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Minoxidil


Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine®, is an FDA-approved medication for hair loss treatment. Minoxidil 2% solution is available over the counter without prescription for men and women to treat male or female pattern baldness. Minoxidil or Rogaine 2% is the only hair loss drug for women approved by the FDA. However, women should not use minoxidil 5% solution or Rogaine Extra Strength. The stronger solution can cause facial hair growth and could be harmful during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Minoxidil was originally developed as an anti-hypertensive drug, designed to lower high blood pressure by relaxing and expanding blood vessels. Minoxidil's hair restoring benefit was accidentally discovered and it is now being used as a topical solution to treat hair loss. Minoxidil has been shown to slow hair loss and improve hair growth in male or female pattern baldness.

Minoxidil is applied twice daily directly to scalp skin where stimulation of new hair growth is desired. To produce hair regrowth, minoxidil must be applied for a minimum of four months to a year and must be continued indefinitely. Minoxidil works best in the early stages of thinning hair, before the hair follicles have entered a permanent dormant state. However, minoxidil's effects have produced mixed results that can't be predicted. Each person may experience a different effect, including no beneficial effect at all. In addition, treatment with minoxidil is relatively expensive and time-consuming, and when discontinued, regrown hair falls out. Studies suggest that minoxidil is more effective in younger men with a recent onset of hair loss.

Minoxidil's side effects can include minor symptoms such as scalp itching and irritation or a temporary increase in hair loss. Rare side effects can occur such as chest pain, faintness or dizziness, fast or irregular heart beat, sudden weight gain, or swollen face, hands or feet. The use of minoxidil may interfere with other medical problems or prescription drugs. You should consult with your doctor before using minoxidil.

An effective hair loss treatment would be to use minoxidil in conjunction with Advecia or Procerin, all-natural hair loss supplements. Since Advecia and Procerin target DHT and 5-alpha-reductase, when combined with minoxidil they may help increase the rate of hair growth.

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REFERENCES:
  1. Life Extension eds., Disease Prevention and Treatment, 4th ed. (Hollywood, Florida: Life Extension Media, 2003), Balding, online:
    http://www.lef.org/LEFCMS/aspx/PrintVersionMagic.aspx?CmsID=112617

  2. About Rogaine, AskDocWeb, online:
    http://www.askdocweb.com/minoxidil.html

  3. Rogaine, PDRHealth, online:
    http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/ otcdrugprofiles/drugs/fgotc215.shtml

  4. Burke KE. Hair loss. What causes it and what can be done about it. Postgrad Med. 1989 May 1;85(6):52-73, 77.


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