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Treating Female Pattern Hair Loss

Are oral antihypertensives effective in stimulating hair growth for women with pattern hair loss? A study in the International Journal of Dermatology sought to determine the efficacy of minoxidil and spironolactone in treating female pattern hair loss.

Women newly diagnosed with a Sinclair stage 2-5 pattern hair loss were scored for hair shedding and hair density before and after one year of treatment with oral minoxidil 0.25mg and spironolactone 25mg.

One hundred women aged 18-80 were included in the observational pilot study. The mean hair loss severity at baseline was Sinclair 2.79 (range 2-5) and the mean hair shedding score at baseline was 4.82. Participants had suffered pattern hair loss for between six months and 30 years.

The average reduction is hair loss severity score was 2.3 after six months, and 1.3 after one year. Hair shedding reduced by an average score of 2.3 after six months and 2.6 after a year.

Side effects were seen in eight patients and included postural hypotension, hypertrichosis, and urticaria. Six of these women continued treatment, while the two women who developed urticaria discontinued treatment.

The study concluded that once daily capsules of minoxidil 0.25mg and spironolactone 25mg appear to be safe and effective in the treatment of female pattern hair loss, and that placebo-controlled studies are warranted to investigate this further.

Read more about managing hair loss.


Sinclair, R. D. (2018), Female pattern hair loss: a pilot study investigating combination therapy with low-dose oral minoxidil and spironolactone. International Journal of Dermatology. 57: 104–109. doi:10.1111/ijd.13838

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