Anagen Effluvium Medication

Updated: May 11, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

The goal of pharmacotherapy is to shorten the period of alopecia resulting from chemotherapy. Sadly, no treatment appears to be generally effective in preventing this secondary effect of chemotherapy. In rodent models, localized administration of heat or subcutaneous/intradermal injection of geldanamycin or 17-(allylamino)-17-demethoxygeldanamycin induced a stress-protein response in hair follicles and effectively prevented alopecia from doxorubicin (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide, paclitaxel (Taxol), and etoposide. [31] Hopefully, localized hair-saving treatment can be developed for humans that does not negatively affect chemotherapy efficacy.

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Peripheral vasodilators

Class Summary

Minoxidil directly dilates the peripheral vessels. Although the exact mechanism of action for promoting hair growth remains unknown, increased blood flow to the hair follicles may affect their metabolism and growth cycle and thereby prevent hair loss.

Minoxidil topical (Rogaine)

Minoxidil relaxes arteriolar smooth muscle, causing vasodilation; hair growth is possibly secondary to vasodilation. Minoxidil topical is available in 2% and 5% solutions; the 5% solution is recommended only for men.

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