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Does prolonged usage of minoxidil cause hairfall problem?

Jan 2014
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Answered by

Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 7281 Questions
Hi, I am having hairfall for few years now.Recently i checked up with dermatologist,when he scanned my scalp,he observed some new follicles but some weakened. He prescribed me to apply minoxidil solution about 1 ml on my mid scalp region,he also prescribed me follihair tablets to be taken for a month.Follihair as i understand is a health supplement,i don't think there is any harm taking it. But I have heard there are lot of side effects of minoxidil and that once one uses it,they have to use it lifelong,discontinuing it would result in hairloss.Also that one of the side effects of Minoxidil is hair loss.I am tad scared,since as of now i have good volume of hair,its thinned but thankfully no bald patches,i am afraid if i use minoxidil and things take a wrong turn and i start losing hair faster.
Posted Thu, 26 Dec 2013 in Hair Loss
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 30 minutes later
Brief Answer: Can safely start using Minoxidil Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX. Thanks for posting in XXXXXXX Minoxidil is a non-specific hair growth promoter. In males it is commonly prescribed for Male pattern baldness. It is FDA approved for this indication. Your concerns are genuine but if you take my advice i would say that you can safely begin therapy with minoxidil for hair loss/thinning. It is routinely prescribed along with finasteride tablet (1mg daily) and together they form an effective form of treatment in Male pattern hair loss. Initially some patients (not all) do notice an increase in hair fall for 2-4 weeks but that is not a bad news for them! New hairs that start to grow due to minoxidil pushes out old hairs from follicles that were already going to be shed on their own sometime sooner or later. This is called ANAGEN SURGE! and is actually a sign of response to minoxidil. So actually Minoxidil causes the hair follicle to enter back into growing phase (Anagen) and thus in the process pushes out dead hair(Telogen hair). Initially you might need to use Minoxidil twice daily for 6-12 months but after a satisfactory response you can use it as maintainance treatment, just once daily OR once every alternate day (to maintain the response) for a longer peroid. Finasteride is also used for hair thinning in males, alone OR along with minoxidil for maximum efficacy. It is also FDA approved for this. Treatment of Male pattern hair loss is long term but gives good results if started at an early stage so that hair loss is not allowed to progress any further (any new hair that grows with this therapy is complementary). Hope i have somewhat lessened your apprehensions about Minoxidil. take care regards Dr. kakkar
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Follow-up: Does prolonged usage of minoxidil cause hairfall problem? 2 days later
Thanks for your answer, So should i apply the solution on those regions of scalp where hair density is less only? Would application of minoxidil would result in the hair fall only from those regions of scalp where its applied or would it result in hair fall from from scalp in general. I have read that one of the side effects of minoxidil is it may result in unwanted growth of hair in other parts of the body as well,is it true. Is there any other alternative to minoxidil or any other therapy/treatment which gives a permanent solution unlike minoxidil which would have to be used indefinitely.
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 32 minutes later
Brief Answer: Minoxidil is Approved for Hair thinning in males Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX. The vertex and crown are the areas most affected by thinning. So it is recommended to apply minoxidil on the whole affected area i.e the vertex and crown(the center of scalp) It acts locally to the area applied. I can understand your concern about unwanted hair growth on other areas of the body but that only happens if you use it on those areas OR if you use more than the recommended amount i.e 1 ml per application. This side effect is more of a problem in females who can develop facial hair growth(hirsutism) if used in excess than that recommended. In females Minoxidil is usually prescribed as 2% solution precisely for the same reason whereas in males it is prescribed as 5% solution. Minoxidil and Finasteride are the only USFDA approved therapy for hair thinning in males. Their are many OTC products/so called natural products available which are claimed to be useful in hair thinning but their is no scientific evidence for effectiveness. Infact if they are effective, they would have been (and would be) adopted by the scientific community. regards Dr. kakkar
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