Minoxidil topical solution is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat pattern baldness and hair loss. Pregnant or nursing women should not use Minoxidil.
According to clinical studies by Pharmacia & Upjohn, minoxidil yields better results on those who are younger and who have had recent hair loss (less than 10 years). The most treatable bald spots are 4 inches in diameter or smaller, but still with small amounts of fine hair growth.
In a double-blind, peer-reviewed study that involved 300 men over a 48 week period over 44% of the men regrew hair. The men who were most likely to regrow hair:
* Had been experiencing hair loss for less than 10 years.
* Had a balding area that was less than 4 inches across.
* Had more hairs in the center of the balding area.
Patients that use minoxidil have noticed a decrease in hair shedding. Physicians are unsure if the long term positive results of Rogaine are the result of more hairs being grown or fewer hairs lost. What they do agree upon is that Rogaine works best if you still have hair left and is less effective if your baldness is more advanced.
One disadvantage of using minoxidil is that the patient must use it for life or else any regrown hairs will fall out. The FDA points out that only those individuals who experience hair loss on the crown (as opposed to the front of the scalp) will see regrowth.
Male users should detect hair regrowth within eight months, female users within 12 months. Using minoxidil more than twice a day will not make hair grow faster. In addition, it will increase the risk of systemic absorption.
Do not use minoxidil if you have any of these systemic effects: chest pain, rapid heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, sudden unexplained weight gain, or swelling of the extremities. If any of the above symptoms occur, call your doctor. Oral minoxidil is used to treat high blood pressure and is only available by prescription. Topical minoxidil is not absorbed in the same way that oral minoxidil is, however anyone with a heart problem should use topical minoxidil only under the supervision of a physician.
Any breakage of the skin will cause Rogaine and Minoxidil to be absorbed in the system more rapidly. So do not use this product if the scalp is inflamed, infected, painful or irritated. Also scalp abrasions, psoriasis, or even sunburn may increase the absorption. Speak to your doctor is any of these conditions apply. Minoxidil is for use on the scalp only.
Using Minoxidil has not been shown to have any effect on eyebrow, chest, back, beard, or any other hair growth.
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