Discussion of anti-androgen therapy for female pattern baldness

Hair Structure
Female Pattern Baldness
Localized Hair Loss
Sudden Hair Loss
Causes of Baldness
Role of Heredity
Role of Androgens
Psychological Aspects
Treatment of Baldness
Selection of a Clinic
Anti-androgen Therapy
Hair Transplantation
Follicular Hair Transplant

Home >> Anti-androgen Therapy in Female Pattern Baldness

Female pattern baldness is an embarrassing condition for a woman. In this case a qualified and experienced physician should be contacted. The physician normally suggests some medication to stop hair fall and stimulate hair growth or some hair restoration surgery like hair transplantation or follicular unit transplantation.

In the case of female pattern baldness usually anti-androgen therapy is prescribed. The therapy with Systemic Androgen Receptor Protein (ARP) inhibitors is useful in this case.

Anti-androgens are useful in the case of female pattern baldness since they tend to decrease both testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. They stimulate hair re-growth in women.

One anti-androgen medicine is cyproterone acetate, which is also used in the case of hirsutism and acne. It is seen that it has effect on the stabilization of hair loss but there is no proof of its role in the re-growth of hair. A physician normally suggests 50 to 100 mg per day to be taken from 5th to 14th day of the menstrual cycle with the combination of a contraceptive pill to regulate menstrual cycles and pregnancy. The side effects of cyproterone acetate include depression, nausea, bodyweight gain and loss of libido. It is normally prescribed for women past their child-bearing age since it can have some adverse impact on women who become pregnant some days after its use.

Another prominent anti-androgen is spironolactone. It is an aldosterone antagonist and has a mild antiandrogenic effect. It is most effective in the case of hirsutism and is less effective in the case of female pattern baldness. It is taken in the dosage of 200 mg per day. It hardly helps in hair re-growth but is helpful in stopping hair fall.

Spironolactone has some side effects like menstrual irregularity. It can also result in increase in serum potassium levels. It should not be used by a pregnant woman since it can feminize a male fetus.

Tretinoin is another anti-androgen medicine. It is a biologic response modifier and regulates epithelial cell growth and differentiation. It stimulates the growth of suboptimal hairs and also helps in producing more dense hair regrowth in women.

It is seen that tretinoin is also helpful in hair growth in men if used in a generic powder form with a combination solution of 0.025% tretinoin and 0.5% minoxidil for 1 to 2 years. It is interesting to know that tretinoin and minoxidil are incompatible if compounded in the same solution. The two medicines should be made into a solution using generic powder form or they should be used separately.