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FDA Approved Hair Loss Medications That Work!

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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. Androgenic Alopecia Androgenetic alopecia AKA androgenic alopecia is

Minoxidil

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.

Finasteride

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 for men.

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.

Ketaconazole

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.

Dutasteride

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 Profollica.

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 of.

 

Profollica A Hair Loss Treatment Worth Considering!

 

 

 

 

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