Scientists in Florida have announced their intention to conduct a double-blind clinical trial into the use of the MHRA licensed and FDA approved male hair loss drug finasteride 1mg on post-menopausal women with Androgenetic Alopecia.
Their goal is to recruit 50 women in the 60-plus age group who have been diagnosed with Female Pattern Hair Loss and split them into two groups. One will be treated with a mixed combination of 5% minoxidil and 200mg spironolactone for 12 months; the other will use 5mg finasteride. Some of this group will be treated with a placebo.
Higher dose than men
What makes the trial especially interesting is that the doctors will be using 5mg finasteride; this is five times the recommended and licensed/approved dose for men with Male Pattern Baldness, who can take daily finasteride 1mg oral tablets from the age of 18, if deemed medically suitable. Finasteride, however, is not currently recommended for women due to safety concerns such as the potential for foetal abnormalities in those who are or become pregnant.
Spironolactone is also being used in the Florida trial; this anti-androgen which inhibits the effect of the male sex hormones is sometimes sold as a hair loss treatment, though it is not widely considered to be the most effective product on the market.
“This is a very interesting development indeed,” says Belgravia senior hair loss specialist, Leonora Doclis. “The original trial used 1 mg for post-menopausal women and the results were not satisfactory or not as effective, hence it was not licensed. Using 5 mg may control the androgens more effectively in women, resulting in better hair growth.”
“This will be very useful for women if it turns out to be a success due to the fact that the only effective treatment available is minoxidil. A lot of women ask if they can take finasteride but it is not currently licensed for women. What we need as well is a trial for pre-menopausal women to see if finasteride could be effective in both instances.”
The trial is being conducted by The University of Florida whose team will use the Savin-Ludwig scales to determine hair growth (or loss) on participants at four, eight and 12-month intervals. The results are expected to be of significant interest to hair loss experts because of the fact that so many women lose their hair after going through the menopause. Some experts believe that as many as 40 per cent will shed some hair at this already difficult point in their life.
The reason thinning hair is so common when women pass through the menopause is because of the part that hormones play in hair health; at a time of major changes within the body, the normal growth of hair can often be interrupted. Hormonal changes are a key factor in sparking the temporary hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium which can then, in turn, trigger Female Pattern Hair Loss in women with a pre-existing hereditary disposition.
Women’s approach to treating hair loss
This can be used in appropriate formulations alongside supplementary hair growth supporting products which include FDA-cleared low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices to help stimulate the follicles, and targeted food supplements, such as Hair Vitalics for Women which feature a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals, including biotin, zinc and selenium to promote the maintenance of normal hair growth.
We will monitor this study and report back on its findings as soon as they become available. In the meantime please be advised that any female readers must not take finasteride for hair loss or any other reason unless prescribed by your GP or other medical professional, and men taking or starting finasteride 1mg for male pattern baldness must not increase their dosage.
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.