In the late 1980s (more precisely, in 1988), a drug under the brand name Rogaine® was approved and released.

The primary active substance of this drug is minoxidil, which is actively involved in the process of hair restoration.

Composition and dosage

In Rogaine®, minoxidil is contained in different concentrations. Its indicator depends on the form of release. Two percent of the drug is usually recommended for use in women, while 5% is recommended for use in men or people with high fatty epidermis on the head and/or with neglected stages of alopecia.

Indications

Rogaine® is mainly prescribed for the treatment of male-pattern hair loss when a certain hormonal balance in the body is broken.

Alopecia of this kind is divided into two subspecies according to the factors of occurrence, as follows:

  • Androgenetic, which develops due to hereditary predisposition
  • Androgenic, which is the acquired form

In the case of other types of alopecia (e.g., symptomatic, focal diffuse on a background of stress, anemia), this drug may not yield a result. In such cases, Rogaine® is sometimes prescribed only as an auxiliary stimulating hair growth agent.

Pharmacological effect

Minoxidil penetrates into the follicles through the skin pores and suppresses the pathological synthesis of dihydrotestosterone, which is formed due to the impact of 5-alpha-reductase enzymes on testosterone. That is, Rogaine® effectively neutralizes this harmful hormone affecting the hair, thereby lowering its excess level in the bulbs.

Forms of release

Lotion 2%

The agent in this form is represented by a 2% solution. It contains 20 mg of minoxidil. Due to the minimum concentration of active substance in this form, this medication usually prescribed for women in the initial or middle stages of alopecia. Men can generally only use the 2% lotion in the primary forms of alopecia.

Lotion 5%

The concentration of minoxidil in this product is 50 mg. As compared with the 2% solution, this concentration of the medicine is more effective, yielding visible results in a relatively short period of time. Rogaine® 5% typically shows its effectiveness in the first months of use. Women are not allowed to use this medication because their skin is more tender.

Foam 5%

This form of release contains 50 mg of minoxidil and is sold in two versions. Men’s Rogaine® Foam is for men, while Women’s Rogaine® Foam is for women. Unlike lotions, the foam does not contain propylene glycol, so it leaves no residue when used.

Contraindications and side effects

Hair regrowth medications do not suit all people. Minoxidil enters the systemic circulation and is excreted in human milk. Therefore, the drug cannot be used during pregnancy and lactation. Its use also has age restrictions, specifically those under the age of 18 years and over the age of 65 years should not use it.

Also, Rogaine® is contraindicated in patients with kidney failure and/or other severe kidney diseases, those with visible damage to the scalp, those with cardiovascular diseases, those with neoplasms, and those with allergies to the medication components.

Many people who use the drug also note a side effect in the form of even more hair loss. In the first two to three weeks of use, this phenomenon actually intensifies. The fact that this is possible is written in the instructions.

In the course of treatment with Rogaine®, the scalp may present other side effects such as contact dermatitis and itching at the site of application, seborrhea and dryness of the scalp, rash and redness of the skin, failures of arterial pressure, local and general edema, dyspnea, dizziness, and arrhythmia.

The occurrence of these effects is often due to the choice of an inappropriate concentration of the drug; however, individual intolerance may also cause such.

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