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Medications For Hair Loss

Marc Avram, MD -  - Hair Transplant Specialist

Marc Avram, MD

Hair Transplant Specialist & Cosmetic Dermatologist located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Dr. Marc Avram prescribes a variety of medications for hair loss to his patients at this practice in the Upper East Side area of New York City. Medications like minoxidil and finasteride are important components of hair restoration strategies used to help both men and women address their hair loss concerns. If you have concerns about hair loss, make an appointment with Dr. Avram today for advice and a customized treatment plan.

Medications for Hair Loss Q & A

How does medication treat hair loss?

Medications, like minoxidil and finasteride, have been found to be most effective when they are taken early in the patient’s experience with hair loss. Both drugs have been approved by the FDA to treat hair loss.

They are often combined with other treatments including hair transplants, platelet rich plasma (PRP), and low laser light therapy (LLLT). For example, medications help to achieve maximum perceived density for men and women who have hair transplants by both boosting growth in the existing hair before the procedure and by helping to stimulate growth after the transplant is complete.
The medications work in different ways, either boosting circulation or by blocking the hormones linked with hair loss. Dr. Avram will prescribe you the correct medication, depending on the cause of your hair loss. He provides each of his patients with thorough consultations to determine the best treatment or treatments to address your hair loss.

What is minoxidil?

Minoxidil is better known by its brand name Rogaine. The medication is typically prescribed in a liquid or foam form that is applied directly to the scalp. Minoxidil slows or stops the rate of hair loss for most patients, although some may also see some regrowth. Minoxidil is most effective when a patient begins to use it as soon as he or she notices hair loss. The drug works by opening blood vessels and potassium channels to improve circulation, which brings essential oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles.

Recently, a series of peer reviewed clinical trials demonstrate oral minoxidil can be an effective therapy for hair loss for women and men.  For some patients the oral form is easier to use daily over the topical formula.  The oral form is available as a prescription.

What is finasteride?

Finasteride, which is also called Propecia, is an FDA-approved oral medication exclusively for male pattern hair loss. Finasteride addresses hair loss by blocking the production of dihydrotestosterone, a testosterone derivative associated with hair loss.

Finasteride is most commonly prescribed as an oral medication but recently has been shown to be effective as a topical medication as well.  It is prescribed often in combination as a topical minoxidil and finasteride.  This topical combination is popular because the risk of side effects is lower than oral finasteride while still effective in treating hair loss.

Can women use the same medications?

Women can use a topical minoxidil treatment for hair loss, although they can’t take finasteride. Dr. Avram treats many women and finds that a combination of treatments delivers the best results. It’s important to remember that each person has a unique experience of hair loss and that results may vary among patients.

If you have questions about hair loss, contact Dr. Avram. You can schedule an appointment for a consultation, where Dr. Avram will answer all of your questions.