least one year ago, unless you’re already on hormonal medication for hot flashes or vaginal dryness and pain.
Your doctor confirms that you are undergoing menopause through a medical history questionnaire and video consultation appointment. Even if you’re not experiencing hot flashes or other uncomfortable symptoms, your doctor prescribes a compounded estrogen cream and progesterone pills. The estrogen dose is personalized and difficult to get right the first try because everyone’s body reacts differently. Know that you will likely have to adjust it at least once.
It will take 1-2 months to see benefits for vaginal symptoms and 2-3 months to see full benefits for hot flashes, so be patient and adjust your dose as need be. After three months, you’ll check in with your Lemonaid provider to see how things are going.
The video consultation costs a standard $25, and both the compounded estrogen cream and progesterone pills cost $80 per month. Medication ships in 3-month supplies, so expect to pay $240 per shipment. There is no additional cost to adjust the dose of your compounded estrogen cream.
If you’re living with skin care issues, Lemonaid may be able to provide some relief. They offer treatment for:
- Dark spots
There’s no doubt that acne is uncomfortable. It’s easy to get caught up in over-the-counter treatments and at-home remedies that may or may not work. Whether you’re restarting your regimen after a long spell of clear skin, getting evaluated for prescription-strength care the first time, or adjusting or refilling what you already have, Lemonaid has eleven different options to care for acne.
There are creams, gels, and pills available to treat your acne. However, the specific treatment depends on the type and cause of acne (such as fungal or oil over-production) and compatibility with other products in your skincare routine. Specifically, Lemonaid asks if you are currently using benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or Proactiv, as each of those over-the-counter products interacts differently with the treatments. Your options include:
- Retinoic acid as a cream or gel: also known as Tretinoin, a common skincare ingredient that promotes skin cell regeneration
- Adapalene: Differin, a vitamin A derivative
- Topical antibiotics
- Antibiotic pills: minocycline or doxycycline
- Birth control pills: for women only – if you select this option, you are redirected to the birth control section of the site rather than continuing in the acne pathway
- Spironolactone: an antiandrogen and diuretic that decreases the overproduction of oil
- Benzoyl peroxide: a topical antiseptic used in most over-the-counter treatments
Lemonaid does not prescribe isotretinoin (Accutane) because of a high risk of severe side effects. If you are looking for isotretinoin, they recommend seeking care from an in-person medical professional who can monitor your symptoms closer.
When filling out your medical history questionnaire, be prepared to take pictures of the problem areas so that Lemonaid’s medical professionals can accurately identify the cause of your acne.
Insider Tip: Unfortunately, acne gets worse before it gets better. There is a brief period called a “purge” during the first 4-8 weeks on an acne medication where all of the buildup in pores comes out, so it looks like acne is getting worse. Hang in there – things will get better by month three of treatment.
No matter what medication you are prescribed, it costs $90 for a 3-month supply (or $30/month) and a $25 consultation fee. All acne medications come with a free gift of benzoyl peroxide cream.
Dark spots – also called age spots, liver spots, sunspots, or hyperpigmentation – commonly appear as we age. They are harmless, heavily pigmented spots that appear anywhere on the skin due to UV damage. Dark spots can also appear during pregnancy or when induced by anti-inflammatory medication. This is not the same thing as freckles, which are hereditary.
However, just because they’re common and harmless doesn’t mean they are pleasant. If you’re feeling bad about your sunspots, Lemonaid can help. However, if you are looking for overall skin bleaching products, look elsewhere, as Lemonaid does not prescribe medication for lightening your overall complexion.
The process to get treatment for dark spots is longer than you might expect, but this is to rule out any possible underlying conditions or concerns that Lemonaid’s dark spot treatment would hurt. This includes:
- Physical or chemical injuries
- Addison’s disease
First and foremost, make sure that you are using sunscreen regularly. No matter your concern, sunscreen will stop it from getting worse by protecting your skin from UV damage.
Be ready to take pictures of your dark spots, as it is part of the medical history questionnaire. This helps doctors identify it as only a dark spot, not something more severe like melanoma.
