Combining Propecia and Rogaine for hair loss
Both Propecia (Finateride) and Rogaine (Topical minoxidil) are the only FDA approved medications for treating hair loss. They work via different mechanisms. Which begs the questions: Is combining Propecia and Rogaine a good idea? There are many examples where physicians will allow the simultaneous use of both Finasteride and minoxidil topical for hair loss treatment for possible multiplier beneficial effect. Propecia is regarded as a “first line of defense” in the battle against male pattern baldness..
Between the two FDA approved hair loss medications, Finasteride is able to precisely target the main chemical pathway that contributes to genetic hair loss. This is the conversion of testosterone to DHT through an enzyme called alpha-reductase. The DHT compound binds to receptors at the base of the hair follicles and interferes with normal nutritional absorption. This is the primary mechanism that leads to the shrinkage (miniaturization) of these hair structures.
This is why many doctors will consider Finasteride to be a priority. Usually, they will recommend a length of time to see whether or not they are noticing results. This can range anywhere from eight to twelve months.
Starting a treatment program by using Minoxidil and Finasteride at the same time will make it more difficult to know which of the two medications were responsible for any results which may have manifested.
At some point, during or after the text period, some physicians will recommend supplementing the patient’s progress through the use of Minoxidil. Minoxidil helps to increase the width of blood vessels. And this allows more oxygen, hydration and nutrients to reach the follicles. But also, the compound is believed to enhance the activity of a prostaglandin which promotes hair growth, known as PGE2. Therefore, Minoxidil works to supplement hair restoration efforts by addressing other mechanisms which contribute to ideal results.
Some patients may prefer to start addressing the loss of their hair with Minoxidil. And at a later point, if they feel comfortable with the idea of using Finasteride, it may be possible to optimize the management of their hair loss with the doctor’s approval.
Will Combining Propecia and Rogaine For Hair Loss Impart any advantage?
There is no evidence of this. However, it is likely that since both medications work through different mechanisms, their combined effect might yield better outcomes than the use of any one of them alone. It is however important to manage expectations even in this combined usage. The FDA approved drugs, Propecia and Rogaine, can help reduce the extent of hair loss by causing shedding to occur at a much slower rate.
In some people, noticeable amounts of new growth are evident. But this is not something that occurs for everyone.
Patients need to realize that drugs for pattern baldness can offer hope for follicles that are still able to produce new hair shafts. However, the chances of reversing the state of hair structures which have completely miniaturized will be very slim.
Using Generic or Name Brand Drugs For Generic Baldness
While a physician can recommend the best version of Finasteride to use, patients may have questions about whether or not it is ok to use generic Minoxidil (2% or 5%) versus the actual Rogaine product.
Generic drugs are made of the same compounds as their name brand counterparts. Therefore, there is no difference in how they will be expected to perform. Using Minoxidil in the appropriate concentration will give the same results as Rogaine.
Other Combination Strategies Using Medications To Treat Hair Loss
Besides the option of using Rogaine and Propecia together, there are other possibilities for combining hair loss drugs.
- Using ketoconazole shampoo while using Rogaine or Propecia
- Using tretinoin in conjunction with Rogaine (Minoxidil)
A hair restoration specialist can offer the best recommendation for the needs of individual patients.