Hair Loss Drugs


There are many so called "remedies" for hair loss but only a few that are effective at slowing or stopping hair loss. Hair loss drugs should always be taken under the care of a physician and directions should be followed closely for maximum benefit. The following medications are proven effective, backed by clinical data. Patients who are going to be receiving a hair transplants may want to strongly consider using hair loss drugs so that they can keep the hair they have and mitigate the necessity for further hair transplant surgeries.

Minoxidil

The hair loss medication Minoxidil was approved in 1988 for the treatment of pattern hair loss. Early studies showed significantly improved hair counts in both men and women using a 2% minoxidil solution. In 1997, the FDA approved a 5% solution which was shown to provide even greater hair growth stimulation for men (studies show 45% greater hair growth). In women, a 2% topical solution is most often used to minimize side-effects (women seem more susceptible to Minoxidil's side-effects than men).

Minoxidil is often the choice of treatment for female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) and alopecia areata in women because Finasteride is not recommended due to the potential for birth defects. Minoxidil's effectiveness depends on the extent of hair loss and cannot restore full hair in those cases where hair loss is severe. Milder cases often see a greater improvement with treatment than severe cases. Minoxidil 2% solution is available over-the-counter. Minoxidil 5% solution is available over-the-counter in the USA but by prescription only in Canada.

Propecia & Proscar ( Finasteride )
Finasteride is approved for use in men only. Women should not use Finasteride, or handle tablets, doing so could cause birth defects in a male fetus. Finasteride is administered orally. Studies indicate that Finasteride is an effective hair loss medication, slowing hair loss in addition to stimulating hair growth.

Finasteride is best used to slow hair loss as soon as it is noticed, though is also effective in slowing hair loss detected at later stages. Finasteride is available by prescription only. Both Minoxidil (for men and women) and Finasteride (for men only) are often suggested as an ancillary treatment to those receiving hair transplants.