Once Lemonaid’s medical providers confirm sun spots or dark spots from natural occurrences, you are prescribed a three-part compound cream. This includes:
- Hydroquinone: a potent depigmenting agent that bleaches skin
- Retinoic acid: Tretinoin, a common skincare ingredient that promotes skin cell regeneration and is a synthetic vitamin A
- Hydrocortisone: an anti-inflammatory to keep your skin calm
Your compound cream ships in 3-month batches at $45/month (or $135/shipment), as well as a standard $25 consultation fee. Check in every three months with your Lemonaid provider to review your progress and see if you need to continue using the cream.
Chronic care is anything that requires you to have a previous diagnosis before seeing a medical provider through Lemonaid. This covers most things, as Lemonaid’s care team is often reluctant to make diagnostic decisions through telehealth – they recommend seeing a doctor in person if you’re concerned about new symptoms.
Most of what we consider chronic care is listed under “general care” on the Lemonaid site, each with its own page. We’ve broken it down for your convenience here. Specific long-term conditions Lemonaid can treat include:
- Cold sores
- Genital herpes
- High blood pressure
After your health history questionnaire and video consultation, you can get either a new prescription or a refill of your previous medication. Every chronic care consultation costs $25 except for an asthma appointment, which costs $75. For conditions requiring lab tests (cholesterol, hypothyroidism, and hypertension), you must perform them through Lemonaid and their partner laboratory, Quest Diagnostics. Without lab work, you can get a 1-month supply of your medication but no more.
Note: you will need to know your blood pressure if you are looking for medication to manage high cholesterol, hypertension, migraines, or any other condition that requires a beta-blocker for care.
There are multiple ways of approaching asthma treatment, depending on the severity of your symptoms and your medication history. Lemonaid offers daily-use medication and rescue inhalers. They can prescribe:
- Albuterol (ProAir)
- Tiotropium (Spiriva)
- Salmeterol (Serevent)
- Montelukast (Singulair, daily oral medication for long-term management)
All asthma medication goes through your local pharmacy, so prices vary.
Following general medical standards, Lemonaid treats high cholesterol levels with statin medications:
- Pravastatin (Pravachol)
- Simvastatin (Zocor)
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
If you have never had your cholesterol levels checked, you will need to have a cholesterol test done before any medication is prescribed. That test costs $17.81.
Medication is prescribed on an annual basis and costs $52/year. If you have had a statin prescribed to you before, Lemonaid will gladly refill it but will only send one month of medication with the expectation that you do lab work with them soon.
There is one class of medication Lemonaid uses to treat cold sores. These are antivirals, including:
- Acyclovir (Zovirax), for immediate outbreaks or suppression
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex), for immediate outbreaks or suppression
- Famciclovir (Famvir), for immediate outbreaks only
These medications are prescribed at different strengths and for various lengths of time depending on whether you have an immediate outbreak or frequent cold sores and want to decrease their frequency or limit the spread to partners.
No matter the type, suppressive medication always costs $50/three months. The prices for immediate outbreaks are:
- Acyclovir - $12
- Famciclovir - $29
- Valacyclovir - $32
Pick up immediate outbreak medication from your local pharmacy to begin use as soon as possible; suppressive medicines are delivered.
Treatment for genital herpes through Lemonaid is almost identical to cold sore treatment (considering they’re the same virus, just in different places). They treat with antivirals, specifically:
- Acyclovir (Zovirax), for immediate outbreaks or suppression
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex), for immediate outbreaks or suppression
- Famciclovir (Famvir), for immediate outbreaks only
The prescription you receive depends on a few factors, including whether you have an immediate outbreak or frequent cold sores. This can impact the strength and length of your prescription. If this is your first herpes outbreak and you aren’t one-hundred percent sure, you’ll need to see a provider in-person first, but test yourself before you go with one of our best at-home herpes tests.
No matter the type, suppressive medication always costs $50/three months. The prices for immediate outbreaks are:
- Acyclovir - five days, $20
- Famciclovir - one day, $40
- Valacyclovir - three days, $40
Immediate outbreak medication should be picked up from your local pharmacy to begin use as soon as possible; suppressive medicines are delivered.
Refills of the hypothyroid medication levothyroxine are only available for people who have been taking it for at least one year without complications, chemotherapy, radiation, or a family history of hormonal problems at a dose of 200 mcg per day or less.
