Hair Loss Medications
TrichoCentre strongly advises before looking at any hair loss medications to book in and have an initial consultation. This is so our Qualified Consultant Trichologist can assess what is causing your hair loss and offer the most beneficial medication for you.
The below list does not include all hair loss medications, and may not be the appropriate clinical prescription for your type of hair loss. However it is felt that it is important to outline a few key medications for your knowledge and benefit.
Minoxidil 2% or 5% (solution or foam) FDA Approved
This medication was originally developed to treat high blood pressure, however a side effect showed hair growth. It’s one of the most commonly used hair loss medications on the market, mainly because after plenty of clinical trials it has shown to halt or even reverse hair loss in some patients. It is licensed to treat male and female pattern baldness, but can also treat other hair loss conditions.
The most beneficial way to use this medication is via a Custom Treatment Programme which would be planned and supervised by our Qualified Consultant Trichologist. A year of treatment is recommend before you would notice any suitable response.
Topical Anti-Androgens with Minoxidil 2% or 5% (“off-label” use)
This medication is a pharmacy-compounded solution which does contain the FDA approved medication Minoxidil (which stimulates hair growth). Other ingredients include Cyproperone Acetate (anti-androgen) and/or Medroxy Progesterone Acetate (anti-androgen properties) with/or without Estradiol Valerate (anti-androgen properties) with/or without Methyl Nicotinate (vaso-dilator).
It is important to note that these formulations have not yet been FDA approved, however the drugs themselves are not new it’s only the method of application and delivery which is different to other systems.
The medication penetrates the hair follicle and prevents the destruction of the hair follicles which is what makes it so successful.
Topical Anti-Androgen therapy is most effectively used within a Custom Treatment Programme which is planned and supervised by our Qualified Consultant Trichologist. Again a year of treatment is recommended before noting any changes.
Topical Finasteride with Minoxidil “2% or 5% (“off-label” use)
Pharmacy-compounded solution that contains the FDA-approved hair growth medications Minoxidil, and Finasteride.
Topical finasteride (used to treat pattern hair loss) has been investigated as potential variation in drug delivery. Swiss group, International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Vol. 52 – No. 10/2014 (842-849) published their initial results in 2014 which showed strong and successful results.
This topical preparation is not intended to replace oral finasteride, but is available should you not wish to take the medication orally but still want to effectively prevent further hair loss.
Ketoconazole 2% shampoo (“off-label” use)
Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal shampoo that is used ‘off label’ to treat androgenic alopecia. It works by killing off the fungi that causes seborrhoeic eczema and dandruff. It’s useful in reducing hair loss when used two or three times a week alongside other medications and treatments.
Finasteride (Propecia or Proscar) FDA Approved.
Finasteride (available as either Propecia or Proscar) is a medication that blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a key factor in the development of androgenetic alopecia. It is a type II 5α-reductase enzyme inhibiter.
Finasteride should not be taken or handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant because of the drug’s potential for causing abnormal development to the foetus.
Dutasteride (Avodart) (“off-label” use)
Dutasteride is a medication in the same class as finasteride but inhibits both type I and type II 5-alpha reductase enzymes. Dutasteride is approved for the treatment of male-pattern hair loss in Japan and Korea. However, it is commonly used off-label to treat androgenetic alopecia especially in the U.S.
Dutasteride should not be taken or handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant because of the drug’s potential for causing abnormal development of a foetus.
Spironolactone (Aldactone) (“off-label” use)
Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a medication that is primarily used to treat high blood pressure. It works as a diuretic causing increased amounts of sodium and water to be excreted from the body, while potassium is retained. However this medication has anti-androgenic affects and has been used in the treatment of hair loss in women.
Since it is an anti-androgen (inhibits testosterone), it causes sexual dysfunction and breast enlargement in men. Because of these side effects, it is not used as a treatment for male pattern hair loss.
Oral Contraceptives (“off-label” use)
Oral contraceptives can cause hair loss in women through drug induced shedding and by facilitating female pattern baldness. If you are prone to genetic hair loss, then oral contraceptive medications that are higher in progesterone can potentially increase that loss by adding a source of exogenous (outside) androgens.
Some newer oral contraceptives have lower androgenetic effects and are useful in patients concerned about hair loss.
If you have noticed a change in the thickness of your hair, increased hair shedding, or facial hair growth since starting an oral contraceptive, please consult with your healthcare professional and our Qualified Consultant Trichologist.
Please note: The use of medication for unapproved indications are for your information only. Please see the ‘Medication’ section in the T&Cs.
TrichoCentre knows that each case is different, which is why our Qualified Consultant Trichologist is here to help you in your particular situation. To schedule an appointment with TrichoCentre simply click here today.