Is There Finally a Drug for Female Pattern Hair Loss?

(HealthDay News) — Spironolactone may be an effective treatment for female pattern hair loss (FPHL), especially among patients with signs of hyperandrogenism, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Shannon Famenini, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of spironolactone therapy in women with FPHL in a retrospective study involving 166 patients. A survey study was performed in 64 women to examine the severity of disease, history of thyroid disease, and presence or absence of acne or hirsutism. Use and evaluation of the effectiveness of spironolactone was also reported.

The researchers found that none of the 19 patients on spironolactone reported worse thinning in the retrospective study. In the survey study, of the 20 patients on spironolactone, 15% reported worse thinning, while 45% reported no change, and 30% reported mild improvement or increased thickness. There was no correlation between spironolactone response and being on an oral contraceptive pill (P=0.7); patients with acne or hirsutism had a significantly better response to spironolactone (P=0.05). No link was seen between spironolactone dose and response in either study.

“Combining data from our studies, 74.3% of patients receiving spironolactone reported stabilization or improvement of their disease (n = 29/39),” the authors write.

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