Levothyroxine is prescribed in 3-month periods with annual lab work to verify your hypothyroidism diagnosis. Follow-ups are required every three months.
Lab work through Quest Diagnostics costs $30.50. Medication is $27 for a 30-day supply or $81 every three months.
High blood pressure
You need to be at least 25 to be treated for high blood pressure, as variations in blood pressure can be extremely dangerous if not managed correctly.
This is one of the few services Lemonaid does not write new prescriptions for. Lemonaid’s medical professionals only provide previously prescribed high blood pressure medication refills. If possible, they will recommend lifestyle and behavioral changes before working with medications and will implement lifestyle and behavioral changes if your hypertension is newly diagnosed.
That said, almost any hypertensive medication is refillable, including:
- Hydrocholorothiazide (HCTZ)
- Lisinopril (Zestril)
- Amlodipine (Norvasc)
- Metroprolol (Lopressor)
- Calcium-channel blockers
Lab work through Lemonaid is required to monitor electrolyte levels and kidney function.
Hypertension relies on a flat-rate fee of $75/month, with the option to cancel at any time without penalty.
If you are diagnosed with chronic or acute migraines and have no history of seizures or heart, liver, or kidney problems, you can be treated through Lemonaid. Chronic migraines are defined as migraines that occur more than fifteen days every month.
There are nine different types of medication to choose from, depending on your medical history and symptoms. Specifically, there are acute treatments that will stop a migraine, such as:
- Sumatriptan (Imitrex) and rizatriptan (Maxalt), triptans that are first-line migraine treatments
- Ondansetron (Zofran), anti-nausea medication that will make it easier to take other acute treatments
There are also preventative medications for chronic migraines or if you don’t respond well to acute treatments, such as:
- Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant
- Metoprolol (Lopressor) and propranolol (Inderal), beta-blockers
- Topiramate (Topamax), an anticonvulsant
Other types of medication, such as Botox or barbiturates, may help, but Lemonaid does not prescribe them because of their controlled status.
Some medications (specifically beta-blockers like metoprolol and propranolol) require you to know your average blood pressure before prescription.
These medications cost, on average, $60 for a 3-month supply (or $20/month). Note that 3-month supplies mean different quantities for different medications: 9-18 tablets of triptans, 30 tablets of ondansetron, or 90 tablets of preventative medications.
Acute care helps when new symptoms have popped up that directly affect your day-to-day life. This is one of the few things Lemonaid diagnoses, as the conditions are short-lived, quickly identifiable, and easily treated. No prior diagnosis or treatment is necessary.
You may have repeated prior experience with sinusitis or acid reflux/gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In that case, you may be dealing with a chronic condition and are encouraged to reach out to your in-person medical provider for support.
Burning feelings in your chest, or heartburn, can mean more than emotional catastrophe. Acid reflux is characterized by burning feelings when you lay down after eating or after eating certain foods. You may also experience small amounts of stomach acid or vomit traveling up to your throat to the back of your mouth.
The two medications that Lemonaid can prescribe are prescription-strength versions of over-the-counter acid reflux medications. You receive a 3-month (90 tablets) supply of either ranitidine (Zantac) or omeprazole (Prilosec), depending on your symptoms, medical history, and what medications have worked for you before. Both ranitidine and omeprazole work to block the amount of stomach acid you produce, which minimizes the amount of reflux (stomach acid leaving the stomach area to irritate your esophagus).
If you experience symptoms of acid reflux more than three times a week, this may be an indicator of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Please reach out to your in-person medical provider to better understand what’s going on. Likewise, Lemonaid’s acid reflux treatment is not ideal for anyone over the age of 50 or with other serious digestive problems (such as blood in your stool or vomit, difficulty swallowing, or unexplained weight loss).
Both ranitidine and omeprazole treatments through Lemonaid cost $30 for a 3-month supply (or $10/month), as well as a $25 standard Lemonaid consultation fee.
Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is most commonly identified through its hallmark sinus pain and pressure for over a week. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms for less than a week, hang in there a few more days if you plan to use Lemonaid; otherwise, head to your in-person provider, who has better tests for you. This is because only bacterial sinus infections last longer than one week, and there are virtually no other ways to tell using telemedicine whether your sinus infection is viral or bacterial. It would be harmful if you had a viral sinus infection and took antibiotics, and viral sinusitis goes away on its own within a week.
