Hair Loss Drugs

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.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a cream or foam applied to the scalp once or twice each day.  The medication 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.