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Skinmed. 2012 Jul-Aug;10(4):218-27.

Treatment of female pattern hair loss.

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Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) as a distinctive entity was first described about 30 years ago. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review of all randomized controlled trials for treatment of FPHL. A preliminary search was carried out in several databases up to August 2008 to identify all randomized controlled trials on nonsurgical interventions for treatment of FPHL. Studies reporting fewer than 10 patients and non-English articles were excluded. Additionally, references of relevant articles and reviews were checked manually in search for additional sources. Among 238 citations found in the preliminary search, 12 fulfilled all criteria to be included in the systematic review. Topical minoxidil 1% to 5% for 24 to 48 weeks was shown to be effective in FPHL and its effect was not related to age or androgen level of patients. In addition, it may be effective in women with FPHL, both with and without hyperandrogenism, and in young and old premenopausal or postmenopausal. In patients with increased serum androgens, oral flutamide but not finasteride or cyproterone acetate was more effective than no treatment. Topical minoxidil is effective in patients with FPHL, with or without hyperandrogenism, but there is limited evidence for the efficacy of antiandrogens.

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