There is a new term popping up in the hair loss world, that may be throwing some patients and providers for a loop.
“Finoxidil” is a casual term that some hair loss doctors are using to describe compounded formulas that contain both Finasteride and Minoxidil together in the same product.
Finoxidil is not a new medication, or a brand name for this combination, but it is merely a playful way to describe a formula that contains both of these active ingredients together. Linguistically, it is a portmanteau of Finasteride and Minoxidil.
Below, we will delve into why this is a novel combination, review if this can help men with hair loss, and explain why this can be beneficial for men who want to avoid oral medications or simplify their regimen.
There are only two hair loss medications that are FDA-approved for male pattern hair loss; Minoxidil topical formulations, and Finasteride oral tablets.
Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine formulas, and is available over the counter at most drug stores and grocery stores. The exact mechanism behind how Minoxidil works to help improve hair thickness and growth is not fully known, but it may be in part to improved blood flow to the area, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles.
Finasteride is the active ingredient in the brand name hair loss medication, Propecia. Finasteride is a prescription-only medication, and the only current FDA-approved version is a 1mg tablet to be taken by mouth. Finasteride works by helping to keep DHT levels lowered, in order to reduce the follicle-damaging effects of this hormone. Finasteride’s main goal is to preserve your current hair, but some men may experience some regrowth while using Finasteride as well.
Clearly, these are pretty different medications, even though they are working towards the same goal of hair improvements. Since they have such diverse mechanisms, they tend to work pretty well together. It is common for hair loss doctors to recommend using them both together for male pattern hair loss.
Studies have shown that combining topical Minoxidil with oral Finasteride can lead to better hair results than either medication used alone. In one randomized study, 450 men were assigned to use 5% topical minoxidil, 1mg oral Finasteride, or both medications for 12 months. At the end of the study, 94.1% of the combination group showed improvement, as compared to only 80.5% of the Finasteride only group, and 59% of the Minoxidil only group.
The synergistic effects of combining both medications have been pretty well established. But, does this benefit still exist when using topical Finasteride with topical Minoxidil? We need more studies to be done to conclusively answer this question, but what we do have seems promising.
One study had men with androgenetic alopecia apply either 3% Minoxidil daily for 24 weeks, or 3% Minoxidil mixed with 0.25% Finasteride for that same time period. At the end of the study, the men were assessed for overall hair density, diameter, and overall photographic assessment. It turns out that the combination group was significantly superior to the Minoxidil-only group, and 90% of the Minoxidil + Finasteride users experienced moderate to marked hair improvements.
A benefit to patients of using a combination Finasteride + Minoxidil formula is that the regimen is simplified. In the past, if your doctor prescribed you 1mg Finasteride tablet daily, and then recommended that you also use Minoxidil, you have to figure out a regimen that works for your lifestyle and fits in 2 medications. Simplifying the regimen to one topical combination “Finoxidil” formula may help increase compliance, and make it easier to stick with your treatment.
Here at Strut Health, we offer a variety of hair loss medications to help you structure your hair loss treatment with your preferences in mind.
We carry oral Finasteride tablets if you prefer the oral medications, or we can also compound a topical Finasteride formula which includes Minoxidil. A topical formula may be a good option for someone who wants to use both medications but does not like taking tablets. We also offer topical hair loss medications for women containing Minoxidil + Spironolactone, or Dutasteride oral and topical for men.
You can have a free online consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors in order to see if a hair loss medication or combination formula is a good fit for you. If you are a good candidate for treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.