How effective is spironolactone for hair loss?

Spironolactone cannot be used to cause hair growth.

Using spironolactone for hair loss can be somewhat effective, but only when the drug is prepared in a 5% cream solution. The dosage one would have to take in pill form would greatly increase the risk of side effects such as hyperkalemia. This medication is typically used to treat patients with hyperaldosteronism, low potassium, or edema.

Spironolactone is a diuretic and has a long list of accompanying side effects. It can cause drowsiness, nausea, rashes, headaches and jaundice. There are also other possible side effects, and this makes using standard spironolactone for hair loss problematic. Spironolactone, however, is considered an anti-androgen, meaning it can actually reduce hair loss.

Smoking, which reduces circulation to the extremities and pollutes the blood, can cause hair loss.

Androgens are hormones directly responsible for the rate of hair growth. There are many different types of androgens, and scientists found that when androgens were present around hair follicles, they were weaker. Eventually, they identified the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as the one responsible for male pattern baldness and the one that is linked to hair loss. Antiandrogens must target specific androgens to be effective. As a treatment, spironolactone for hair loss works as it is identified as an anti-androgen.

The androgen DHT is responsible for male pattern baldness.

The only thing that prevents spironolactone from being an effective hair loss treatment is the fact that the pill dosage required to significantly reduce DHT levels would cause adverse effects. The solution to this problem has been the use of a cream version. The concentration of the drug is only 5% in the preparation, known as topical spironolactone, and has been shown to produce local effects on the amount of DHT present in subjects.

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People suffering from hypothyroidism may experience hair loss.

Even though the cream can be used to potentially stop hair loss, the treatment cannot be used to cause hair growth. Also, when using topical spironolactone for hair loss, medical professionals may suggest combining it with a more effective anti-androgen such as finasteride. The effectiveness of spironolactone can vary from person to person, and it is advisable to speak with a medical professional before undergoing any treatment. Preliminary results did not, however, find any side effects from using topical spironolactone cream.

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