If your sinusitis is bacterial, Lemonaid’s medical providers prescribe a 10-day course of amoxicillin, a common antibiotic. Your symptoms should improve in 3-5 days.
Lemonaid does not prescribe azithromycin (Zithromax or a Z-Pack) because new evidence suggests a growing bacterial resistance to azithromycin, meaning your bacterial infection may not get better with that medication.
A visit to diagnose and treat a sinus infection costs $45, and your antibiotics (should you need them) are sent to your local pharmacy for pickup. Amoxicillin is an inexpensive antibiotic and typically costs between $5-$20 at a standard pharmacy without insurance.
All other health concerns that may require a medical provider’s support or expertise are considered “primary care” on Lemonaid. This service operates as urgent care, so it is not ideal for asking for advice. As long as you are over 18 and not in an emergency, primary care is ideal for treating mild concerns, including:
- Colds or upper respiratory infections (sore throat, cough, congestion, fever, bronchitis or chest cold, shortness of breath, tight chest, wheezing, COVID-19 or coronavirus symptoms)
- Skin problems (eczema, rashes, hives, sores, moles, ringworm, jock itch, athlete’s foot)
- Chronic medical issues (metabolic syndromes, diabetes, thyroid issues)
- Allergies (seasonal allergies, hay fever, itchy eyes, sinus congestion, EpiPen refills)
- Stomach problems (stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, cramps, IBS)
- Infections or acute injuries (yeast infections, conjunctivitis, pink eye, itchy eyes, cellulitis/soft tissue infection, ear infection, vaginitis/vaginal infection, minor burns/cuts/scrapes, dental pain)
- Musculoskeletal problems (gout, sprains, pulled muscles, back pain, tension headaches)
- Renewing previous prescriptions (any non-controlled substance that is not a mental health medication or something previously covered by another service)
Prescription renewals always come in a 1-month supply, and Lemonaid is happy to refill it no matter where the prescription came from.
One of our testers brought in less-than-ideal laboratory results to a primary care visit and went over them with a Lemonaid provider, who advised improving different categories and pointed to a few potential diagnoses that they encouraged outside testing for.
Suppose you make a primary care appointment and the Lemonaid team decides that your needs fit better under a different category (such as asking for an SSRI refill, which would be relabeled under “mental health”). In that case, they relabel the appointment for you. In these cases, price changes apply. Fear not: primary care appointments all cost $75, the most expensive tier of Lemonaid service aside from health and wellness coaching, so it is better for your wallet.
Testing is the one service Lemonaid offers that requires you to leave your home. To use any of Lemonaid’s tests, you go to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory to have blood drawn or, in the case of STD testing, give a urine sample. Luckily, there are over 2,000 Quest Diagnostics labs in the US, so you are bound to find one close to home.
You don’t necessarily need an appointment to have a blood or urine sample taken for testing with Quest Diagnostics. All you need is to wait for a medical professional from Lemonaid to tell you they have sent the order in. That said, we recommend making sure that the Quest location has the option to make an appointment online, as that guarantees they can get Lemonaid’s testing order without any problems.
COVID-19 antibody testing
If you are curious about your previous COVID-19 exposure, Lemonaid offers in-lab antibody testing. COVID-19 antibody testing checks the levels of two different types of antibodies (IgM and IgG) that increase upon exposure to a new virus. The body makes antibodies specifically for different viruses, so the COVID-19 antibody test is specific to COVID-19. There is a risk of false positives, as this test sometimes picks up on antibodies from other coronaviruses, such as the common cold.
To take a COVID-19 antibody test, you must be symptom-free. This test won’t tell you whether you have an active infection, nor can it assess immunity after vaccination. As tempting as it may be to rush out and get tested after potential exposure, wait 18 days to get tested, as any antibodies may not show up before then.
State laws vary more widely regarding who can and cannot order COVID-19 antibody tests. If you live in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, or Oklahoma, you can’t take a COVID-19 antibody test through Lemonaid. If you live in New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island, you must pay for your labs directly through Quest Diagnostics. In this case, Lemonaid refunds your lab fee.
A COVID-19 antibody test costs $89 in total through Lemonaid. $25 of this is your standard consultation fee; the remaining $64 is the cost of the lab test itself.
