Pharmaceutical Treatment for Baldness
Pharmaceutical treatment of hair loss activates hair bulbs, which are in the resting phase, and accelerates hair growth. Also, medicines can lower destructive influence of hormones on hair roots and slow down hair loss.
Currently, there are many options for treatment, as well as a considerable number of cosmetics, available for hair loss prevention. Among these, it is possible to find hair-strengthening shampoos, lotions, masks, and pharmaceuticals.
Methods of treatment include both topical and oral treatments. Doctors are able to prescribe medicines suitable specifically for you on the basis of your age, level of health, budget, and other factors. However, pharmaceutical treatment can only slow hair loss for a period of time and accelerate the growth of existing hairs, it cannot restore lost hair roots or create new ones.
Pharmaceutical treatment is temporary solution and hair loss will continue after you stop taking the medications.
Here are most commonly used and proven medicines for hair loss treatment:
Minoxidil was first developed as an oral treatment for blood pressure regulation. Minoxidil relaxes the blood vessels, thus leading to an increased flow of blood to hair follicles that results in accelerated growth of hairs. The effectiveness of the drug varies from patient to patient.
Hair growth stimulation with Minoxidil was proven when a topical form of the drug was first produced. Minoxidil passed intensive clinical trials, lasting more than 15 years, which proved the drug’s safety and effectiveness.
At present, the best known and most expensive treatments based on Minoxidil are produced under the trade mark of Regaine in Europe, and under the trade mark of Rogaine in the USA and some other countries. Medications based on Minoxidil are also produced by other manufacturers in non-patented forms, and are accordingly cheaper.
Minoxidil-based preparations for hair loss treatments are meant for external use only. 1 ml twice daily should be applied to dry skin in the affected area. The same dose is used regardless of the area of hair loss. The total daily dosage of the preparation should not exceed 2 ml.
Among the potential side effects are a burning sensation, redness, peeling in the area of use, allergic reaction, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, hypostasis, headaches, dizziness, and in rare cases, change in arterial pressure has been observed.
This medication was originally developed for the treatment of prostate cancer, but has also been shown to be effective in treating hair loss. Finasteride slows down the development of the enzyme that transforms testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, the male hormone that can lead to hair loss.
The medication was approved for hair loss treatment by the FDA under the trade mark of Propecia. The main advantage of preparations based on Finasteride is their high level of effectiveness. Results of clinical studies prove that the preparation is very efficient in slowing the hair loss process. Use of this medication, however, has not shown positive results in the treatment of hair loss in women. Furthermore, pregnant women have been strongly advised against its usage, as it may cause birth defects.
In some men using Finasteride, a decrease in sexual function has been reported. However, in clinical tests, a reduction in potency was only observed in a small number of patients, with normal activity returning following the cessation of treatment.