Roman has quickly become one of the big players in men’s telehealth, offering many convenient ways to access healthcare online and get health products discreetly in the mail. Roman initially focused on sexual health, but their reach has grown to include treatments for various problems, from hair loss and skincare to weight management and even heart health.
We thoroughly tested Roman, and in this review, we’ll lay out the pros, cons, and all the details to help you decide if Roman is right for you or your loved one.
- Convenient online interface
- Access to proven treatments
- Licensed doctors undergo rigorous background checks
- Free follow-ups messaging
- Free 2-day shipping using the Ro pharmacy network
- Confidential care and discreet packaging
- Free online doctor’s visit
- Not available in all US states
- Not covered by insurance (though the $15 fee is less than typical copays)
- No talk therapy for mental health
- Doesn’t offer primary care at this time
Roman is a convenient, affordable, and high quality solution for men’s health needs including sexual health, hair loss, skincare, and much more.
Whether you’re seeking specific solutions or generalized care, Roman can be a solid solution. Take advantage of their free online doctor’s visit to start your journey towards better health. Enjoy fast, free shipping and discreet packaging for all products.
- Why you can trust us
- What exactly is Roman?
- How we evaluated Roman
- Getting started with Roman
- Payment, insurance, and shipping
- Sexual Health
- Roman’s hair loss treatments
- Roman's allergy treatments
- Mental health through Roman
- Roman's weight loss product and health supplements
- Roman supplements
- Program to quit smoking
- Covid-19 testing
- How Roman stacks up against the competition
At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including Roman. All told, our team has spent over 269 hours testing and researching the products and services of Roman and their chief competitors in order to provide an accurate, unbiased analysis of how the products and services compare, free of marketing jargon and gimmicks.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions to live healthier lifestyles. We evaluate the service 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, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
Founded in 2017, Roman is the men’s health offering of Ro. This telehealth company also owns women’s health offering Rory and Zero, a telehealth service focused on helping people quit smoking.
Roman lets you tap into Ro’s network of licensed US doctors to access an array of quality treatments in men’s sexual health, allergy, hair loss, weight management, mental health, and more.
The rise of quality, trustworthy telehealth companies like Roman and their siblings have provided a way for people to access prescription drugs like Viagra without the shame or stigma they might feel in seeking the medication or going to the pharmacy. It also ensures that the pills they receive aren’t counterfeit.
After you get started with Roman, if your consulting Ro doctor prescribes you a medication, you can reach out to get help and answers from Ro doctors and pharmacists throughout your treatment. Roman provides unlimited messaging to their members.
As mentioned above, the main focal points for men’s health via Roman right now are:
- Sexual health
- Hair loss
Roman offers a few other health products, as well. Among these, we were most impressed by their skincare line and the weight loss product, Plenity. Roman offers a few supportive supplements to boost cardio, bone, and prostate health, too.
Roman for Sexual Health
Within sexual health, Roman offers consultation and treatment for:
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Premature ejaculation (PE)
- Genital herpes
- Cold sores
Roman's treatments for hair loss
Hair loss treatments from Roman include:
- Finasteride (generic Propecia)
- Minoxidil (generic Rogaine)
- Finasteride + minoxidil, a combination treatment
Roman’s selection of options here is consistent with major competitors. Your doctor consultation will determine which treatment would serve you best.
Two vital truths about hair loss treatment paths:
The sooner you act, the better for your outcome.
When you stop the treatment, your hair loss will resume.
Allergy care via Roman
Roman offers several allergy treatments upon consultation:
- Azelastine nasal spray (generic Astelin)
- Fluticasone nasal spray (generic Flonase)
- Levocetirizine pills (generic Xyzal)
- Montelukast pills (generic Singulair)
Our testers found Roman’s allergy care valuable and were impressed by it.
Roman’s product lines often cost a little more than their most direct competition’s least expensive high-quality offerings. Still, there are several opportunities to save money compared to expensive things like dermatologist visits or brand-name supplements. Their rating improved since our last look at the company because they waived a $15 consultation fee that was standard for receiving any prescription through their platform. And as they continue to expand their offerings, these savings can add up.
