Spironolactone for Women
I'm often asked if Spironolactone is an option for women with genetic hair loss.
My first comment would be that anyone considering the possibility of using spironolactone - should receive a full and comprehensive evaluation by a physician experienced with the diagnosis of hair loss and of course the use of spironolactone. Often this is a dermatologist.
Spironolactone can help 30-40 % of women improve their hair and another 30 % stop hair loss. It must never be used by any female who may become pregnant, is planning a pregnancy, or is pregnant. Other side effects include irregular periods, dizziness, mood changes, depression, decreased libido, hair shedding in the first few months, beast tenderness, breast enlargement, frequent urination and rarely elevated potassium levels in the blood.
Spironolactone has been studied in only a limited number of small studies. The largest and best referenced is a study by Professor Rodney Sinclair and colleagues which as published in the 2005 British Journal of Dermatology. Among 40 women using spironolactone Dr Sinclair reported that 40 % achieved and improvement, 40 % stabilized and only a small proportion got worse.
Sinclair R, et al. Br J Dermatol. 2005. Treatment of female pattern hair loss with oral anti androgens. Br J Dermatol. 2005 Mar;152(3):466-73.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299