PATIENT HANDOUTS - HAIR LOSS MEDICATIONS & TREATMENTS

It would be easy if all the different types of hair loss were treated similarly. But they are not. One type of hair loss may be treated completely differently from another type of hair loss. In alphabetical order below, Dr. Donovan outlines the different types of medications for hair loss. These handouts are prepared specifically for patients of Dr. Donovan's practice.  They can be used for personal use by patients but are subject to all international copyright laws. If you are a physician or practitioner of any kind, and wish to use these handouts in your practice, simply contact us (whistleroffice@donovanmedical.com) and we will gladly grant permission. Without such permission, any such use is not permitted.

 

1. Actos (Pioglitazone)

Pioglitazone (Actos) is an oral medication that is used for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, it has also been found to help patients with lichen planopilaris – even those who do not have type 2 diabetes.   

Download our Pioglitazone Handout for Patients

 

 2. Aldactone (Spironolactone)

Spironolactone (sometimes prescribed under the name Aldactone) is an oral tablet that helps inhibit the effects ‘androgen’ hormones.   The drug is sometime used to treat hair loss in females. One research investigation from Australia suggested that it helps halt hair loss in about 35-40 % of female patients and led to an improvement in hair density in another 35-40 % of female patients.  

Download our Aldactone Handout for Patients

Download our Topical Spironolactone Handout

 

3. Amitriptyline

Amitriptyline is a type of anti-depressant medication. However, it can also be used in treating a variety of scalp symptoms associated with pain, itching, and burning. It is a common treatment in our clinic for the scalp dysesthesias.   

Download our Amitriptyline Handout for Patients

 

4. Anthralin

This is a a topical medication often used off-label for promoting hair growth in those with alopecia areata. Anthralin can sometimes be used with other treatments such as minoxidil.  Hair growth can be seen in about 8-12 weeks, but can occur as early as 5 weeks.   

Download our Anthralin Handout for Patients

 

5. Anti-dandruff and anti-seborrheic shampoos

A variety of shampoos are available for patients with dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Among the most effective agents are shampoos containing ketoconazole, selenium sulphide, zinc pyrithione and ciclopirox. The following list has several sulphate free brands for those with sensitivities to sulphates.  

Download our Anti-dandruff Shampoo List for Patients

 

6. Aromatherapy for Alopecia Areata  

 Aromatherapy refers to the use of aromatic plant-based essential oils for massage into the scalp. A well conducted study from almost 2 decades ago showed benefit of aromatherapy in the treatment of the autoimmune disease alopecia areata.

 Download our Aromatherapy Handout  

 

7. Avodart (Generic: Dutasteride)

Dutasteride is an oral medication which is sometimes used "off label" in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men and post menopausal women as well as frontal fibrosing alopecia in post menopausal women. Those dose is typically 0.5 mg per day. The drug blocks the production of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone or “DHT.” 

Download our Dutasteride Handout for Men

Download our Dutasteride Handout for Women

 

8. Azithromycin

Azithromycin is an antibiotic which is used to treat conditions such as folliculitis decalvans.

Download our Azithromycin Handout for Patients

 

 

9. Bimatoprost (Latisse)

Bimatoprost is FDA approved for helping promote longer eyelashes. It can sometimes be used 'off-label' for treating eyelash loss in individuals with alopecia areata and for promoting eyebrow growth in a whole range of different conditions.  

Download our Latisse Handout and Consent Form

 

10. Cellcept (generic mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) 

Cellcept (Mycophenolate mofetil) is a medication which reduced inflammatory - it is a type of immunosuppressive medication. It is sometimes used 'off-label' for scarring hair loss conditions such as discoid lupus and lichen planopilaris and rarely frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA).   

Download our CellCept Handout for Patients

 

11. Cephalexin

Cephalexin is an antibiotic which is used to treat conditions such as folliculitis decalvans and dissecting cellulitis. 

Download our Cephalexin Handout for Patients

 

12. Cetirizine

Cetirizine is an antihistamine which is used to treat conditions such as lichen planopilaris. 

Download our Cetirizine Handout for Patients

 

13. Ciprofloxacin

Ciprofloxacin is an oral antibiotic used to treat conditions such as folliculitis decalvans and dissecting cellulitis.  

Download our Ciprofloxacin Handout for Patients

 

14. Clindamycin

Clindaymycin is an oral antibiotic used to treat conditions such as folliculitis decalvans.  

