Female Hair Loss Treatments
When it comes to drug treatments for androgenetic alopecia, women are in a difficult position. Although some drugs might work for women in certain situations, doctors are reluctant to recommend them to others. What's more, drug companies aren't falling over themselves to test drugs specifically for their ability to prevent and treat female pattern baldness.
Systemic treatments are those that take effect on the entire body and require prescriptions from physicians. First, the doctor will want to determine if the cause of the hair loss is an excessive amount of androgen. This refers to male hormones. Doctors often recommend topical treatment, which can be applied to the scalp.
It is best to start treatment right away after hair loss starts. Long-term androgenetic ordia may cause hair loss. Use of anti-androgens following prolonged hair loss can help to avoid further damage. It will also promote hair regrowth by stimulating follicles which are viable but still dormant. If the androgens haven't been controlled in another way, the treatment can be stopped. While you are on anti-androgen medication, it is important to maintain your vitamin and minerals levels.
Here is a listing of treatment options for women suffering from hair loss. Currently there is only one FDA-approved treatment for female pattern hair loss. Other treatments have not yet been approved by FDA, however they have been approved in other areas and can be used to treat hair fall.
Although the effectiveness of these methods and agents varies, many women find that they have had a significant impact on their hair and self-esteem. Treatments that target the root cause of hair loss and trigger hair growth will have the greatest chance to be effective.
Minoxidil (Rogaine), Minoxidil first appeared in tablets form to be a medication for high blood pressure. As a side effect, minoxidil treatment led to excessive hair growth in patients (hypertrichosis). Research further showed that minoxidil can also be applied directly to hair.
Minoxidil oral is 2.5mg to 5mg tablets once daily. This is because it absorbs more efficiently than the topical. The amount of minoxidil that is absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream via topically applied products can cause side effects.
Minoxidil, which is available topically in generic and brand-named Rogaine forms, seems to work better than minoxidil for women who suffer from diffuse androgenetic or male alopecia. Minoxidil should be used at 2% and not 5% according to product labels. The FDA does not approve of women using higher levels of minoxidil.
If used with supervision, many dermatologists will recommend 5% to women suffering from androgenetic hair loss. Clinical trials with small numbers of women suffering from androgenetic hair loss have demonstrated that the 5% minoxidil solution works better than the 22%.
Clinical studies of predominantly white women aged 18-45 years who had mild to moderate hair loss found that 19% had moderate to severe regrowth after eight months of minoxidil use. Only 40% experienced minimal regrowth. The results of the clinical studies showed that 7% had moderate hair regrowth and 33% minimal.
Androgen Receptor Blockers Spironolactone Aldactone Spironolactone (Aldactone), is part of a group of drugs known as potassium-sparing, or water pills. Spironolactone works by reducing fluid within your body and not affecting potassium. You can use it to treat high blood pressure, hypertension and swelling. In two ways, Spironolactone is an anti-androgen. The first is that it reduces the amount of androgens produced by the adrenal glands. It also blocks androgens' action by blocking dihydrotestosterone from binding to the androgenetic receptor. Cimetidine (Tagamet). Cimetidine, also known as Tagamet is one of a group of histamine blocking drugs that are used mostly to treat gastrointestinal disorders. Histamine-blocking actions prevent the stomach from making too much acid and allow the body to heal an ulcer. Cimetidine has an anti-androgenic action and can block dihydrotestosterone binding to the follicle receptors. Cimetidine is used in the treatment of excess facial hair growth in women (hirsutism). It also has promising results in research on women with androgenic androgenetic alopecia. Cimetidine can cause hair loss in men, and high doses of it are necessary to get the desired results. Cyproterone Acetate Cyproterone is used to decrease excessive sexual drive and treat aggressive behavior. This medication is prescribed to women who are pregnant or have experienced severe hirsutism. It can also be used for female androgenetic androgenetic androgenetic disorders. Cyproterone is acetate works by inhibiting the binding dihydrotestosterone to its receptors. Cyproterone acetate is not available in the U.S. Doctors consider it one of the last resorts for treating female pattern hair loss because of its possible toxicity and long-term side effects. Like any medication, there may be side effects that go beyond those stated on the label. You should consult your doctor if there is any unusual side effect or concern. Estrogen, Progesterone and Progesterone Estrogen pills and creams can be an effective treatment option for women suffering from androgenetic hair loss.
Because birth control pills reduce the production of ovarian erogens, it can be used to treat androgenetic infertility. Keep in mind, however, that the same cautions must be followed whether a woman takes contraceptive pills solely to prevent contraception or to treat female pattern baldness. Smokers over 35 who use the Pill have a higher chance of blood clots or other serious health conditions.
Your doctor should be able to discuss your personal and medical information. There are many hormonal options for contraceptives. Your doctor will be able to determine the best one. If necessary, he/she may switch pills until you feel comfortable.
Hair loss should only be treated with low-androgen birth control pills. Hair loss can be triggered by high-androgen index birthcontrol pills or enabled by them after it is already started. Learn more about hair loss and oral contraceptives by visiting Causes.
The topical treatment ketoconazole, which is available by prescription only, can be used to treat fungal diseases. It reduces testosterone production by the adrenal gland, reproductive organs (in females, the ovaries) and other androgens.
You can use these anti-androgenic properties to reduce hair loss. The Nizoral shampoo is 2% ketoconazole. It can be used to treat scalp conditions as well as in conjunction with other treatment options for androgenetic hair loss. The 1% prescription strength is also available, although it might not be as effective. It has no side effects.
Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)
Finasteride is a drug that inhibits 5-alpha reductase, which occurs in the hair follicle. This inhibits the production folliculcle-harming dihydrotestosterone. DHT reduces the hair's follicles, making it harder for healthy hair to live.
Proscar was the first brand to market Finasteride as a treatment for the prostate gland. The 5 mg tablets were the first to be available. The FDA approved Propecia 1 mg in 1998 as the first medication for hair loss.
The drug works well for most men to stop hair loss and stimulate regrowth. It may also work for women. However, women should not use it while pregnant. Women should avoid getting pregnant while taking finasteride because they run the risk of having a baby with birth defects. Finasteride is only used by 2% of men who experience transient sexual side effect, such as erectile dysfunction and difficulty libido, in a small percentage. These side effects are not common in women. You can learn more about what the difference is between minoxidil & finasteride.
Dutasteride, although not FDA approved is an off-label precription medication that can be taken to combat hair loss. Similar to finasteride it was initially developed for the treatment of enlarging prostates.
It can be taken once daily. This works the same as finasteride by blocking the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. The stimulation of hair growth with dustasteride was slightly better.
Women should avoid this medication during pregnancy, or breastfeeding . This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby or breast -feeding infant.
Cyproterone Acetate w/ Ethinyloestradiol
These contraceptive pills are sold under the brands Diane 35 and Diane 50. They're prescribed for female androgenetic hair loss in Europe.Both versions are currently not available in America.
It is composed of both cyproterone (an estrogen ) and estradiol (a synthetic form). Diane 35 and Diane 50 both contain 2 mg of Cyproterone. Diane 35 has 0.035mg of estradiol while Diane 50 has 0.050m.
They work by blocking some of the actions of male hormones commonly present in women. It is possible to use the drug in a short time to prevent further hair loss. However, you must continue to take it on an ongoing basis in order to preserve hair growth and stop hair loss.
Some side effects of estrogen therapy include headaches, breast tenderness and decreased sexual desire.