This hair growth drug is more effective when taken orally
Dr. Rodney Sinclair, a professor of dermatology at the University of Melbourne, claims to have actually regenerated a patient's hair, telling her to take Rogaine (minoxidil) orally.
Prof. Sinclair prescribed Rogaine (along with Minoxidil as an active substance) to a patient for hair thinning twenty years ago. Later, she became allergic to it when she applied it to her scalp, however, she could not stop using it because her hair would have thinned again.
With a view to overcoming the dilemma, Prof. Sinclair provided the patient with very low doses of Rogaine in the form of an oral pill.
He stated, The patient was highly motivated, and the only thing we knew was that a patient had an allergy to topically applied for medicine, one way of desensitizing is very low oral doses.
As a result, Prof. Sinclair observed a hair regrowth in her, and this did not affect her blood pressure (a common Rogaine side effect). It is noteworthy that the original purpose of the medication was to treat patients with high blood pressure.
Prof Sinclair progressively reduced the dose until it was a fortieth of the pill. At one point, he started prescribing the drug to patients on a regular basis. The first patient continues to take this pill.
Moreover, at a meeting in Miami in 2015, he revealed that small doses of minoxidil caused the hair growth of 100 successive women.
He released these findings in 2017 and noted that further studies were needed, with one group of patients receiving minoxidil and another group receiving a sugar pill.
More than 10,000 Patients Treated
However, the study was never conducted, even though the professor claims to have treated more than 10,000 patients to date. Moreover, a growing number of hair loss dermatologists prescribe the pill at low doses to their patients, including men and women.
Dr. Crystal Aguh, the dermatologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said, “It is only now beginning to see an increase in popularity,” adding, “More and more conferences, we share our achievements”.
She added that physicians who are not specialists in hair loss would not be familiar with the oral form of minoxidil, except in rare cases of treating high blood pressure. She also said that the drug comes with a warning that it could cause heart problems, however, it is only for significantly higher doses.
Not working for everyone
She also explained that the drug will not work on individuals who are completely bald with a shiny scalp, as there is nothing to regenerate, adding that the ideal patient should have visible hair.
The use of minoxidil pills for hair loss continues to be off-label without a complete trial that ends with FDA approval. In the meantime, dermatologists say this is likely to happen.
Dr. Brett King, a dermatologist at the Yale School of Medicine, claimed that oral minoxidil costs only a few cents a day.
He further said, There is no incentive to spend tens of millions of dollars testing it as part of a clinical trial. This survey will never be conducted.
Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine, a lotion or spray that is applied directly to the scalp. Originally it was approved for men in 1988 and women in 1992. Meanwhile, its use as a hair regrowth drug was discovered decades ago when high doses of this drug were used for treating high blood pressure and patients noticed an accelerated regrowth of hair throughout the body as a side effect.
Finally, the manufacturers launched its topical form, Rogaine, and obtained its approval as a hair regrowth remedy.