Female Hair Loss Treated with Finasteride and Contraceptive

Susan Farley
Published Online: Saturday, July 1, 2006

A study from the University of Bologna, Italy, showed that the combination of finasteride and an oral contraceptive deters hair loss in women. Finasteride is a medication used to treat male hair loss, and, because it is known to cause birth defects, a concomitant oral contraceptive is necessary. Researchers chose to use a contraceptive that reduces the levels of male hormones that may contribute to hair loss. Thirty-seven women, aged 19 to 50 years, were given 2.5 mg of finasteride to be taken with the oral contraceptive for 1 year. Hair density was assessed at the beginning of the study and after patients had been taking the drug combination for 1 year. After a year, 23 of the women showed improvements in hair density as determined by photographs; 13 patients did not improve; and 1 patient's condition got worse. In a patient questionnaire, 29 patients reported improvements; 8 reported that their hair loss had stabilized; and none reported a worsened condition. No adverse effects were reported. The results of this study, which were published in the March 2006 issue of Archives of Dermatology, indicate the need for further research to determine the optimal dosage and mode of administration of finasteride in premenopausal women.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.

Latest Articles
Donnie Calhoun, RPh, PD, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation vice president, discusses how pharmacists can prepare themselves and their business before, during, and after a disaster.
Ken Whittemore Jr, Surescript's senior vice president of professional and regulatory affairs, talks about some new transactions available that can help pharmacists.
In case you got caught up in the Thanksgiving holiday rush, here are the top trending stories you may have missed in November:
Bryan Ziegler, PharmD, executive director of Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center, provides some resources for community pharmacists to use when implementing new collaborative services with primary care providers.
Latest Issues