FDA Approved Treatments

FDA approved treatments are prescribed more often than natural or holistic remedies. Two of the main treatments approved by the FDA are Rogaine (Minoxidil) and Propecia (Finasteride.)

To become an FDA approved drug, medicines must go through a lengthy process of applications, clinical trials, and testing. This lengthy process can take many years to complete, and is extremely expensive. Larger drug companies can recoup their financial losses from the FDA approval process through drug sales, however smaller companies would simply go bankrupt if they went through this process. The FDA approves drugs for prescription and non-prescription use.

The makers of Rogaine were financially stable enough to handle the expenses to become an FDA approved treatment.

The FDA approved Rogaine for prescription status for the treatment of hair loss in 1988. However, approval was for the use by men and not for women. Rogaine contains Minoxidil (5% for men, 2% for women). Rogaine (as it is known in the United States, and Regaine in the rest of the world) became an over the counter topical medication in 1996.

Minoxidil was originally for use of lowering high blood pressure, but an interesting side effect was it also stimulated hair growth. Once you start using Minoxidil, you cannot stop or hair loss will resume. One of the side effects of Minoxidil is an itchy scalp. In some small, rare cases, it can cause hair loss. Other side effects include very low blood pressure, headaches, irregular or fast heartbeat, acne at the site of application, blurred vision, and chest pains. If you experience any one of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

Propecia (Finasteride) applied for FDA approval in April 1997. The FDA approved Propecia in December 1997 for use by both men and women. Marketed under several names including Proscar, Finasteride is an antiandrogen, which is required for treating androgenetic alopecia. This medication is one of many hair loss treatments that are oral medication.

The two major potential side effects are erectile dysfunction and breast gland enlargement. However, only less than 1% of users experienced these side effects. Pregnant women or women who are potentially pregnant should not handle this medication as it can cause birth defects. This medication can be absorbed through the skin.

Whichever medication you choose, ensure you do the proper research on it. These FDA approved treatments may not be suitable for you. If they are not, natural or herbal treatments should be looked at.