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Women with Hair Loss

Why Can't Women with Hair Loss Use Propecia (Finasteride) and Men's Rogaine (Minoxidil)?

Question:

Why can’t women use Propecia? Also, since the Rogaine for men is stronger, why can’t women use it? I have male pattern baldness and I’m losing clumps of hair daily!

Answer:

Excellent question! Women are cautioned against handling crushed or broken Propecia tablets when they are pregnant or may potentially be pregnant "because of the possibility of absorption of finasteride and the subsequent potential risk to a male fetus". Of course, it goes without saying that ingesting the medication would likely carry an even higher risk.

Some doctors will prescribe finasteride for women with hair loss if they are post-menopausal or certain that pregnancy is not a possibility. 

The good news is that men's 5% Rogaine (minoxidil) is perfectly safe for use by women and many hair restoration physicians recommend it for their balding female patients. However, keep in mind that the higher concentration of minoxidil presents a higher risk of side effects. Of particular concern to females is the risk of increased facial hair growth.

Side effects from Rogaine are generally mild and will subside upon discontinuation of the drug. But, it is always a good idea to consult with your physician before starting any medical hair loss treatment.

David (TakingThePlunge)

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator