Clinical Trials and Hair Loss

    January 2019 in “Elsevier eBooks
    Jose A. Jaller, Flor Macquhae, Anna J. Nichols
    TLDR Many treatments for hair loss show potential, but more testing is needed to confirm their effectiveness. Only minoxidil for women and minoxidil and finasteride for men are FDA approved.
    In 2018, over 150 trials were conducted to understand and develop better treatments for hair loss, a condition affecting two-thirds of American men by the age of 35 and 85% by the age of 50. The global alopecia market was valued at over $7.3 billion in 2015. Despite the high demand, there was little high-quality evidence supporting the effectiveness of available treatments. The FDA had only approved minoxidil for women and minoxidil and finasteride for men for androgenetic alopecia. Other therapies were used off-label. Treatments like immunomodulators, spironolactone, prostaglandin agonists, microneedling combined with minoxidil, low-level laser light therapy, and dietary supplements showed varying degrees of potential, but well-designed clinical trials were needed to confirm their efficacy. The document also detailed the FDA approval process for new drugs and devices, emphasizing the rigorous testing and low approval rates.
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