Hair Loss

Which Medication Should I Choose for Hair Loss Prevention?

Men are the only species that shed hair in two different ways: When they lose it through combing or shaving, and when they gain it by re-growing it from their existing follicles. Androgenetic alopecia also called male pattern baldness and female thinning hair, is the most usual type of hair loss, affecting up to 30 million men and 50 million women across the United States. In men, hair loss starts above the temples and gradually slides downward to form an M-shaped pattern, becoming less noticeable with each month that passes since it began.


The treatment

usually consists of medication and a surgical procedure. However, in some cases, a combination of both will be needed to achieve desirable results. A medication that stimulates the growth of hair starts with Rogaine (trade name Avacor), which is available in tablet form. Usually, this treatment is recommended for about six months, although some patients require a longer duration. A severe side effect of Rogaine is its tendency to cause sexual dysfunction in some men, which may result in reduced interest in sex and, in rare cases, impotence.


Finasteride is another medication often prescribed for hair loss.

It is available in pill and liquid extract form and is a soluble ingredient. Experts say that a patient may take Finasteride for as long as ten years, although the effectiveness varies according to the body type and age. On the other hand, finasteride (Propecia) can have some serious side effects, such as impotence and depression. Finasteride is generally safe when taken according to instructions.


Another medication for hair loss that is available over the counter is minoxidil,

also known as Rogaine or Regaine. In some cases, experts say that minoxidil is generally safe, but it causes sexual dysfunction and the development of male pattern baldness for some men. In addition, minoxidil can cause sleeplessness in some people. If you are not sure whether minoxidil is right for you, talk to your doctor or a health professional who can recommend the appropriate alternative.


Minoxidil and finasteride (or Propecia) are both approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

However, like finasteride, there can be some severe side effects of minoxidil, including low libido, mood swings, dizziness, upset stomach, painful erection, and sexual dysfunction. Finasteride is generally considered safer than minoxidil. One of the best ways to choose the right treatment is to talk with your health care provider. He or she can inform you of options for dealing with hair loss.


For example, if you are experiencing thinning hair,

speak to your dermatologist about whether minoxidil or another medication would be a better choice for you. Many dermatologists say that using either minoxidil or finasteride could be beneficial for the prevention of hair loss and the regrowth of hair. Experts say that the only thing you need to do to help you solve this problem is to find an effective treatment that will work for you.

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