If you don’t have a standard primary care provider but are sexually active, Lemonaid offers a standard STD urine test like those you’d take in a physician’s office. Much like those tests, this one only checks for chlamydia and gonorrhea and won’t pick up on bacteria anywhere other than the urethra (such as anal or oral STDs). These two STDs are the least likely to have noticeable symptoms, so you may or may not know if you have them. If you’re concerned about other STDs, our best at-home STD test guide will have other solutions.
Ensure that the order has come through from Lemonaid to the Quest Diagnostics system, then head to your local Quest laboratory for the urine test. Give a sample, then head home. The results arrive in 3-5 business days through Lemonaid. If it’s been less than two weeks since you were exposed, the test may not pick up on it and might give you a false negative.
This STD test costs $53.16 in total – the standard $25 for a consultation and $28.16 for the lab fee.
If you test positive for chlamydia, Lemonaid helps you out. They notify you of your positive status. You can set up a consultation to see if you are eligible for a complete regimen of an oral antibiotic (Lemonaid prefers amoxicillin, but if you are allergic, they substitute it for another). This antibiotic won’t ship to your home; pick it up from your local pharmacy. Your follow-up appointment is not covered by the $53.16 you’ve already paid, so you will need to pay another $25 for a consultation fee to Lemonaid. The cost of amoxicillin varies between pharmacies but is typically less than $20 using pharmaceutical coupons.
Unfortunately, if you test positive for gonorrhea, you will need to see an in-person provider to get an antibiotic shot. There are several drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea, and an antibiotic shot improves the likelihood that you’ll be able to get rid of your infection.
As always, if you test positive for either chlamydia or gonorrhea, be sure to tell all of your sexual partners from the last two months, as they may be positive as well. Even if you’ve been treated, a partner who hasn’t been can still give an STD back to you.
A1C (blood sugar) testing
A1C is a three-month average measurement of your blood sugar. It is generally a more accurate picture of your blood sugar trends and is, therefore, a better predictor of diabetes and pre-diabetes than one-time blood sugar tests like at-home finger pricks. Specifically, it measures how much of your hemoglobin is saturated with sugar. The higher the percentage, the higher your average blood sugar has been.
Lemonaid tests your A1C with a simple blood test in partnership with Quest Diagnostics. All you need to do is order the test online – Lemonaid’s medical providers send the order to the Quest Diagnostics system, and you give a blood sample at a local laboratory. Your results come back in 3-5 days. Note that you must come in on an empty stomach, fasting for 12 hours, for this test to be accurate. We’d recommend going first thing in the morning so you don’t need to skip any meals.
Once your results come back, a Lemonaid provider sets up an appointment to go over your results with you in combination with your medical history. They help you to interpret your results. If either of you is concerned about the number suggesting either diabetes or pre-diabetes, they might recommend you go back in for a second A1C test, as diagnosing diabetes through A1C numbers requires two different tests on two separate days to make sure your numbers are accurate.
It is important to note that the average person has no reason to test their A1C. A1C tests are specifically for diabetics (both type 1 and type 2), people with pre-diabetes, and those trying to understand their risk of diabetes. Non-diabetics who should be assessing their risk include:
- Those with a family history of diabetes
- Anyone showing diabetes symptoms (frequent urination, extreme thirst, losing weight without trying, fatigue, hunger, and blurred vision)
- Patients older than 40 and overweight or obese
Since A1C is only medically relevant in diabetic care, it is not recommended for the general population. There’s no harm in curiosity, but there’s simply not much use for it otherwise. Overtesting may leave you at risk of overtreatment if you have slightly high blood sugar averages from natural causes (such as not fasting before your test) that will otherwise go away on their own.
An A1C test through Lemonaid costs $34.16, with a standard $25 Lemonaid consultation fee and $9.16 for the blood test.
Laboratory testing for cholesterol through Lemonaid is available for anyone who wants to check in on their levels, not just those who want treatment for high cholesterol through Lemonaid.
Cholesterol comes in several categories:
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol)
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol)
- Triglycerides (fats carried in the blood)
- Your total cholesterol
Ideally, you have a low LDL count and a higher HDL count; total cholesterol is calculated by HDL divided by LDL, so the higher the HDL or lower the LDL, the lower your cholesterol will be.