Download our Clindamycin Handout for Patients

 

15. Cloxacillin

Cloxacillin is an oral antibiotic used to treat conditions such as folliculitis decalvans.  

Download our Cloxacillin Handout for Patients

 

16. Cyclosporine

Ciprofloxacin is an oral immunosuppressive medication which is sometimes used to treat conditions such as lichen planopilaris, alopecia areata, discoid lupus.  

Download our Cyclosporine Handout for Patients

 

17. Dapsone

Dapsone is an oral medication which is sometimes used to treat conditions such as folliculitis decalvans.  

Download our Dapsone Handout for Patients

 

18. Diflucan

Diflucan is an oral medication which is used to treat and prevent yeast infections.  

Download our Diflucan (Fluconazole) Handout for Patients

 

19. Diphencyprone

Diphencyprone (or "DPCP") is a topical medication which is sometimes used to treat conditions such as alopecia areata. DPCP is applied to the scalp in order to cause irritation and an allergic response.  In some ways, this “fools” the immune system into mounting a response against the DPCP chemical rather than against the hair follicle.  This helps the hair to regrow in many patients.   

Download our DPCP Handout for Patients

Download our DPCP Consent Form

Information about our DPCP Program and FAQs about DPCP

 

20. Derma rolling for Ophiasis Alopecia Areata

Derma rolling is a home-based procedure that can be used by patients with alopecia areata (ophiasis pattern) with the goal to further enhance hair growth with the current agents they are using. Dermarolling is most commonly done with use of minoxidil but other growth promoting agents are sometimes used as well. Derma rolling is essentially a method of inducing micro-wounds into the skin to both enhance absorption of growth promoting agents as well as to itself induce activation of follicular stem cells. 

Download our Dermarolling Handout for Patients

 

 

21. Doxycycline

Doxycycline is an oral medication which is sometimes used to treat conditions such as lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia, folliculitis decalvans and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia.  The medication is an antibiotic, and closely related to tetracycline. Despite its role as an antibacterial agent, it can also be used to reduce inflammation in many types of immune based hair diseases.  

Download our Doxycycline Handout for Patients

 

22. Dutasteride

Dutasteride is an oral medication which is sometimes used "off label" in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men and post menopausal women as well as frontal fibrosing alopecia in post menopausal women. Those dose is typically 0.5 mg per day. The drug blocks the production of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone or “DHT.” 

Download our Dutasteride Handout for Men

Download our Dutasteride Handout for Women

 

23. Finasteride

Finasteride is an oral medication which is FDA approved to treat male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) at a dose of 1 mg per day. The drug blocks the production of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone or “DHT” and helps approximately 90 % of men to either halt hair loss or increase hair density.  

Download our Finasteride Handout for Men

Download our Finasteride Handout for Women

Download our Topical Finasteride Handout

Finasteride Renewal Form

 

24. Fluconazole

Diflucan is an oral medication which is used to treat and prevent yeast infections.  

Download our Fluconazole (Diflucan) Handout for Patients

 

25. Gabapentin

Gabapentin is an anti-seizure medication which blocks nerves.  It can also be used to reduce itching, pain, burning in the scalp. Topical gabapentin refers to a form of gabapentin that is used topically rather than orally.

Download our Oral Gabapentin Handout  

Download our Topical Gabapentin Handou

·   

26. Hair Transplantation

*** Dr. Donovan no longer provides hair transplantation services in his practice ***

For a link to hair transplantation about how modern hair transplants are performed, click here

 

 

27. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

Hydroxychloroquine (sometimes referred to to under it's popular trade name“Plaquenil”) is a type of anti-inflammatory medication used to treat some types of hair loss such as lichen planopilaris and sometimes discoid lupus and frontal fibrosing alopecia. 

Download our Hydroxychloroquine Handout for Patients

 

28. Hypoallergenic Shampoos

Many typical shampoo ingredients can cause allergy and irritation. These include fragrance, cocamidopropyl betaine, MCI/CI, propylene glycol, parapbens, formaldehyde releases and vitamin E (tocopherol). The following are shampoos which are useful for patients with particular allergens. 

Download our Hypoallergenic Shampoo List for Patients

 

29. Iron Supplements

This is a type of vitamin A pill. It is rarely used for certain types of scarring hair loss conditions, such as folliculitis decalvans and dissecting cellulitis.  

Download our Iron Supplement Handout for Patients

Dr. Donovan's Articles on Iron 1: What does an elevated ferritin mean?

Dr. Donovan's Articles on Iron 2: Ferritin Levels: Factual or Frantic?

