Hair Loss Medications: Where to Get, Effectiveness, and Side Effects

Dealing with hair loss may be aggravating regardless of age or gender. There are several hair loss products on the market, which might add to the confusion. Furthermore, seeing a dermatologist or hair loss expert might be costly. Fortunately, there are several forms of hair loss, and treatment choices may change appropriately.

Male and female pattern hair loss medications are available. Many are intended to either reduce hair loss or encourage new hair growth. To help you narrow down your options, we’ll go through the finest treatments for hair loss, as well as their effectiveness and negative effects.

You’ll note that the terminology used to discuss statistics and other data points is quite binary, alternating between “male” and “female” or “men” and “women.” Although we normally avoid such terminology, specificity is essential when reporting on study participants and clinical outcomes. Unfortunately, the studies and surveys cited in this article did not include or provide data on transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless individuals.

Medication for hair loss

Oral tablets and topical formulations are the two types of hair loss treatments. They consist of both prescription and over-the-counter medications.


When you think of hair loss medicines, you might think of the brand name Rogaine. Rogaine’s key component is minoxidil, an over-the-counter nonprescription hair loss medicine.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized minoxidil as a therapy for androgenic alopecia and female pattern hair loss. However, it is used off-label for a number of hair loss issues. A 2022 research found that a 5% concentration of minoxidil might increase hair regeneration in individuals with androgenic alopecia. While Rogaine is a well-known and widely used brand of minoxidil, it is not the only alternative. Minoxidil is offered in a range of over-the-counter topically administered hair loss remedies.

Minoxidil formulations are generally liquids, foams, and shampoos. Minoxidil was treated to totally dry hair in experiments. Most manufacturers recommend using it on dry or towel-dried hair. Results might take at least four months.


Finasteride is a male hair loss medicine. It’s an oral prescription medication. It’s also available in a few prescription topically administered medicines. This drug for hair loss can be used to treat androgenic alopecia and male pattern hair loss. According to a 2018 study, finasteride can be used to decrease hair loss and encourage new hair growth in males.


Some hair loss treatments are really drugs for other medical disorders. Spironolactone is a diuretic medication meant to treat high blood pressure, however, it can also be taken off-label to cure female hair loss. It is a prescription medication that is administered orally. Aldactone is a brand of spironolactone medicine, however, generic equivalents are also available. Spironolactone is used particularly for women to treat hair loss since it targets certain hormones.

A 2013 review examined spironolactone as a treatment for female pattern hair loss. According to research, it is an excellent medication for minimizing hair loss, especially when taken with minoxidil.


Dutasteride is a prescription medicine that is taken orally and is used to treat enlarged prostate in males. It may also be used to treat males with androgenic alopecia. According to a 2019 evaluation, it is more effective than finasteride and has comparable side effects. Because it operates similarly to finasteride, it should not be used by women.

How do hair loss treatments function?

Hair loss drugs may reduce hair loss or stimulate new hair growth. Topical and oral products function differently.

  • Minoxidil. This medicine works in part by reducing the resting period of the hair development cycle and accelerating hair growth. However, the precise method via which minoxidil acts is yet unknown.
  • Finasteride. This medicine works by inhibiting the action of an enzyme that transforms testosterone into the hormone dihydrotestosterone, which causes male hair loss.
  • Spironolactone. This medicine works by slowing down androgens, which are male hormones that include testosterone. It decreases hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia and promotes hair regeneration in women.
  • Dutasteride. This medicine operates similarly to finasteride. It inhibits the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

Hair loss medication side effects

There may be negative effects or probable interactions while using topical products or taking oral drugs. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about particular side effects or want to know if you can combine a hair loss treatment with other medications.

The following are possible side effects of topical hair loss therapies such as minoxidil:

Hair loss drugs for males, such as finasteride and dutasteride, might cause sexual health adverse effects, such as:

  • low sex drive
  • trouble getting an erection and ejaculating
  • increased breast size

Spironolactone side effects may include:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea
  • headache

Spironolactone has also been linked to developmental problems in fetuses. Avoid becoming pregnant while on it. Notify your doctor or pharmacist right away if you develop any adverse effects while taking hair loss drugs.

Where can I get hair loss medication?

Minoxidil-based hair loss treatments are the most widely available. Rogaine and other similar brands are commonly accessible over the counter at pharmacies and internet shops. Prescription medications used to treat hair loss, such as finasteride, spironolactone, and dutasteride, are becoming more widely available thanks to subscription-based healthcare platforms such as Hims, Keeps, and Roman.


Hims minoxidil spray

Hims is a telemedicine startup that provides treatments for a number of medical issues, including male hair loss.  Anyone may acquire over-the-counter products such as minoxidil foams and solutions.

If you’re looking for prescription-strength medicines like oral finasteride, Hims can link you with a healthcare practitioner from the comfort of your own home.


The price of Hims varies greatly. A three-month supply of their most popular hair loss treatments costs $195.


Keeps minoxidil solutionKeeps work on a subscription approach to provide hair loss remedies to your door. They provide prescriptions for oral finasteride as well as topical ketoconazole, an antifungal medicine used to treat hair loss.

Keeps products range in price from $30 to $120 for a three-month supply. Typically, the first three months are deducted. Your first session is free, and subsequent annual consultations are $5 each.



Roman minoxidil topical solutionRoman is a telemedicine firm that treats men’s health issues such as erectile dysfunction and hair loss. Finasteride and minoxidil products start at $20 and $16 per month, respectively, in their hair loss offers.

You’ll have immediate access to a team of healthcare specialists for therapies that require a prescription.



Other hair loss remedies

Some at-home remedies and lifestyle modifications may aid in reducing hair loss. Certain vitamins and supplements might be beneficial. Vitamins A, C, B vitamins, and D are all essential to hair health. Iron and zinc may also help to prevent hair loss.

A high protein diet may be advised. Because hair is formed of protein, having adequate protein in your diet is essential for hair development. Laser devices and micro-needling are two more expert therapies. Although steroid injections, hair transplants, and platelet-rich plasma procedures are more typical treatments for inflammatory hair loss, they may be worth considering.

When to See a Doctor

If you observe sudden hair loss, see a doctor right once. Contacting a doctor as soon as you notice the first indications of hair loss may lead to an early diagnosis. You can then begin the suggested course of therapy before your hair loss worsens.

Commonly Asked Questions

What treatments would a dermatologist recommend for hair loss?

A dermatologist may advise you to use topical minoxidil, which is also available without a prescription. For men, a doctor may also prescribe oral finasteride. These drugs are FDA-approved for some hair loss problems. Other prescription drugs may be offered as an off-label usage for hair loss.

Can biotin improve hair loss?

Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a supplement that is often taken for hair, skin, and nails. Biotin may help enhance hair thickness and overall hair quality.

Which vitamin and mineral deficits can cause hair loss?

Hair loss may be a side effect of several dietary deficits. Low amounts of vitamin D, selenium, zinc, and iron may cause hair loss. Over-supplementation of some nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium, may also cause hair loss.


Your look, and consequently your hair, maybe a source of confidence. When you detect the indicators of hair loss, your confidence may weaken. If you’re experiencing hair loss, you’re not alone. Several individuals have hair loss at some time in their life, and there are many treatments available. Medications have been proved to be an effective therapy choice for hair loss. Many are easy to discover through internet telemedicine services.

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