Minoxidil 2% Topical Treatment, the only prescription treatment of all hair loss treatments for women, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. Minoxidil was previously approved by the FDA as a hair loss treatment for men in 1988, first in a 2% formula, then in a 5% formula for men in 1997.
Minoxidil 2% Topical Treatment is approved for use in women who are 18 years or older who are suffering from mild to moderate hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia. Minoxidil was originally created as a drug to treat high blood pressure. When patients who took this medication (at that time, it was an oral medication only) began to notice new hair growth and the thickening of hair, it was determined that Minoxidil has the ability to stimulate hair growth in many patients.
Who Can Use Minoxidil
Minoxidil 2% Topical Treatment is applied topically, directly to the scalp. This medication has proven to be effective for many women, especially those who range in age from 18 to 45. In clinical studies of women 18 to 45 with hair loss that ranged from mild to moderate, 19% of women has moderate regrowth of hair. Another 40% of women in the studies experienced at least a minimum level of hair regrowth.
How the Treatment Works
The course of treatment with Minoxidil 2% Topical Treatment can range according to the patient. Twenty five drops of the treatment solution are used two times each day. The solution should be used evenly in areas that hair loss occurs, and it must be allowed to absorb into the scalp fully. Treatment results may be seen as early as four months, but generally it is necessary to use Minoxidil 2% Topical Treatment for about one year to 14 months before the full benefit of treatment can be seen.
While side effects are not seen in every patient, some patients may experience mild to severe side effects. Excessive hair growth in undesired areas, minor weight gain and nausea are some of the more commonly seen side effects in the small portion of users who do experience them. Serious side effects may include allergic reactions, breathing problems, vision problems, hearing problems and a rapid heart rate. Any side effects should be reported to a doctor immediately.
Long Term Use
Minoxidil 2% should be used for at least one year to get desired results. Although results may be achieved and some patients may feel tempted to stop using the treatment, this will result in hair loss again. To maintain the positive results that were achieved, it is necessary to continue taking the solution on a daily basis. Minoxidil is classified as a hair loss treatment rather than a hair loss cure, so it is not the type of medication that can be used for a short time only.