Question: I'm still losing my hair even though I take Loniten oral minoxidil 5mg every day which I order online. What can I do to stop the hair loss and hopefully grow back some of the hair I've lost? I have MPB and am a Norwood 3.
Answer: Hi, Pat. You don't mention whereabouts you are based but, whilst minoxidil is one of the only two clinically-proven male hair loss treatments to be both MHRA licensed and FDA approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, it is only authorised for use topically in this regard.
Oral minoxidil is not an authorised hair loss medication in the UK, nor the USA. However, low dose oral therapy is sometimes recommended to patients who fail to respond to topically administered high strength minoxidil as a novel treatment under the guidance of medical professionals.
In such instances the dosage is generally set at 0.625mg per day - substantially lower than the amount you say you are taking.
Even then, at this low dose, it is still not suitable for some people, including those with heart or kidney problems, phaeochromocytoma or acute porphyria. Additionally oral minoxidil is unsuitable for use by men trying to start a family; this is not the case with topical formulations.
Even when taking such low-dose oral therapy, there are a number of lifestyle elements to be wary of, which are usually monitored by the medical team prescribing the drugs. These include minimising alcohol consumption to avoid significant lowering of blood pressure, monitoring caffeine consumption as high amounts from drinks or certain cold or flu medications may increase the risk of a rapid heart rate or palpitations.
Official prescription Loniten users are monitored during their usage, with pulse and blood pressure readings being regularly taken.
Topical minoxidil was developed as a superior hairloss treatment to oral minoxidil, which was discovered when used to treat high blood pressure where it was seen to encourage hair growth as a side effect in patients.
By administering the drug directly to the scalp it is absorbed precisely where it is needed, rather than entering the blood stream via the digestive system, then circulating in the hope of reaching the genetically-sensitive follicles along the top of the scalp. It also reduces the side effect profile of the drug.
We must caution that buying any medication or hair loss treatments online carries a number of risks, especially when self-medicating without proper professional assessment and guidance. Treatments for any condition should only ever be prescribed based upon an expert diagnosis that takes into account your full medical history.
Furthermore, as the MHRA has repeatedly warned, buying medications online is an especially risky business. The drugs could be counterfeit, out of date and repackaged, or stolen.
The consequences of taking medication that is not what it purports to be, and where it has not been prescribed and sold for a specific person and purpose by a reputable vendor - where treatment is first checked for contraindications against any existing medication or supplements being taken, or any existing health issues, including a family history of certain concerns - can have extremely serious consequences.
We cannot recommend strongly enough that you have consultations with experts, whether a hair loss specialist or dermatologist, to garner specialised advice, a confirmed diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations. It could be that your treatment is not working because it is not what it says it is, or that it is simply unsuitable for your level of hair loss which these consultations would help you to establish.
It is also worthwhile discussing your plans with a doctor such as your GP before ordering prescription medication online. As you do not have the on-going support of a dedicated treatment advisor, take every precaution possible to ensure what you are taking is genuine and as suitable and safe for you as possible.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic 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 from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.