Dr. Donovan's Articles on Iron 3: The Benefits of Checking Iron in Women with Hair Loss

Dr. Donovan's Articles on Iron 4: The General Principles of Taking Iron

 

 

30. Isotretinoin

This is a type of vitamin A pill. It is rarely used for certain types of scarring hair loss conditions, such as folliculitis decalvans and dissecting cellulitis.  

Download our Isotretinoin Handout for Patients

 

31. Itraconazole (Sporonox)

Itraconazole is an anti-fungal medication. It belongs to a class of drugs known as the ‘azole antifungals.' In some cases, it is used for management of refractory (tough to treat) seborrheic dermatitis.

Download our Itraconazole Handout for Patients

 

32. Jakafi/Jakavi (Ruxolitininb)

Ruxolitinib (also known by the name “Jakafi” and "Jakavi") is a newer medication now approved for use in various blood disorders). In fact, the drug is formally approved by the FDA for patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Ruxolitinib is presently being investigated for potential use in treating alopecia areata.  

Download our Jakafi/Jakavi Handout for Patients

 

33. Kenalog Injections

Cortisones are medications  which act to reduce inflammation. The injection forms are a key part of the treatment for many types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, discoid lupus, pseudopelade and traction alopecia.  

Download our Kenalog Injection Handout for Patients

 

34. Latisse (generic: bimatoprost)

Bimatoprost is FDA approved for helping promote longer eyelashes. It can sometimes be used 'off-label' for treating eyelash loss in individuals with alopecia areata and for promoting eyebrow growth in a whole range of different conditions.  

Download our Latisse Handout and Consent Form

 

35. Low dose naltrexone

It has come to be understood that low doses of naltrexone (i.e. 1.5 to 4.5 mg) have a remarkable effect on some people’s immune systems. Studies have suggested possible benefit in halting lichen planopilaris.

Download our Low dose Naltrexone Handout for Patients

 

36. Low level laser therapy (LLLT)

In recent years, many studies have shown that LLLT based laser treatment with red light wavelengths can help promote hair growth. Nowadays, a number of devices are available on the market. No head to head comparative studies have been done to show one laser device is more effective than the other.  

Download our Handout on LLLT

 

37. Lyrica (pregabalin)

Lyrica is a medication that is  believed to work by calming or settling overactive nerves. It can also be used for scalp pain and burning in the so called ‘scalp dysesthesia’ syndromes

Download our Lyrica Handout for Patients

 

38. Methotrexate

Methotrexate is a tablet which is used to “reduce” the activity of the immune system.  Unlike many pills, methotrexate is used only once per week.  It is used for many hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata, discoid lupus, frontal fibrosing alopecia and lichen planopilaris.  

Download our Methotrexate Handout for Patients

Link to Folic Acid Dosing in Children

 

39. Metronidazole

Metronidazole is a type of antibiotic medication. Interestingly, it can also help to stop inflammation and is therefore occasionally used in condition such as lichen planopilaris.  

Download our Metronidazole Handout for Patients

 

40. Minoxidil

Minoxidil is the first FDA approved treatment for hair loss. It is applied directly to the scalp. Despite its use for nearly 30 years, the exact  means by which it promotes hair growth is not completely understood.  Minoxidil, however, does not affect hormones.  

Download our Minoxidil Handout for Patients

Download our Oral Minoxidil Handout and Consent Form

Minoxidil Dosing - Paediatric

 

41. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) 

 

Mycophenolate mofetil is a medication which reduced inflammatory - it is a type of immunosuppressive medication. It is sometimes used 'off-label' for scarring hair loss conditions such as discoid lupus and lichen planopilaris and rarely frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA).   

Download our Mycophenolate Handout for Patients

 

42. N-acetyl cysteine

N-acetyl cysteine is an oral antioxidant medication sometimes used in the treatment of trichotillomania.  

Download our N-acetyl cysteine Handout for Patients

 

43. Naltrexone, low dose

It has come to be understood that low doses of naltrexone (i.e. 1.5 to 4.5 mg) have a remarkable effect on some people’s immune systems. Studies have suggested possible benefit in halting lichen planopilaris.

Download our Low dose Naltrexone Handout for Patients

 

44. Onion Juice Mask

Onions are on the list of treatments that work in alopecia areata based on a 2002 study that compared the benefits of onion extract in 23 patients with alopecia areata to 15 patients who used placebo (tap water). Participants applied it twice daily for 2 months. At the end of 2 months, 86.9 % of participants had regrowth compared to just 13% (2 of 15) using tap water.

