Minoxidil, external solution of 2% and 5%, is used for the treatment of masculine alopecia in the front-parietal and parietal-occipital regions and for diffuse feminine alopecia, both of androgenic origin. It is effective, especially on the crown area, where it preserves if not reduces the horizontal diameter of the alopecia. Although confirmative statistics don’t yet exist, the combined use of minoxidil and finasteride in men has a synergic affect which increases the benefits of that either can provide on their own.
Dosage: The patient should use 1 millilitre of minoxidil solution two times a day. The drops should be applied directly onto the dry scalp and be spread around with the fingers (massage or friction not required). The dosage should be applied equally independently of the extent of hair loss, as the amount applied is absorbed and acts on the whole scalp. The maximum recommended daily dosage is 2 ml.
Minoxidil is very tolerable and the side effects are mainly dermatological in nature. The most frequent unwanted effect is irritable contact dermatitis characterized by intense itching, redness and intense flaking of the skin. In the majority of cases this is caused by the carrier responsible for the absorption of minoxidil into the skin which is the ethanol’s (alcohols): propylene glycol (PPG), polyethylene glycol (PEG) or ethylene glycol (EG). Any of the aforementioned symptoms are sufficient motive to suspend the medication and consult a specialist.
FINASTERIDE (PROPECIA) In 1997, the FDA approved the use of finasteride at a dosage of 1 mg per day for males suffering from androgenetic alopecia.
Propecia, the commercial name for finasteride in 1 mg tablets, is currently the only brand registered and authorized for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.
Finasteride is administered orally in a 1 mg/day tablet which, as stated earlier, is the FDA approved dosage for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.
Adverse side effects:
The adverse side effects observed in finasteride are produced in the fourth month since taking the medicine and are reversible two or three months after suspension of treatment, when it has been completely eliminate from the blood. A study which was published in an important scientific journal, The European Journal of Dermatology in 2002, titled “Long-term (5 years) Multinational Experience of finasteride 1 mg in the treatment of males with androgenetic alopecia” shows results are summarized in the following list:
Reduction of the libido 1.8%.
Erectile dysfunction 1.4%.
Reduction in the volume ejaculated 1.4%.