Because of a recent GQ article oral minoxidil has gotten a lot of attention recently as a good hair growth drug. Topical minoxidil was developed after oral minoxidil was originally developed as a drug used in treating hypertension. During clinical trials, they found that in addition to dropping blood pressure, patients were reporting increased hair growth all over their bodies. When applied topically, minoxidil can promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicle.
Is Minoxidil Safe When Taken Orally?
When prescribed in small doses, oral minoxidil can be an effective way to combat hair loss. However, even at medium doses, there are some risks associated with it. Minoxidil has fallen out of favor as a hypertension drug due to its potency. It can drop a person’s blood pressure pretty significantly, which is why it is very important to monitor blood pressure when taking it. Things like irregular heartbeat, racing heart beat, and chest pain can be associated with it. One other down side for many patients is people tend to retain fluid when they take it, which can result in weight gain, sometimes significant weight gain. One last risk is an initial shedding of the hair. It is very common to see mild to extreme shedding of the hair when starting minoxidil, so many patients see significantly thinner hair when they start the drug for 6 months or so.
Does Solve Clinics Recommend Oral Minoxidil?
Most practitioners would recommend using finasteride over minoxidil if the patient is taking the minoxidil orally. For many patients, they prefer to avoid finasteride due to the possibility of sexual side effects. However, the studies show that finasteride does improve hair density (and protect the hair) significantly better than minoxidil does. Taking minoxidil is better than doing nothing for the hair, however there are some fairly serious possible cardiac side effects when taking minoxidil orally. Generally, it is recommended to use minoxidil topically before starting it orally. If taken orally, it is important to monitor your blood pressure and inform a general practitioner of any cardiac side effects you experience while taking it.
Women’s hair loss is fundamentally different than men’s hair loss and there have always been different treatment options. For men, a potent medication to use against hair loss is finasteride, but that same drug cannot be used for women. Minoxidil is another medication that has been used for both men and women to increase blood flow to the hair. As of recently, a topical formulation was developed of minoxidil mixed with other ingredients that have been shown to assist with female type hair loss. It is a powerful new tool in the fight against hair loss.
One recommendation that has not changed for both male and female pattern loss is combining treatments. Attacking hair loss from multiple different angles is the best way to get the best results. For female pattern loss, a very common recommendation is combining a topical treatment, like the formulated topical minoxidil, with a fertilizing treatment like platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. Both of these treatments combat hair loss in different ways, and when you combine treatments that act in different ways, the result tends to be more dramatic. Hair tends to return thicker and healthier than when just one treatment is used.
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