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Dermatologist Says This FDA Approved Drug Can Prevent Hair Loss in Men

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A drug normally used to treat hypertension may help patients suffering from Male androgenetic alopecia (MAA), says the dermatologist.

Male androgenetic alopecia (MAA) is one of the most common forms of hair loss in men, affecting 30-50 percent of men by age 50.

MAA occurs in a highly reproducible pattern, preferentially affecting the temples, vertex, and mid frontal scalp. Although MAA is often regarded as a relatively minor dermatological condition, hair loss impacts self-image and is a great cause of anxiety and depression in some men.

A number of reviews have shown the effectiveness of minoxidil and increasing hair regrowth.

Minoxidil was originally on the market as a drug for hypertension.

However, it quickly became an open secret that the drug stimulated hair growth, and a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine made these claims scientific.

Anthony Chu, professor of dermatology, Buckingham University, and consultant dermatologist and honorary senior lecturer, Imperial College, London, explains that, before minoxidil, balding men were ready to try anything to make their hair grow back.

He added:

Studies have shown 40 percent of men who use minoxidil get reasonable hair growth and, in another 40 percent, the drug stops them from losing more hair.

In a study published in the National Library of Health, minoxidil use for hair loss was investigated.

The study noted:

While many men choose not to undergo treatment, topical minoxidil is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (USA) for the treatment of MAA.

The medication prevents further hair loss, but only partially reverse baldness, and requires continuous use to maintain the effect.

Topical minoxidil is well tolerated as a 5 percent solution.

Minor adverse effects include itching of the scalp, dandruff and erythema.

Topical minoxidil and finasteride (5 alpha reductase type II inhibitor) are the only FDA approved treatments for MAA.

Both agents arrest progression of hair loss and stimulate partial regrowth of hair.

In another study, the effects of minoxidil in helping to increase hair regrowth was researched.

In the one-year observational study, 62 percent of the 984 men using 5 percent minoxidil reported a reduction in hair loss.

As for hair regrowth, the drug was rated as “very effective” in 16 percent of participants, “effective” in 48 percent, “moderately effective” in 21 percent, and “ineffective” in 16 percent.

Image Credit: iStock

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