After consulting with a Lemonaid provider, they order the test for you, and you can head to your local Quest Diagnostics laboratory. Fasting is not required but is strongly recommended by both Lemonaid and Quest Diagnostics medical staff, so it’s ideal to have this test done first thing in the morning. It’s a quick, short blood test, and the results come back in 3-5 business days.
Once your results are in, your Lemonaid provider sits down with you to interpret your results based on your medical history and determine if treatment is needed. You can look at the “cholesterol” section under “chronic care” above to read about what treatment might look like.
The test itself costs $17.81, so when paired with Lemonaid’s standard consultation fee of $25, you can expect to pay $42.81.
TSH (thyroid) testing
TSH, or thyroid-stimulating hormone, is a general measurement of how well your thyroid regulates your body’s energy. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are relatively common hormonal conditions.
Hyperthyroidism means that your thyroid is making too much of the hormone thyroxine, with symptoms like:
- Running hot
- Losing weight without meaning to
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Hypothyroidism means that your thyroid is not making enough thyroxine, with symptoms like:
- Running cold
- Gaining weight without meaning to
A TSH test identifies both hypo- and hyperthyroidism, as TSH itself is a hormone that tells your thyroid to make more thyroxine. If you have hypothyroidism, you have a high TSH level. Conversely, hyperthyroidism means your TSH level is low.
Lemonaid doesn’t advertise it directly like their other tests, but they offer TSH testing for anyone curious or concerned about their thyroid levels. Testing TSH is common practice to rule out hypothyroidism when seeking a depression diagnosis, as hypothyroidism displays many of the same symptoms but is easier to treat.
To order a TSH test, start an appointment under “hypothyroidism.” The first page asks whether you’d like to proceed with or without lab work. You can order just lab work without medication or previous thyroid diagnoses, and the lab order is placed into the Quest Diagnostics system. Just head down to your local Quest Diagnostics laboratory for a blood draw, and your results come back in 3-5 business days. A Lemonaid provider helps you interpret the results and determine what medical plan is necessary, if any.
The test costs $30.50, with a standard Lemonaid consultation fee of $25.
ABO (blood) typing
Lemonaid offers a standard ABO test that tells you both your blood group (A, B, AB, or O) and Rh status (positive or negative). This combination tells you your blood type, such as A positive or O negative. Knowing your blood type is vital so that future medical providers know what type of blood to give you in a time of need, such as during surgery or a blood transfusion. If you are given blood that is an incompatible type, it can lead to blood cell clumping, which is potentially fatal. However, blood typing is not a medically necessary test to repeat. Your blood type stays the same for life.
To participate in the test, Lemonaid’s medical providers send in an order for you, and you go to your local Quest Diagnostics laboratory for a quick blood draw. You don’t have to be fasting to take this test, so feel free to eat beforehand. The results should arrive in 3-5 business days.
The consultation with Lemonaid costs $25, with $11.11 in lab fees, for a total of $36.11. Some insurance companies may pay for this test if you have it ordered by a medical provider in person, so check with your insurance first.
This test is not meant to be used to prove or disprove parenthood. There is no way to definitively determine if someone is the mother or father of a child with Lemonaid’s simple blood type test.
It is incredibly easy to sign up for a Lemonaid account. All you need to do is register an account with an email address, password, and security question. Once you’ve created your account, you input your personal information (legal name, gender, birthday, address, and phone number). This information ensures your identity and ships prescriptions to you as needed. Be sure that this information matches what is on your ID – if not, Lemonaid’s medical team may not be able to treat you.
Scheduling an appointment
Scheduling an appointment is almost as easy as signing up. No matter what concern you’re hoping to address, head over to the specific page and click the “Get Started” button. This, as advertised, gets you started into the appointment process.
The first thing Lemonaid asks for is a medical history through a personal survey. Survey questions vary depending on the reason for your appointment but generally ask about your family history of illness or disease, your medical history, and your current symptoms.
Our team tested primary care visits for the most broadly applicable experience. In our experience, here’s what we were asked:
- What can we help you with?
- Are you here for a cold or a cough?
- What medical concerns do you have?
- Have you ever had surgery? If so, what and at what age?
