Today we’ll explore medicinal (non-surgical) treatment options.
To date, there are basically four drugs that are commonly used to treat hair loss: minoxidil, finasteride, dutasteride, and corticosteroids. We will look briefly at them one by one.
Minoxidil, the generic name of the drug commonly known as Rogaine, has been around since the mid-1970’s. In a previous article, we discussed it at length. The drug was originally designed as a vasodilator when it was found unexpectedly that the drug also helped patients grow more hair.
For hair loss, it is applied to the scalp twice daily. We have a very effective 5% spray foam for men that is easy to apply and gets the drug exactly where it needs to be.
Finasteride, originally designed to treat prostrate problems, was found also to be effective in treating male pattern hair loss. The drug is taken orally, and it works by blocking the serum dihydrotestosterone responsible for hair loss in the scalp. The drug has not been found to be helpful for women with hair loss.
Depending on the dosage and the individual, the drug can have some sexual side effects. These are things you would discuss with your doctor before trying it.
Dutasteride is another drug that was originally designed to treat the prostate and was also found to be effective in treating male pattern hair loss. A recent study found that Dutasteride is actually more effective than Finasteride at blocking dihydrotestosterone and treating male pattern hair loss. Unfortunately, this is another drug that doesn’t work on women.
Again, the drug is taken orally and can have some sexual side effects.
Occasionally, corticosteroids are prescribed for certain types of hair loss like Alopecia areata. This type of hair loss occurs when there is an inflammatory process and the body is attacking its own hair follicles. If corticosteroids are used, sometimes they are injected directly into the scalp.
What patients should understand is that there are several ways to treat hair loss. Often, several different treatments can be combined to achieve better results. Taking the medicine as prescribed, religiously, is important with patient compliance paramount. These medications are treatments, but not cures. You have to take or use the medicine for several months before you will see if it is helping you or not. And then if you stop taking or using it, you will lose what you have gained.
Keep in mind that there are always new drugs around the corner, and new research will open more options for the treatment of hair loss.
If you have any questions about treatment for hair loss or any of our products, we encourage you to call us directly at (844) 280-4680.
This concludes Part 7. In Part 8, we will discuss other treatment options to help you with hair loss.