One thing we can say about Roman that few other companies can boast: they’re transparent about their pricing. They even maintain a complete price list for their products with a dedicated button across the banner on every page, so you can quickly find the cost of almost anything.
Quality of care
One of the best things about care through Roman is its simplicity. Consultations are fast and minimally invasive. Follow-ups are helpful and reliable. Best of all, Roman allows you regular access to your doctors through a simple texting system. Combine those features with friendly customer support and speedy shipping, and you’ll see how Roman offers value in their quality of care.
Treatments and services
Romans’s range of treatments and services continues to expand. Their introductions of tailor-made prescription skincare and their parent company’s inclusion of mental health services position them to maintain a significant spot among telehealth providers. That skincare line, in particular, impresses with its ability to adjust to your specific skin type, needs, and goals. In the future, Roman will need to invest in things like talk therapy to complement psychiatric services and possibly even primary care if they want to stay in the conversation.
As a telehealth company, your entire healthcare experience with Roman is virtual, either online or via their app. Here’s how you can begin.
Go to Roman, select which service or product interests you, and start your visit. The virtual doctor’s visit is an opportunity for you to answer questions and provide relevant medical information for a doctor in Roman’s network. It takes about 15 minutes. Most of this information is easy to discuss, though some people may not know their recent blood pressure measurement, which is necessary for an ED prescription. You’ll also need to provide a photo of yourself and your identification.
Wait for the doctor to review your medical information. The waiting period is less than 24 hours. Most of our testers heard back within just a few minutes. You may hear from the doctor with follow-up questions about the information you provided. Some states also require a live chat with the doctor before prescribing. If you live in such a state, Roman will inform you.
You and your doctor will agree on a prescription if you’re a candidate, and Roman will bill you accordingly. Your preferred billing cycle is up to you, but you can save some money by selecting a larger order (i.e., a 6-month supply rather than a 3-month supply) where applicable.
The Ro pharmacy network handles your order. This is an added convenience. Roman benefits from their parent company’s pharmacy network, so they can fill your order automatically and ship it out to you to arrive in as little as two days.
Roman accepts all major credit cards and takes payment through Google Pay and Paypal.
At this time, Roman does not work with insurance providers to get you covered for any of their products or services. In some cases — such as the Zero program to quit smoking — Ro is working with insurers to offer some form of coverage. At this time, however, no such coverage is available. Roman does not accept payment through HSAs or FSAs.
Shipping with Roman is reliably fast. Their shipping times are among the best in the business. Our testers regularly received shipments well within 48 hours of placing their orders. Those shipments did not include delivery confirmation, however. So, if you purchase anything fragile — like prescription skincare products — in the depths of winter or at the height of summer, you’ll need to keep an eye out for the delivery.
Roman's ED treatments
More than half of men will deal with ED in their lives, so Roman offers three different pathways to treat ED. All of these ED medications are PDE5 inhibitors. That means they combat ED by increasing blood flow to your penis and decreasing blood flow from it. This effectively allows men to get and keep their erection.
Pricing depends on the dosage, which you and the Roman doctor will determine together. You also have the option to purchase branded, generic, or active ingredient forms of the drugs depending on your budget and preference.
Here’s a breakdown of how the treatment costs compare per dose:
|Viagra(50-60 mg)||Cialis Daily(2.5 mg)||Cialis|
As you can see, Roman does not offer tadalafil in its active ingredient form.
PDE5 inhibitor treatments are effective for most men with ED, helping about four in five men achieve erections in studies. However, experiences can vary from treatment to treatment, which is why having options and doctor access is so valuable. Physicians prescribe these drugs widely, but some common side effects of PDE5 inhibitors may include:
- Facial reddening (flushing)
- Congestion and flu-like symptoms
If you notice any adverse reactions to the medication, we recommend temporarily ceasing treatment and contacting your doctor.
It’s important to note that you may not see results after the first dose; subsequent doses often prove more effective. Sometimes a person needs to take the medication as many as eight times to be fully effective. The doctor may suggest you try again, for this very reason, if you don’t experience success the first time. The doctor may also adjust your dosage.
Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common thing. Many men and their partners deal with premature ejaculation, though unfortunately, few admit it. Roman offers a discreet way for men to get treatment. There are two treatment options for PE: an over-the-counter topical and a prescription pill.
Roman swipes (topical, non-prescription)
Roman’s swipes for PE act by slightly dulling the sensation of the penis. The effect is strong enough to delay orgasm without being strong enough to reduce pleasure. The active ingredient in these swipes is 4% benzocaine, a topical anesthetic. This treatment is excellent because:
- It’s safe. Side effects are rare and not severe, though some men are allergic. If you experience a topical allergic reaction, you should stop using it and contact your Ro doctor.
- It’s discreet. The swipes fit in your pocket and are odorless once dry.
- It’s fast-acting. Just swipe over sensitive areas and let dry for 5-10 minutes.
- It’s effective. After two months of use, men with a baseline sexual endurance of 165 seconds improved to 5.5 minutes.
Roman sells their swipes for $27/month if you subscribe monthly. Each monthly kit contains eight swipes. However, if you commit to a 3-month supply (24 swipes), your monthly price is only $22.
Sertraline (generic Zoloft)
Sertraline is what’s referred to as an off-label treatment for premature ejaculation because it wasn’t designed to treat PE but can delay orgasm for some male patients. Sertraline won’t be suitable for everyone; it’s a daily medication, and there are contraindications, drug interactions, potential side effects, and health risks for the doctor to consider.
Common side effects of sertraline include:
- Changes in mental status
- Muscle twitching or rigidity
- Nausea or vomiting
A Ro doctor will decide whether such medication is proper for you based on your health and medical history.
Roman sells a one-month supply of sertraline for $24.
Genital herpes and cold sores
Valacyclovir (generic Valtrex) is Roman’s solution for cold sores or genital herpes. Valacyclovir is an antiviral medication that works by interrupting the herpes virus’ ability to replicate its DNA. It’s FDA-approved to treat cold sores (oral herpes) and genital herpes (HSV-1 and HSV-2).
Valacyclovir won’t cure you of the virus, but it effectively suspends the activity of a herpes virus that is actively trying to replicate. If you take it when you sense an outbreak is about to happen, the drug can significantly reduce symptoms and possibly prevent the attack.
Valacyclovir can cause headaches, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Valacyclovir is available at $14 for a single outbreak or $42 for a 3-outbreak supply (which we recommend).
Finasteride for hair loss
Roman offers a 1mg prescription for finasteride (generic Propecia) to tackle androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. This means it blocks an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT plays a direct part in male pattern baldness, and a reduction in DHT causes a cessation and, in many cases, a reversal of hair loss.
Roman has the best price for finasteride. Here’s how it compares to its top competitors Keeps and Hims:
- Roman finasteride: $20/month
- Keeps finasteride: $25/month
- Hims finasteride: $20/month
Does finasteride stop hair loss?
In preventing further hair loss, finasteride is perhaps the most effective single treatment available. Four in five men report that finasteride stopped their hair loss at the crown (top of the head), no matter the stage they began treatment. Thanks to finasteride, more than two-thirds of men enjoyed a freeze in their receding hairline.
Does finasteride achieve hair regrowth?
Finasteride regrows hair in about two-thirds of men who take it, though individual success varies depending on the underlying causes of hair loss as well as the stage at which you act. If your hair follicles are completely dead, finasteride will not bring them back. Finasteride will often stimulate them to begin growth anew if they’re alive but have merely stopped producing new hairs.
Finasteride will not treat telogen effluvium (stress-related hair loss).
How long does it take?
Finasteride begins working immediately to block DHT in your body. However, it accumulates in your body, and full effects won’t appear for some time. Our hair follicles take time to produce new hairs. If you take finasteride as directed for 3-4 months, you should start to notice positive effects.
Is finasteride safe?
Finasteride is generally safe. Side effects are more common at the 5mg dosage (effective for treating BPH) than at the 1mg for hair loss treatment. But there are possible side effects, which most commonly include lower sex drive, drop in semen volume, and erectile dysfunction. Other side effects are more serious, but they’re significantly rare.
