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Dermatol Ther. 2018 Nov;31(6):e12741. doi: 10.1111/dth.12741. Epub 2018 Oct 8.

Low-dose daily aspirin reduces topical minoxidil efficacy in androgenetic alopecia patients.

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Applied Biology, Inc., Irvine, California.
Department of Dermatology, LTM Medical College & Hospital, Sion, Maharashtra, India.
NYU, New York, New York.
Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Dermatovenereology, "Sestre Milosrdnice" University Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia.
Zagreb School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia.
Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, University of Rome "G. Marconi", Rome, Italy.


Topical minoxidil is the only US FDA approved OTC drug for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Minoxidil is a pro-drug converted into its active form, minoxidil sulfate, by the sulfotransferase enzymes in the outer root sheath of hair follicles. Previously, we demonstrated that sulfotransferase activity in hair follicles predicts response to topical minoxidil in the treatment of AGA. In the human liver, sulfotransferase activity is significantly inhibited by salicylic acid. Low-dose OTC aspirin (75-81 mg), a derivative of salicylic acid, is used by millions of people daily for the prevention of coronary heart disease and cancer. It is not known whether oral aspirin inhibits sulfotransferase activity in hair follicles, potentially affecting minoxidil response in AGA patients. In the present study, we determined the follicular sulfotransferase enzymatic activity following 14 days of oral aspirin administration. In our cohort of 24 subjects, 50% were initially predicted to be responders to minoxidil. However, following 14 days of aspirin administration, only 27% of the subjects were predicted to respond to topical minoxidil. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report the effect of low-dose daily aspirin use on the efficacy of topical minoxidil.


alopecia; aspirin; minoxidil


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