- Is there a family history of medical problems in your parents or siblings?
- What habits do you have? (ex. alcohol, smoking, chewing tobacco, recreational drugs)
- Over the past two weeks, how often have you had symptoms of depression (feeling down, little interest in doing things) or anxiety (feeling nervous or worrying too much about different things)?
- Are you allergic to any medication?
- Are you currently taking any medication?
- Would you like us to mail a copy of your visit summary to your doctor?
- Is there anything else we should know?
While the survey begins with checkboxes, there are many spots where text boxes pop up for you to elaborate or explain. For example, any of the medical concerns you select under “What medical concerns do you have?” open a text box for you to give more detail, including the date of diagnosis, symptoms, and whether or not it is controlled.
Some concerns, such as hair loss and acne, require you to take and upload pictures during the medical history survey for the medical professionals to assess the issue accurately.
After your medical history questionnaire, select your preferred pharmacy for Lemonaid to send prescription orders to as necessary. You can find this by looking up your zip code or selecting it on a map. Your selection can be saved for your convenience.
Finally, confirm the cost of your appointment and input your payment information. You will not be charged until after the video consultation.
Once you have filled out all of the paperwork, selected your pharmacy, and confirmed your payment information, you are presented with two options: make an appointment for the future or head to the waiting room.
To schedule an appointment, choose from a list of time slots. Most often, these are later in the day, though you can sometimes schedule out a few days in advance. Once you confirm the time of your appointment, you get a confirmation message and email reminding you of the appointment and letting you know that the link to access your appointment is under “visit history” on your account page.
If you elect to use the waiting room for an immediate appointment, confirm your microphone, audio, and video are all working with individual tests, and then go to the waiting room page. The estimated wait time between entering the page and meeting with a medical professional is 15 minutes, though our testers found it closer to 20.
To stay in the queue, remain on the waiting page, which has information about Lemonaid’s physicians and nurse practitioners and a video about how the service works. Once your provider is ready to meet with you, the page refreshes, and your appointment automatically begins.
Insider Tip: Not sure if Lemonaid addresses your specific medical concern? Set up an appointment instead of spending time in the waiting room. If Lemonaid’s providers don’t feel confident they can provide the necessary support, you are notified and receive a refund without wasting any time waiting around.
Attending the telemedical visit
The telemedical visit itself runs using standard in-browser video software that requires no new downloads on your part. Each appointment lasts no longer than 15 minutes but is exceptionally thorough. It is clear that the providers read through the entire medical questionnaire you fill out and think about it relating to your concerns.
To begin, our testers were asked to explain the situation through their point of view and ask any questions they had at the outset. From there, the provider described their assessment of the situation. This included insights into both the immediate situation at hand and health trends at large, depending on the testers’ medical history.
The doctors we spoke with stopped several times to ask if we had any questions, needed anything clarified, or if there was anything that they were missing to see the big picture. At the end of the appointment, they went over our prescription, testing, and other next-step needs so they were fresh in our minds.
It’s important to note that even when providers felt that they were not equipped to give medical advice or prescriptions for a case, we still received excellent referrals to other telehealth services that would be better suited for our conditions.
Prescription ordering and delivering
Refilling and renewing prescriptions is easy with Lemonaid. After the medical provider assesses your health needs, they prescribe medication they deem medically safe and necessary to treat your concerns. Of course, this is limited to the list of medications that Lemonaid offers. If your medication is not something you can get through Lemonaid, your provider suggests you see a medical professional in person.
While they cannot fill prescriptions for controlled substances, there is still a lot of medication they are willing to supply. All medication shipped through Lemonaid’s partner pharmacy has free delivery. This includes all of the medicine listed on the website except for:
- Antibiotics (for UTIs and bacterial sinusitis)
- Inhalers (for asthma)
- Antiviral drugs (for acute outbreaks of cold sores and genital herpes)
These prescriptions are sent to the local pharmacy you specified during the medical history questionnaire for same-day pickup, as you should start using them immediately for effective treatment. However, providers generally oblige if you prefer to pick up your delivery prescription at your local pharmacy.
If you send your prescription to your local pharmacy, you can use insurance to cover the medication, though the cost may differ from what Lemonaid quoted.
