Just weeks after a story emerged from India that drinking fresh cow’s urine could help cure hair loss, a second, rather more plausible suggestion has emerged from another part of the country. Researchers at IIT-Kharagpur claim to have developed a new drug to act as a long-term male contraceptive which has some interesting side effects, including hair regrowth.
Professor Trust Sujoy K. Guha, who leads the research team developing the drug claims it is a true breakthrough in the field of medicine. The chemical compound developed by his team actually manufactures a ‘nano drug’ inside which provides the intended contraceptive effect, helping reduce or inhibit semen production for up to ten years.
The new drug, currently code named ‘Risugadv’ was developed with funding by the Indian ministry of Health and Family Welfare as part of their Indian Council of Medical Research Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG) project. Initial work on Risugadv began as far back as 1971.
Professor Guha has so far failed to explain exactly how Risugadv helps regrow hair, but believes that the treatment also successfully prevents hair loss and baldness in the first place. The drug is moving into the last leg of clinical trials and is scheduled for a ‘restricted, monitored release’ later this year.
Other claimed beneficial side effects of Risugadv include prevention of prostate cancer and managing prostrate enlargement.
Risugadv is administered via injection directly into the vas deferens (part of the testicles) following the application of a local anaesthetic. Guha is keen to point out that the administration of the medication is painless and that men should be able to leave the administering clinic or hospital on the same day.
Before being used as a treatment, Risugadv will need to successfully complete clinical trials in India, and later in the USA and the UK if it is to be used for men here. As such it could still be some years before Risugadv is widely available. And being that Risugadv is classified as a contraceptive, there is likely to be some question as to whether this new nano drug is suitable for prescription to men seeking help with hair loss.
In the long term, once Guha’s drug is opened to wider scrutiny, researchers may be able to analyse its chemical composition and isolate the compounds responsible for the hair regrowth observed in the trial’s participants. This finding may open up a new avenue of exploration for researchers to develop new drugs specifically to act as hair loss treatments.
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