Because you can speak with your doctor regularly, you can address any side effects that come up before they become a problem. And Roman’s ED offerings may pair nicely with finasteride if you suffer sexual side effects but still wish to continue treatment for hair loss.
Minoxidil (often known by the brand name Rogaine) was one of the earliest treatments for male pattern hair loss. Originally an oral blood pressure medication, minoxidil is a topical solution for hair loss, specifically at the crown (or top of the head). It wasn’t a popular prescription for high blood pressure because the oral version caused too many side effects — among them, unwanted hair growth.
Roman ships minoxidil in 3-month supplies and bills you quarterly at $16/month.
How does minoxidil help?
While some of the underlying reasons for minoxidil’s effectiveness are unclear, studies suggest that topical minoxidil promotes increased blood flow to weakened hair follicles. The increased blood feeds your follicles with more oxygen and nutrients, causing them to strengthen and enlarge and extending their anagen (growth) stage.
Insider Tip: If you start using minoxidil and notice an increase in hair loss around 3-5 weeks into treatment, this is normal. Do not panic, and do not suspend treatment. Your follicles are merely resetting to a growth phase which can cause weak hair strands to fall out.
Does minoxidil stop hair loss?
In studies, minoxidil stopped hair loss for nearly two-thirds of men using the 5% strength. There’s an excellent chance that it will work for you.
Can minoxidil regrow hair?
Studies suggest minoxidil can also regrow hair, particularly with a 5% solution applied to the crown. At 5%, studies show it helped close to half of men achieve moderate hair regrowth, while close to a fifth of men experience significant regrowth.
Is minoxidil safe?
Topical minoxidil is generally quite safe. Only about 2% of it absorbs into your body. Still, some people are more sensitive to minoxidil than others, and side effects occur. Skin irritation is the most common side effect. Some people also experience unwanted hair growth elsewhere on their bodies, which typically occurs because they didn’t follow the instructions about careful handwashing after applying the medication.
Finasteride + minoxidil
What makes it better?
The underlying cause of hair loss isn’t the same for everyone, and it isn’t always clear which treatment will be most successful for a particular person. So by taking both, you increase your chances of stopping hair loss and regrowing hair. Minoxidil’s effectiveness at preventing receding hairline isn’t as well-documented as its success in growing hair at the crown. Meanwhile, finasteride can pick up the slack with your receding hairline, making an effective double-whammy of hair loss treatment.
The drugs don’t interact, so there’s no safety risk from taking both as long as you can tolerate each one individually.
Nightly Defense treatments
Whether you’ve always struggled with skin problems or you’re just worried about the effects of aging, Roman has a tailor-made prescription skincare treatment that can tackle everything from dark spots to fine lines and wrinkles.
The online consultation is free, and a dermatologist will formulate a skincare treatment for your specific skin type and goals. The active ingredients from which they will assemble your formula include:
This ingredient fights age spots. In one study, 83% of patients saw their dark spots grow significantly lighter. Roman gears their services toward men, but you should know that tretinoin can be dangerous for breastfeeding or pregnant women and women who intend to become pregnant.
Azelaic acid is an anti-inflammatory that your dermatologist may include in your treatment to help reduce swelling and redness. If you have a darker complexion, this ingredient may cause some unintended skin lightening.
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP)
Another ingredient that can reduce the intensity of dark spots, MAP is a part of the vitamin C family.
Niacinamide is a member of the vitamin B family. It can help with blotchiness and yellowing, and its antifungal properties can help fight seborrheic dermatitis, which causes dandruff and dry skin.
Vitamin E acetate
Vitamin E acetate is an antioxidant whose properties allow it to fight signs of aging, including dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
This naturally occurring substance can bind to water in your skin to help it retain moisture. At the same time, many products use it to reduce bagginess under the eyes.
Tranexamic acid works primarily to reduce the appearance of dark spots, but it can also help reduce inflammation and even tackle fine lines that occur with aging.
Ceramides are actually found in the skin already, but boosting them can prevent dryness and redness, and it can also help restore a natural glow to your skin.
