Fast Five Quiz: Hair Loss (Alopecia)

William James, MD


August 01, 2022

Finasteride is given orally and is a 5-alpha reductase type 2 inhibitor. It is not an antiandrogen. The drug can be used only in men because it can produce ambiguous genitalia in a developing male fetus. Although it affects vertex balding more than frontal hair loss, the medication has been shown to increase regrowth in the frontal area as well. Finasteride must be continued indefinitely because discontinuation results in gradual progression of the disorder.

Minoxidil appears to lengthen the duration of the anagen phase, and it may increase the blood supply to the follicle. Regrowth is more pronounced at the vertex than in the frontal areas and is not noted for at least 4 months. Continuing topical treatment with the drug is necessary indefinitely because discontinuation of treatment produces a rapid reversion to the pretreatment balding pattern. In general, women respond better to topical minoxidil than men do.

Learn more about androgenetic alopecia treatment.

This Fast Five Quiz was excerpted and adapted from the Medscape article Telogen Effluvium, Alopecia Areata, and Androgenetic Alopecia.

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