Alternatives to Minoxidil for Women

As has been mentioned above, many of the chemical treatments that are on the market are deemed unsuitable for women to use, at least while pregnant. Further added to this many doctors are unwilling to prescribe Minoxidil at all. Part of the problem is that doctors are unwilling to prescribe a treatment that is systemic (affects a certain part of the body), unless they are completely sure that what they are treating is Androcentric Alopecia. However, fortunately, a number of other medications have been discovered that have similar properties to Finasteride; though in most cases the effects are less potent.

Cimetidine for Women

The first, Cimetidine, is a histamine blocker and is used as a treatment for gastrointestinal ulcers. However, while being a powerful treatment for ulcers, it is also known to be a good dihydrotestosterone blocker and therefore has the potential to be a treatment for hair loss. That Cimetidine has already been used to treat hirsute women suggests that it may have a potent effect on hair. Any men reading this should be aware that you shouldn't take this because of any potential feminising effects this drug may have.

Spironolactone for Women

The second alternative is Spironolactone. You should be aware though that in America, at least, it has not been approved for use on hair loss and that though it is used as a hair loss treatment, it is strictly 'off label' meaning that it is not recommended. Sprionolactone also works through being a dihydrotestosterone blocker, similar to Propecia, though unlike Propecia, Sprionolactone works by not only prohibiting the creation of dihyrdotestosterone, but by also blocking it from binding to the hair follicles. It is generally thought that the side effects of Spironolactone are less severe than those of Propecia, and therefore a safer alternative for women. However, like all the medications that have been described in this article, Sprionolactone requires patience to work and, rather than restoring large amounts of hair, is better used instead to keep the hair that you already have and to re-grow back small amounts.

Cyproterone Acetate for Women

Cyproterone Acetate is a further alternative that can be looked at. Originally developed as a treatment for men with too high a sex drive, it has been used to treat both hirsute women and androcentric alopeica. Like the two other alternatives above, Cyproterone Acetate works through blocking the dihyrdotestosterone, and thus allowing the hair follicles to grow to their maximum thickness. However, and this is a big problem, it is seen as a last resort because of its toxicity and side effects which can be long term. As a result, it is not available on prescription in America or the UK for hair loss and thus the best advice is that you should not use this as a treatment for androcentric alopecia. However, mixed with Ethinyloestradiol and sold under the name Diane 35 and Diane 50, Cyproterone Acetate is sold in Europe and is used as a treatment for Androcentric Alopecia. When used in this way, it is thought to be even more effective at stopping hair loss than Spironolactone.

Ketoconazole for Women

The final alternative is Ketoconazole which is an anti-fungal treatment, though it also has an effect on Androcentric Alopecia through blocking the testosterone, which stops it from turning into dihydrotestosterone. Since this was discovered it has been used to treat male pattern baldness, and thus comes in a 1% shampoo which is available over the counter, and a 2% shampoo which is available through prescription. However, it is better if used in conjunction with other medication for hair loss, though it has the advantage of having very few and minor side effects which makes it relatively safe to use.

We can see that there are a number of alternatives to Minoxidil that are specifically for women. All of them work through blocking the hormones testosterone or dihydrotestosterone, and therefore can be seen to have an effect on Androcentic Alopecia. However, you need to be aware that most of them are not approved to be used for hair loss and you do so you need to be aware of the effects and possible problems that may occur.

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