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When hair loss products first surfaced in Japan in the mid-1990s, the demand for them instantly skyrocketed. This only meant that
“People suffering from hair loss have always wanted to find the treatment that really solves the problem.”
These hair loss products contain anti-androgen properties and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inhibitors, can increase cellular energy, and/or can increase blood supply. Hair systems didn’t do any temporary good while surgical procedures were risky.
Today, there are tons of hair loss products flooding the market. Below are just some of the common ones:
Rogaine and Avacor. Minoxidil, the first FDA-approved medication for hair loss, is the active agent present in hair loss productssuch as Rogaine and Avacor. It was first marketed as an anti-hypertension drug. As it is known, hair loss happens because hair follicles don’t get enough nutrients needed to regrow hair. Because it increases the blood supply, it became a popular treatment for hair loss.
Minoxidil comes as an oral and/or a topical solution. Two percent of Minoxidil is a licensed treatment for female pattern baldness while a 5% solution is for male pattern baldness. While Minoxidil is a safe treatment, it appeared to produce side-effects such as scalp and eye irritation or such other allergic reactions. Cardiovascular effects such as palpitations and chest pains are also possible, including death.
Propecia and Avodart. Finasteride is found in hair loss products like Propecia. It is an anti-androgen which was first introduced as a treatment for an enlarged prostate. However, until now there is no large body of research that proves its efficacy in reducing or preventing prostate cancer.
Only because of its anti-androgen properties that Finasteride is believed to treat DHT-triggered alopecia and hirsutism in women. More exactly, it is assumed to inhibit type 1 form of 5-alpha reductase which is the main cause of male pattern baldness. Sexual dysfunction is the direct side-effect of Finasteride.
Another generic drug is Dutasteride traded by Avodart. It works like Finasteride – only that, Dutasteride blocks the two types of 5-alpha reductase. This makes Dutasteride more effective in fighting pattern baldness.
Ironically, however, FDA recently released reports regarding the adverse effects of Finasteride and Dutasteride in prostate health. Two randomized studies found out that 5-AR inhibitors could “increase the risk of developing a more serious form of prostate cancer.” Although the risk appears low, FDA still required 5-ARI hair loss products to include safety precautions on their labels. For those who have been taking these drugs, FDA recommends that they report any strange side-effects from taking 5-ARI medications. FDA provides full information about the possible effects of 5-ARIs.
Apparently, little is known about these over-the-counter and prescription hair loss products. This is why it is always pressing that people with alopecia conduct self-studies before taking any of these hair loss products.
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