Download our Onion Juice Mask for Patients

 

 45. Otezla

Otezla is a medication which targets a pathway inside cells known as the PDE4 pathway. It is typically used to treat a skin disease known as psoriasis but may occasionally be used for other reasons as well.

Download our Otezla Handout for Patients

 

46. Pimecrolimus (Elidel)

Pimecolimus is a non steroid topical cream that is used to stop inflammation in many types of inflammatory hair loss conditions such frontal fibrosing alopecia.  

Download our Elidel Handout for Patients

 

47. Pioglitazone

Pioglitazone (Actos) is an oral medication that is used for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, it has also been found to help patients with lichen planopilaris – even those who do not have type 2 diabetes.   

Download our Pioglitazone Handout for Patients

 

48. Platelet rich plasma

Platelet-rich plasma,  (shortened to PRP)  is increasingly being used in hair loss around the world. PRP has been used by physicians since the 1990′s in various areas of medicine. PRP treatments involve using a small amount of the patient’s own blood to generate an injectable form of hair treatment.   PRP contains many growth factors that stimulate hair follicles.  Learn More about PRP Treatments for Hair Loss

Link to PRP Pre and Post Procedure Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about PRP

Read Dr Donovan's Article: PRP for Hair Loss: Where are we at?

Download our PRP Consent Form

 

49.  Plaquenil (generic: hydroxychloroquine)

Hydroxychloroquine (sometimes referred to to under it's popular trade name“Plaquenil”) is a type of anti-inflammatory medication used to treat some types of hair loss such as lichen planopilaris and sometimes discoid lupus and frontal fibrosing alopecia. 

Download our Plaquenil Handout for Patients

 

50. Prednisone

Prednisone belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. Drugs like prednisone are commonly used to reduce the activity of the immune system. Usually, the drug is prescribed in situations where the immune system is too active - such as autoimmune conditions. The actual dose of Prednisone will vary depending on the type of hair loss being treated. In most situations, oral corticosteroid medication are recommended for short periods of time (a few weeks to a few months). Prednisone is sometimes prescribed for a few months in patients with alopecia areata and lichen planopilaris.  Used carefully, cautiously and for short periods, the medication can be very helpful. 

Download our Prednisone Handout for Patients

 

51. Pregabalin (Lyrica)

Pregabalin (Lyrica) is a medication that is  believed to work by calming or settling overactive nerves. It can also be used for scalp pain and burning in the so called ‘scalp dysesthesia’ syndromes 

Download our Pregabalin (Lyrica) Handout for Patients

 

52. Propecia (generic: finasteride)

Finasteride is an oral medication which is FDA approved to treat male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) at a dose of 1 mg per day. The drug blocks the production of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone or “DHT” and helps approximately 90 % of men to either halt hair loss or increase hair density.  

Download our Finasteride Handout for Men

Download our Finasteride Handout for Women

Download our Topical Finasteride Handout

 

53. Reactine

Reaction (cetirizine) is an antihistamine which is used to treat conditions such as lichen planopilaris and alopecia areata. 

Download our Reactine Handout for Patients

 

54. Rifampin

Rifampin is an antibiotic medication.  It is a well known medication for treating tuberculosis but interestingly can be used in many other conditions -such as the hair loss condition folliculitis decalvans.  

Download our Rifampin Handout for Patients

 

55. Rogaine (Minoxidil)

Minoxidil is the first FDA approved treatment for hair loss. It is applied directly to the scalp. Despite its use for nearly 30 years, the exact  means by which it promotes hair growth is not completely understood.  Minoxidil, however, does not affect hormones.  

Download our Minoxidil Handout for Patients

Download our Oral Minoxidil Handout and Consent Form

 

56. Ruxolitinib

Ruxolitinib (also known by the name “Jakafi” and "Jakavi") is a newer medication now approved for use in various blood disorders). In fact, the drug is formally approved by the FDA for patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Ruxolitinib is presently being investigated for potential use in treating alopecia areata.  

Download our Ruxolitinib Handout for Patients

 

57. Shampoos for Sensitive Scalp

A variety of shampoos are helpful for patients with scalp allergy, scalp irritant contact dermatitis, burning scalp syndrome, and scalp dysesthesias in general. 

Download our List of Shampoos for Sensitive Scalp

 

58. Simvastatin/Ezetimibe

The cholesterol medications simvastatin and ezetimibe may help treat some forms of alopecia areata. 

