Researchers Find Minoxidil and Finasteride Make PRP Therapy Better
Researchers at the International University of Catalonia in Spain are advancing our understanding of the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma therapy. The research team, headed by Dr. Rubina Alves and Dr. Ramon Grimalt, published their findings in the June issue of the journal, Dermatologic Surgery. Their paper is titled, “Platelet-Rich Plasma in Combination With 5% Minoxidil Topical Solution and 1 mg Oral Finasteride for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Half-Head Study.”
This latest study builds on the findings from a similar study published last year that confirmed the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma therapy alone. This time, the goal was to observe the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma therapy in combination with one of the FDA-approved medical treatments – minoxidil or finasteride. For more on these medical treatments see, “The Fundamentals of Hair Loss Treatment.”
The researchers treated two groups who had been diagnosed with pattern baldness with two different treatment approaches. One group of patients received platelet-rich plasma injections with one milliliter of minoxidil (Rogaine or Loniten are the common brand names) topical solution. A second group of patients received platelet-rich plasma along with one milligram per day of oral finasteride. Each patient was treated on one side of the head with the other side getting a placebo injection instead of platelet-rich plasma. This provided a control group to be able to assess the true impact of the treatment.
What they found is that platelet-rich plasma in combination with five percent minoxidil solution was a superior treatment when compared to the combination of with platelet-rich plasma oral finasteride.
“Overall, after six months, combination of PRP and minoxidil five percent showed superiority in some mean hair count, hair density, anagen and telogen percentages, and mean anagen/telogen ratio in comparison with the association of PRP and finasteride one milligram,” the researchers wrote.
At the three-month mark, researchers observed a significant increase in mean hair count and mean hair density in the side of the head treated with platelet-rich plasma compared with the baseline assessment.
At six months, the changes were even more positive. Mean hair count, hair density, terminal hair density, anagen hairs and telogen hairs displayed a statistically significant positive effect of platelet-rich plasma associated with both medical treatments. Mean hair count, hair density and terminal density were significant in change when compared with the side of the head treated with the placebo injection.
While combining platelet-rich plasma therapy with either minoxidil or finasteride improved hair regrowth, one clearly stood out as superior. The researchers said platelet-rich plasma with minoxidil showed greater improvement than PRP with finasteride at six months.
It is important to point out that the effectiveness of various treatment approaches for hair loss can vary from individual to individual. Determining the cause of an individual’s hair loss can help to evaluate the best hair loss products and therapies. We have had quite a bit of success with combination therapy, especially performing a hair transplant followed by platelet-rich plasma in combination with Rogaine/minoxidil and/or Propecia/finasteride.
Rogaine is sold over the counter, while Loniten is a prescription medication. Both have been scientifically proven to be effective at reducing hair loss and can even stimulate hair growth for some users. However, any new hair that grows could fall back out if Rogaine use is stopped. Hair care products with a higher dosage of minoxidil are more effective than those with lower dosages, so make sure you check the ingredients label for the dosage.
Propecia is an oral medication originally developed to treat enlarged prostate in men. It is approved by the FDA to reduce male pattern baldness in men. It should not be taken by women, as exposure to the drug can cause serious complications and birth defects.
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