Roman also offers a face cleanser with green tea and vitamin C. You can purchase an SPF 28 moisturizer fortified with coconut oil and vitamin E, as well.
You can try the entire nightly defense system for 30 days at the cost of only $5. After that trial period, the system will ship for $73 every two months, which works out to $36.50/month.
Eczema, dandruff, and hyperhidrosis
Roman’s product line also includes treatments for eczema, dandruff, and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
Eczema sufferers can receive a prescription for 0.1% triamcinolone cream (generic for Kenalog). This cream is a steroidal spot treatment for areas where your eczema flares up. You can use it to treat active flare-ups or as a preventative in known problem areas. Just be aware that one possible side effect of long-term use is a thinning of the skin.
Triamcinolone cream through Roman costs $15/month.
If dandruff is more your concern, you can get a prescription-strength anti-dandruff shampoo containing ciclopirox. Studies support the use of this ingredient as an effective dandruff fighter. And unlike many prescription dandruff shampoos, Roman’s formula shouldn’t leave your hair feeling too dry or smelling unpleasant. That’s thanks in large part to the addition of calcium pantothenate to lock in moisture and tea tree oil to deliver a mild, almost minty scent.
Roman’s dandruff shampoo starts at just $13/month.
Most hyperhidrosis sufferers have normal sweat glands that merely overact due to the nervous system’s activity. Roman’s prescription antiperspirant works by physically blocking those sweat glands. This product, known as Drysol, contains 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate.
When aluminum comes into contact with sweat, it transforms into a thin, gel-like material. This material effectively forms a barrier between your sweat glands and the outside world.
You can apply Drysol to your armpits, palms, and feet. Roman recommends using the product at night and washing off any excess the next day. Over time, the barrier it creates should take hold and significantly reduce your sweating.
Remember that sweating is a natural and essential process for regulating body temperature. If you’re merely on the cusp of a hyperhidrosis diagnosis, or you’re thinking about using Drysol for convenience’s sake, we’d recommend you think twice. Not only are itching and burning sensations common side effects of Drysol, but studies also link aluminum-based antiperspirants with some forms of cancer.
Many people suffer from allergies, but evidence suggests that four in five allergy sufferers don’t choose the best over-the-counter allergy medicine to treat their particular allergies.
Working with Roman, you’ll get a doctor’s help in picking the best treatment for your allergies. Roman offers several treatment options.
You can get either azelastine (generic Astelin) or fluticasone (generic Flonase) at Roman. These nasal spray medications can treat allergic nasal rhinitis, relieving symptoms like runny, itchy nose, watery eyes, and sneezing.
Pricing is as follows for either azelastine or fluticasone:
- 1-month supply: $29/month
- 3-month supply: $19/month
Roman also offers two pills for allergy relief. Drowsiness is a potential side effect of these medications, so Roman recommends that you take either of them in the evening as directed.
- Levocetirizine (generic Xyzal) is an antihistamine. It works by blocking histamine from activating cells’ H1 receptors. This helps prevent the symptoms of allergies, like runny nose, itchy skin, watery eyes, and sneezing.
- Montelukast (generic Singulair) is a leukotriene receptor antagonist. During an allergic reaction, immune cells release leukotriene D4. Montelukast blocks the leukotriene before it can activate leukotriene receptors. This can relieve and prevent nasal and head congestion caused by allergies. The drug claims to be a non-drowsy formula, but drowsiness is still a possible side effect.
Pricing is as follows for either pill:
- 1-month supply: $29/month
- 3-month supply: $19/month
Roman offers mental healthcare services through the parent company’s Ro Mind platform. The program is primarily psychiatric. It features an evaluation screener known as the Personal Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), which assesses your general levels of anxiety and depression. Afterward, you’ll set up an appointment to speak with a psychiatrist who may prescribe medications as appropriate.
Throughout your treatment plan, you’ll have access to virtual sessions, which are not talk therapy sessions. Instead, they’re self-guided educational videos that address particular topics in mental health.
Your initial assessment is free, and your first month of Ro Mind costs $15. After that, the plan increases to $65/month, which covers your medication, its delivery, and check-ins with your doctor.
