Question: I’ve been using Regaine for years but just the bottle I’m currently using is a year out of date. These things seem to last for ages so that’s not that long right? Does that mean it’s still ok to use? I noticed more hair loss in the past couple of months so could that be the reason? It normally works well for me. I’m 23 btw with general MPB, no fin. Thanks.
With specific regard to high strength minoxidil, the main reasons for not using this treatment when it is ‘out of date’ are:
- a higher risk of side effects (such as skin irritation)
- a lower chance of the drug being effective (after the expiry date the solution is likely to become increasingly weaker over time, so it may not work as well)
- an increased risk of hair fall resuming (if the solution is weaker than it should be, its effects may be less effective – or even completely ineffective – and the likelihood of hair loss resuming increases)
Specialist hair loss clinics, including the dedicated pharmacies here at Belgravia, tend to only dispense medications to patients in three-to-six month batches at a time so the drugs and appropriate expiry dates align and their treatment is always ‘in date’. When men, or women, choose to purchase ‘over the counter’ hair loss products such as Regaine, there is no such supervision.
This is why it is important to be cautious and always check the expiry or use-by dates when these solutions are on special offer, especially on bulk deals such as ‘3 for 2’.
Some people may see these offers as a good chance to stock up, however, this may not be the case. For example, if the expiry date is two months away, there is no point in buying three months worth – or more – as by the third month these additional supplies would be out of date before it was even time to open them.
Furthermore, you should only ever use the medication in the specified dosage, either once or twice per day as detailed on the accompanying patient information leaflet.
Therefore, the additional product should be disposed of as it cannot be used either more frequently nor can you use larger amounts than specified (this will not make the minoxidil work any better or faster and may lead to increase risk of adverse events) in order to use it up before it expires.
It may be the case that this is why your Regaine is so far out of date, or you may have simply found an old product you had forgotten about; alternatively, if you purchased this recently and it is already out of date, you should make the retailer aware so they can issue you with a refund or replace it with a suitably-dated product.
If you did not buy the Male Pattern Hair Loss product from a reputable vendor we recommend you are sure to do this in future; the UK’s MHRA body has increased its campaigns promoting awareness of the dangers of buying medication – including hair loss treatments – online or from unusual stockists.
There is a big problem with fake medication being sold online – often not actually being what it claims to be on the labels, as well as real medication which has either expired, is faulty or has spoiled due to incorrect storage.
It is likely the increased shedding and thinning hair you are seeing is the result of your treatment being ineffective, especially if you have not had any problems with it until now. We recommend restarting your treatment as quickly as possible with a replacement solution in order to get your hair back on track, though it may take three months for everything to properly right itself, due to the natural timing of the hair growth cycle.
One other issue worth considering is whether your additional hair fall is coming from the top of your scalp or from the whole head. If you are losing hair from all over, it is likely to be due to a separate, additional hair loss condition.
Telogen Effluvium is a temporary issue which disrupts normal hair growth. It generally takes around three months for the diffuse shedding to present so – as it is now June – think back to any particularly stressful life events or health problems that may have started, or peaked, around March time.
As Telogen Effluvium can be active simultaneously alongside Male Pattern Baldness, it can make your genetic hair loss appear worse; it should correct itself within approximately six months as long as the underlying trigger has been dealt with. There are also Telogen Effluvium treatment options, that can be combined with an appropriate Male Pattern Hair Loss treatment course by trained specialists, if desired.
Hopefully you will find your hair growth is back to normal within the next three to six months but, if you would like a professional hair loss consultation before then to determine the exact issue at play, this can be arranged via our website, whether for an in-person assessment at one of our Central London hair clinics, or for a remote Online Consultation.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.