Most medications arrive at your door in 2-5 business days, except for finasteride, which arrives in 1-3 business days for patients living on the west coast.
The website itself is clean, streamlined, and straightforward. Without a lot of distracting font or graphics, Lemonaid cuts clearly to the core to simplify your health care process.
The website was rebranded and redesigned in mid-2021 to its current graphic design, so many broken pages were fixed. However, some links, such as the “get a recommendation” button are still broken. Messaging is also hidden under “your account,” though when a new message arrives, a red notification pops up in the upper right-hand corner to alert you.
Lemonaid can be used on desktop or mobile at your convenience. It is available for all platforms, including iPhone and Android, and is intuitive in all mediums. Just be sure to think of yourself first: read through the page on the health issue you want to address and click on that particular “get started” link to make sure you take the right medical history questionnaire. Otherwise, the site sets you up for success.
Lemonaid offers affordable, convenient care for many major health concerns, but the same can be said about other telehealth services. For the most part, Lemonaid has the widest variety of care at the lowest cost but doesn’t always have the most specific knowledge to help more complex cases.
If you want to know more about our online doctor top picks, read our guide to The Best Online Doctor in 2022.
One of Lemonaid’s significant drawbacks is its singular focus on adult medical care. If you have children, Lemonaid simply cannot help them. SteadyMD, on the other hand, is designed with a family in mind. The service runs at a flat rate, so you pay a set amount each month based on family size and family member ages. That said, SteadyMD focuses more exclusively on primary care and does not offer the full range of services that Lemonaid does.
To learn more about SteadyMD, read our comprehensive review.
Lemonaid might be unrivaled in its combination of breadth and affordability, but TelaDoc is a close second. This service includes psychiatry, dermatology, and specific expert advice for complicated situations, such as surgery guidance. Teladoc goes beyond anxiety, depression, acne, and dark spots, but the service sacrifices convenience and affordability for the depth of information it can share. Teladoc is considerably more expensive per visit than Lemonaid. However, they do take insurance, so this may be a better fit for you if you have insurance and chronic health concerns.
Read our full review to find out if Teladoc is right for you.
98point6 relies exclusively on text messages and text-based chat for its telehealth services. The service gives more holistic health advice and fills fewer prescriptions than Lemonaid, which may serve you better if you are just looking for answers to questions. 98point6 is a particularly strong option for people ages 18-24, as Lemonaid does not cover health questions universally from that age bracket. As a bonus, some colleges even offer free or reduced costs for 98point6 membership.
Doctor on Demand
When one of our testers asked about non-SSRI psychiatric medication, Lemonaid health professionals recommended Doctor on Demand. This service has extensive depth to their psychiatry services, with several psychiatrists on staff and few things they turn patients away for, but that knowledge comes at a price. A 45-minute introductory consultation with a Doctor on Demand psychiatrist costs hundreds of dollars more than an equivalent appointment with Lemonaid.
If your medical situation is complicated in any way or if you are having new symptoms you haven’t previously gotten a diagnosis for, attending a doctor’s visit in person is your best bet. Getting in-person care is often recommended by Lemonaid providers, particularly if you have any specific questions or chronic health concerns. While this may have the longest wait time, you have the option to build a stable relationship with one provider who can best help you over time.
Specific telehealth services
While Lemonaid covers many different illnesses and concerns, there are times when general knowledge is not enough, and you need to see a specialist. For telehealth, specialists are common with psychiatry, birth control, sexual health, and migraines. Each of those has specific telehealth services designed to meet your exact needs, including Hims and Hers, Nurx, and Cove for sexual health, birth control, and migraines, respectively.
Lemonaid does a great job of helping people who already know what they’re looking for or who are just hoping to get a refill. Their medical providers are knowledgeable, but a more specific telehealth company may be a better fit if you have specific questions or new concerns. Take a look at some dedicated services for your concern if you are looking for more precise recommendations or a wider range of prescriptions to choose from.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers like you make more informed decisions to live healthier lives. We extensively test each health service we review.
Our team has spent over 174 hours testing and researching Lemonaid and its close competitors to give you an unbiased exploration of your at-home healthcare options, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. Through a thorough and deliberate approach to every product we encounter, we evaluate services based on adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, this review of Lemonaid, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.