Novel agents for the treatment of alopecia

    Marty E. Sawaya
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    TLDR New treatments for hair loss show promise, especially finasteride for men and a stronger minoxidil formula.
    In 1998, the treatment options for androgenetic alopecia (AGA) were enhanced with the U.S. approval of Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine Extra Strength 5% (minoxidil). The paper reviewed these new products, other promising compounds in clinical trials, and over-the-counter treatments, while discussing the biological pathways involved in AGA. Finasteride, which inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT, was approved for use in men and showed effectiveness in increasing hair count and patient satisfaction, although its effects in women were still under investigation. Minoxidil had been in use for over a decade, with the new 5% version showing modest hair growth improvements. Other compounds like GI198745 and lamin (prezatide copper), as well as over-the-counter remedies, were also explored, but their efficacy was less certain. The paper stressed the importance of managing patient expectations and providing information on the efficacy and testing status of alopecia treatments.
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