Can Minoxidil Pills Treat Hair Loss?


Thinning hair is a fact of life for most men and many women as they age — over 80 percent of men, and just under 50 percent of women, will experience hair loss, according to NYU Langone Health. Many people turn to topical treatments like creams, shampoos, oils, and gels that promise to regrow hair or stop the problem from getting worse.

These treatments typically contain minoxidil, and they may be referred to as topical minoxidil more broadly.

Minoxidil is an ingredient that has been used for decades and is generally considered safe and well tolerated. But its efficacy is variable, says Sandeep Sattur, MD, a hair restoration surgeon at the HairRevive Centre for Hair Restoration and Skin Rejuvenation in Mumbai, India. Also, this form of minoxidil can come with some unpleasant side effects, among other downsides.

Now, for potentially better treatment, some dermatologists are now prescribing minoxidil orally to address hair loss. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved these pills for hair loss, doctors are free to prescribe oral minoxidil for this off-label use. Here’s what you need to know if you or a loved one is facing hair loss and is curious about whether minoxidil could be an option.

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