Medications for Hair Loss
Both minoxidil topical solution and finasteride
tablets can produce a modest increase in hair
on the scalps of young men with mild-to-moderate
hair loss. Both must be continued indefinitely
to maintain the effect. The long-term safety
of both drugs remains to be determined. Always
check with your physician before using these
Finasteride is a prescription hair loss
medication prescribed for men only. This tablet
originated as a treatment for an enlarged prostate
gland. In addition:
- Hair growth may not be cosmetically acceptable.
- Finasteride must be taken daily for your
life or new hair will be lost.
- Adverse reactions include impotence (1% to
4%) and decreased libido (1.6 % to 3.3%)
- The manufacturer warns that women who are
or may be pregnant should not take finasteride
or handle crushed or broken pills, due to the
drug's potential to cause birth defects.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter treatment
available for men and women. It is rubbed directly
onto the scalp and is most effective in slowing the hair loss process. Minoxidil is marketed for
hair replacement on the top-rear of the scalp
only. It has never been proven successful in
frontal areas, where most men and women are troubled with
hair loss. In addition:
- Only a relatively small percentage of men and women
who have applied Minoxidil have noted any real
- Less than 8 percent of men tested had dense
growth after twelve months of twice-daily applications.
- The hair that grows is often fuzz or “baby-fine” type
hair that won't completely obscure a
- Minoxidil must be applied every day for your
lifetime. If discontinued, even for a few weeks,
your new hair will most likely fall out.