Download our Cholesterol Medication Protocol Handout for Patients

 

59. Spironolactone

Spironolactone (sometimes prescribed under the name Aldactone) is an oral tablet that helps inhibit the effects ‘androgen’ hormones.   The drug is sometime used to treat hair loss in females. One research investigation from Australia suggested that it helps halt hair loss in about 35-40 % of female patients and led to an improvement in hair density in another 35-40 % of female patients.  

Download our Spironolactone Handout for Patients

Download our Topical Spironolactone Handout

 

60. Sporonox (Itraconazole)

Sporonox (Itraconazole) is an anti-fungal medication. It belongs to a class of drugs known as the ‘azole antifungals.' In some cases, it is used for management of refractory (tough to treat) seborrheic dermatitis.

Download our Sporonox (Itraconazole) Handout for Patients

 

61. Steroids, topical forms

Topical formulations of corticosteroids include steroid lotions, creams, gels, foams, ointments and shampoos.  A variety of different strengths are available form the very weak hydrocortisone strength (so called class VII) to the very strong clobetasol strength (so called class I). Topical formulations of steroids are used for a range of hair loss conditions that have inflammation - including alopecia areata alopecia, frontal fibrosing alopecia, lichen planopilaris, discoid lupus, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia.  

Download our Topical Steroid Handout for Patients

Read more about topical steroids:

Article 1 - Clobetasol for Hair Loss

Article 2 - Are topical steroids safe?

 

62. Steroids,  injection forms

Cortisones are medications  which act to reduce inflammation. The injection forms are a key part of the treatment for many types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, discoid lupus, pseudopelade and traction alopecia.  

Download our Steroid Injection Handout for Patients

 

63. Sulfasalazine

Sulfasalazine is a medication which is commonly used in treating inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis but has been shown to be helpful in a proportion of patients with the hair loss conditions called alopecia areata. Your doctor will advise how this is to be used. Baseline blood tests will be ordered BEFORE you start sulfasalazine (complete blood counts, kidney and liver, folate, B12 levels, urinalysis with microscopy, G6PD). Blood tests will be checked every few weeks for a couple of months, then less often afterwards.

Download our Sulfasalazine Handout for Patients

 

64. Tacrolimus (Protopic)

Tacrolimus ointment (also known by the brand name Protopic) is a "non-steroid"  topical treatment. Like topical steroids, tacrolimus helps to reduce inflammation and is often even used together with topical steroids. Tacrolimus is used topically in several scarring hair loss conditions.  

Download our Tacrolimus Handout for Patients

 

65. Tofacitinib

Tofacitinib (also known by the name “Xeljanz”) is a newer medication now approved for use in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In fact, the drugs is formally approved by the FDA for patients with moderate to severe RA. Tofacitinib is presently being investigated for potential use in treating alopecia areata.  

Download our Tofacitinib Handout for Patients

 

66.  Topical Ketamine, Amitriptyline and Lidocaine (TKAL)

 

This is a topical formulation of ketamine, amitriptyline and lidocaine. It may help to block itching and burning in patients with various scalp dysesthesias.  TKAL is a topical compounded product containing 10% ketamine, 5% amitriptyline, and 5% lidocaine.

Download our Topical TKAL Handout for Patients

 

67. Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF inhibitors)

TNF is a chemical (cytokine) that is often produced in great amounts during inflammation. TNF blocking medications helps stop the action of TNF. These include medications such as etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira), and infliximab. These drugs are used in a limited number of hair disorders, including dissecting cellulitis

 

68. Xeljanz (generic: tofacitinib)

Xeljanz (also known by the generic name “tofacitinib”) is a newer medication now approved for use in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In fact, the drugs is formally approved by the FDA for patients with moderate to severe RA. Xeljanz (Tofacitinib) is presently being investigated for potential use in treating alopecia areata.  

Download our Xeljanz Handout for Patients

 

69. Zinc supplementation

Zinc plays a key role in cell metabolism, including hair follicles. The body can’t store zinc, so humans need to get from the diet each day.  You may be advised to start zinc for your particular type of hair loss. Depending on your type of hair loss, Dr. Donovan uses different amounts of zinc and for different periods of time. 

Download our Zinc Handout for Patients

 

70. Zyrtec

Zyrtec (cetirizine) is an antihistamine which is used to treat conditions such as lichen planopilaris and alopecia areata. 

Download our Zyrtec (Cetirizine) Handout for Patients




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