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Topical antiandrogens in the treatment of male-pattern baldness

  • Roger S. Rittmaster
    Correspondence
    Address for correspondence: Roger S. Rittmaster, MD, Department of Medicine, Halifax Infirmary, 1335 Queen Street, Halifax, NS, B3J 2H6, Canada.
    Affiliations
    From the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Faculty of Medicine, Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
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      Abstract

      Antiandrogen therapy for androgen-induced baldness is in its infancy. In men, because of side effects, topical antiandrogens appear to hold the most promise. Assessing changes in scalp hair growth may be difficult, however, and hirsutism provides a useful model for testing the efficacy of topical antiandrogens. Systemic administration of 5a-reductase inhibitors may also eventually prove to be helpful in the treatment of male-pattern baldness, but side effects and long-term risks are unknown. In women, systemic antiandrogens appear to be a reasonable option for therapy and produce a good subjective response. Further research is needed, however, ta document the long-term risks and efficacy of systemic antiandrogen therapy in women.
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