What Are These Medications?
Commonly used medications include minoxidil and finasteride.
Finasteride (e.g propecia, proscar) can be taken at 1mg daily where it arrests progression and improves hair loss in males >18 years of age with Norwood Grade II-V. Side effects are mainly that of sexual dysfunction and loss of libido that can happen in up to 3% of males.
Minoxidil 2-5% foam or solution can be used to increase vasodilation to the scalp and stimulation of hair follicles into anagen phase. Side effects include that of contact dermatitis and also hypertrichosis. If you happen to have any medical history with your heart, do also let your doctor know.
How Do I Know My Severity?
Hair Loss Grading Systems for men and women are different. A quick illustration is as seen on the left.
Am I Suitable For These Medications?
It is always easy for one to start on a medication and then stop here and there. However, that will give you extremely poor results as most of these medications can take up to 1 year to work well.
It is hence imperative to assess these priorities together with your doctor before even starting on any of these medications such that your results can be optimised.
Dr Sin Yong Recommendations
Treating hair loss is not as simple as taking medications for a runny nose or cough. It is important to sit down and have a detailed discussion with your doctor to assess the efficacy and potential drawbacks of each treatment modality, such that the best outcome can be achieved based on your daily lifestyle and routine.