Spironolactone is a diuretic (makes you urinate more) and an antiandrogen .. ie. it inhibits the effect of the male sex hormones. A derivative of testosterone is what shuts down genetically prone male hair follicles to create male pattern baldness, and there’s some evidence that the same effect happens in women in some instances of female hair loss although female hair loss is more complex.
Some sell Spironolactone as a hair loss treatment, but we feel its efficacy is not proven and there are better treatments that have been shown to work. The key one Propecia is, however, not approved for women (but Minoxidil is).
A new trial at Melbourne’s St Vincent hospital aims to discover the efficacy of Spironolactone as a female hair loss treatment. Around 80 women suffering hair loss are being sought, half of which will take a placebo.
We don’t hold out a lot of hope for a good outcome, not least because there appear to be significant potential side effects, but we’ll keep watch for the results.