Purpose of Review
This review is aimed at elucidating the efficacy and safety of oral minoxidil (OM) for the treatment of hair loss (HL), especially androgenic alopecia (AGA), and at highlighting its future applications. A comprehensive review of the published literature concerning the management of various types of non-scarring HL was performed. The review focused on the therapeutic role of minoxidil (MNX) in HL for both sexes and various age groups.
Recent studies suggested the effectiveness of OM in the dose range of 0.625–2.5 mg daily and in male pattern hair loss (MPHL), with gradual increase up to 5 mg/day. Low-dose OM (LDOM) showed effectiveness in various types of HL in both sexes and in pediatric patients. OM was more advantageous than topical MNX because it was more convenient, cost-effective, and compliant with the application of adjuvant co‐therapy. Five α-reductase inhibitors offer an effective treatment for HL but are associated with male sexual dysfunction. Oral MNX surpassed 5α-reductase inhibitors regarding effectiveness in addition to its vasodilator effect, which improves male sexual function.
OM could be considered a convenient and safe therapy for various types of HL, specifically AGA. LDOM could be appropriate for pediatric age groups and patients intolerant to hypertrichosis. Since OM can improve erectile function, it is more convenient for male patients.