|FDA Approved Hair Loss Medications That Work!
For those who choose to make use of the more conventional method of dealing
with hair loss
through medication, there are two treatments tried, tested, and officially
approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to be effective in
treating alopecia. Strangely enough, today’s two most popular medicinal
treatments for hair loss weren’t originally intended to treat hair loss at all.
Androgenetic alopecia AKA androgenic alopecia is
Minoxidil commonly known under brand names like Rogaine and Regaine, was
originally an oral drug meant to relieve hypertension. It was found that the
drug had an unusual side-effect of promoting hair growth –sometimes on rather
unexpected areas like the cheeks or the back of the hands. It was eventually
developed as a treatment for hair loss, and in the 1980's, the American
pharmaceutical company Upjohn Corporation received approval from the FDA to
market their solution of Minoxidil as a treatment for alopecia.
The Minoxidil we know today is applied topically, and is available in two and
five percent solutions. Though it is prescribed to treat androgenetic alopecia,
alopecia areata, and diffuse hair loss, it's generally available as an
over-the-counter medication. It works by increasing the size of shrunken hair
follicles (most likely caused by androgenetic alopecia), allowing more nutrients
to reach it and so promoting the growth of healthy hair. The increase in
follicle size can cause thinned hair to shed, though ideally they will be
replaced by thicker and stronger hair eventually. It may take around four months
for new hair to start growing.
Take note, though, that Minoxidil does have its limitations just like any
other treatment. Each individual's response to Minoxidil differs, and so it may
be more or less effective for some people, and for a few, the product might not
work for them at all. One person might be sporting a fuller, thicker head of
hair, while another might grow just enough to hide a thinning spot with a
comb-over. Also, continued and regular use of Minoxidil is vital for hair
regrowth to be maintained, or else all the benefits gained might be lost and
hair loss will resume. Though uncommon, there have been reports of certain side
effects caused by Minoxidil. Adverse reactions to it include flaking, itching
and irritation of the skin, and contact dermatitis.
Another popular treatment for hair loss is Finasteride, known under brand
names such as Propecia and Proscar. Like Minoxidil, it was initially intended
for treating a different ailment –in this case, benign prostatic hyperplasia
(enlarged prostates), and was also found to have hair growth as a side-effect.
Merck and Company, who marketed the drug, decided to investigate and develop its
potential as a treatment for hair loss. Sure enough, in 1997, Finasteride
received approval from the FDA as a proven treatment for androgenetic alopecia
Finasteride is taken orally, in pill form. It prevents hair loss by acting as
a dihydrotestosterone inhibitor –preventing the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase from
converting testosterone into DHT. DHT, you see, is a by-product of our body’s
natural processes, but it has the rather unpleasant tendency to accumulate in
our hair follicles, causing them to shrink and eventually fall out, resulting in
baldness. It is the primary cause of androgenetic hair loss.
Results from taking Finasteride should be visible after about three months of
use, though the efficacy of the product will vary from person to person, with
some showing noticeable regrowth of hair, while others may be limited to simply
stopping the progression of hair loss. Like Minoxidil, continued use of the
Finasteride is recommended to retain the benefits gained.
It's important to note that Finasteride should only be used by men, as it is
not suited for women. Unfortunately, Finasteride has been found to pose
significant risks to pregnant or potentially pregnant women. It has the
possibility of causing birth defects, such as abnormal development of male
babies’ sex organs. Women should avoid even handling the drug if it is crushed
or broken, since there is a possibility of them absorbing the active ingredient.
Note also that though uncommon, certain side-effects such as a diminished sex
drive, difficulty in achieving an erection, and decrease in semen production
have been reported in connection to Finasteride. Usually, these side effects
will disappear and sexual functions return to normal once the person ceases
taking the drug.
There are also other, more specialized medicines such as Ketoconazole
(Nizoral) which cater to more specific causes of hair loss such as dandruff and
scalp infections, though they are recognized more for their treatment of their
respective ailments and not necessarily (or officially) for hair loss.
There are also other products such as Dutasteride (Avodart) which are
marketed as and officially approved by the FDA as treatments for other ailments,
but have hair growth as a side-effect. Perhaps someday these will be developed
into proper hair loss treatments like Finasteride and Minoxidil before them, but
as of now, these off-label “treatments” for hair loss should not be used as if
they were, since they are not intended as such. Taking un-prescribed medicine
with no present ailment poses considerable health risks.
Though as of now, Finasteride and Minoxidil are the only drug treatments
approved by the FDA for hair loss, don't let that fact stop you from making use
of alternative treatments if you so wish. There are several other products and
methods of treatment available that are backed by scientific research and
clinical testing for their efficacy and safety, yet lack FDA approval because
their manufacturers choose to forego the procedure due to the high costs
involved in providing funding for the various tests involved such as toxicology
studies, laboratory testing and the like.
Some of these products can produce results similar to those of conventional
medicinal treatments. Some of them aim to treat hair loss through unconventional
methods such as low-level laser therapy; some by making use of more natural
components such as Profollica and Procerin which gives them properties some
people might find more appealing or appropriate to their condition; and some, by
combining various methods of combating hair loss for increased efficiency, like
Always inform yourself of whatever treatment you're considering of using,
whether it's medicinal, herbal, natural, surgical, or anything else in between.
Remember to consult your doctor before making use of any products you are unsure
Profollica A Hair Loss Treatment Worth Considering!