Plenity for weight loss
Our testers were impressed by Plenity. There are many weight loss products on the market, but Plenity is much safer than most, and it’s effective.
- Plenity contains no stimulants or anything that could be habit-forming.
- Its ingredients are natural - primarily just citric acid and cellulose.
- Taking Plenity (pill-form) with a large volume of water before meals will help you feel less hungry, prompting you not to overeat.
- In a clinical trial, 60% of people saw an average weight loss of about 10 percent of their body weight, translating to an average of 22 pounds.
Roman also offers supplements, which are manufactured in the USA by NutraScience. The chart below shows the various supplements available through Roman and their prices on one- and three-month plans.
|One-month plan||Three-month plan|
Roman’s parent company has an offshoot called Zero, which you can access through the Roman website. The program can help smokers to quit by combining a drug to help curb cravings with nicotine gum to manage withdrawal symptoms.
You will work with a physician to create a 12-week treatment plan with or without the nicotine gum. You’ll have several follow-up visits with the doctor to address any side effects or concerns.
The medication at the center of Zero is bupropion (generic for Wellbutrin). This is an antidepressant NDRI or norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor. It has a low side effect profile, with occasional incidents of the following:
- Excessive sweating
- Blurred vision
- Rapid heart rate
- Irregular heartbeat
- Auditory disturbances
In rare cases, bupropion can cause seizures. The dosage recommendation for bupropion to quit smoking is 150 mg daily. This is a low dose for the medication. In cases of mild depression, psychiatrists will often start patients at 150 mg and go up to 300 mg if needed. Dosages above 300 mg significantly increase seizure risk.
Roman offers an On/Go-brand rapid antigen test for Covid-19. It uses a shallow nasal swab (no contact with your brain required), and it provides results in as little as 10 minutes. The company claims an accuracy rate of approximately 95%.
You get two tests per box for $30. Unfortunately, this is not the best price for this product that you can find.
Roman’s two most prominent competitors are Hims and Keeps. Other companies like BlueChew or HairClub offer one or two products that you can also find through Roman (like delay wipes and sprays or minoxidil), but Hims and Keeps are similar in the breadth of their offerings. Keeps focuses solely on hair loss, but Hims covers everything from ED and hair loss to primary care and mental health services.
From our extensive testing and comparisons among competitors, we recommend Hims more highly than Roman for ED treatments at this time. In addition to remedies available through Roman, Hims offers an additional pill — a third PDE5 inhibitor called avanafil (generic Stendra), which acts faster than sildenafil or tadalafil. You can learn more about Hims ED treatments in our full review.
BlueChew is another option worth exploring if you think either generic Viagra (sildenafil) or generic Cialis (tadalafil) will be the right choice for your needs. What makes BlueChew unique is that they are just as affordable as the other online ED treatment options, but their medicine is chewable, which can be much more convenient than the pills you otherwise swallow with liquids. We cover everything about BlueChew in this comprehensive review.
Both Hims and BlueChew have Roman beat when it comes to pricing, though not by too much.
For hair loss
Roman’s hair loss and hair care products are top-notch, but so are those from Keeps and Hims. In fact, Roman’s price for minoxidil is the highest of the three, but their monthly price for finasteride is the lowest.
Here’s a quick look at how they compare:
|Finasteride + minoxidil||$35/month||$40/month||$22/month|
For mental health
The closest comparison for mental health coverage here is likely Hims, but it would be wise to consider companies like Cerebral, BetterHelp, and Talkspace. Those three are dedicated mental health spaces, whereas Hims mental health services are part of a larger opportunity for coverage.
BetterHelp, Talkspacew, Hims, and Cerebral offer direct talk therapy for a relatively low cost. You can receive psychiatric care and prescription medicine from Hims, Cerebral, and Talkspace.
Psychiatric plans with medication often include regular check-ins with your psychiatrist, but these are not therapy sessions. Those either come at an added cost or are not part of a company’s offerings.
Here’s a quick breakdown of available mental health coverage:
|Psychiatric services with medication||Talk Therapy||Group Therapy|