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Over-the-Counter Treatments for Hair Loss
By Staff Writer

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Hair Loss TreatmentsHair loss is generally a hereditary condition caused by an excess of hormones called androgens. Some medications or medical conditions can also cause hair loss. Minoxidil (brand name Rogaine®) is the only over-the-counter drug approved to treat hereditary hair loss. It's available in 2% and 5% liquid solutions that are applied directly to the scalp. Rogaine works for both male and female-pattern baldness. To use, apply it to the affected area twice daily. Medical research studies have shown that 40-75% of men who used Rogaine for 12 months reported new hair growth. Among women who used it for eight months, 46-60% percent grew new hair. The most common side effects of Rogaine are itching and skin irritation. Pregnant or nursing women should not use Rogaine. People under 18 should not use this product unless directed by a doctor. If you don't have a family history of hair loss, or if your hair loss is patchy or sudden, check with your doctor before trying Rogaine.

Sources: Micromedex® Healthcare Series. Thomson Micromedex, Inc., 2007.Rogaine product information, Pfizer Inc., 2007Price, V. "Drug Therapy: Treatment of Hair Loss," New England Journal of Medicine. 341(1999).Diseases and Conditions, “Hair loss.” http://www.mayoclinic.com. Mayo Clinic Health. Last accessed 1/11/2007.This answer prepared 3/16/2001.This information updated 1/11/2007.

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