Can we predict if minoxidil will work or not?

Predicting the chance of benefit before starting

Minoxidil is the only topically approved agent that is approved but the FDA for treating androgenetic alopecia. The drug does not help everyone but does help 25-30 % of users. I've written in previous articles about the future of minoxidil pre-testing kits. It is well known that in order for minoxidil to have a chance to work, the body needs to convert the minoxidil to minoxidil sulphate. Some people have the enzyme (known as minoxidil sulphotransferase) to do this; other people simply do not. Those who lack the enzyme are more likely to be non-responders.

I was interested to read today in a press release that kits to test minoxidil sulphotransferase activity are moving forward in the FDA approval process.  The FDA journey can be lengthy, but the possibility exists that we might see these kits in the clinic in the near future. These will help physicians to predict if it's a good idea to prescribe minoxidil or not. 

Read the press release here: Press Release

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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