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Hair Loss Medication

For both men and women, hair loss can impact our self-esteem and quality of life.

Androgenetic alopecia is a common condition that is responsible for both female and male pattern baldness — but it doesn't have to also be responsible for crushing your confidence. While hair surgery offers an effective solution, it is also worth exploring how topical or oral hair loss medication in the UK can help stop further hair loss and possibly stimulate new hair growth.

Dr Epameinondas Bonaros specialises in hair restoration at his Glasgow hair loss clinic, providing personalised treatment plans including private prescription and over-the-counter hair loss treatments like minoxidil, finasteride, and dutasteride.

For a comprehensive assessment and tailored treatment plan, schedule a free online consultation with Dr Bonaros. Contact our male and female hair loss clinic in Glasgow at 0141 340 9098 or

Promote Hair Growth with our Hair Loss Treatments

By the age of 50, roughly half of men will experience male pattern baldness, with some men experiencing this even earlier. Female pattern baldness, on the other hand, affects roughly one third of women in their life. But stats like this don’t have to scare you, because there are now various hair loss treatments available to promote hair regrowth.

Before you choose or start a hair loss treatment, consult with Dr Bonaros, a trusted medical professional who will attentively evaluate the type of hair loss you are facing, your overall health condition, as well as the extent and rate of your hair loss. He will then determine the preferred treatment for you to prevent hair loss progression and promote renewed hair growth.

Dr Epameinondas Bonaros is an experienced hair restoration specialist heading a patient-centred clinic that not only treats hair loss, but helps you regain your confidence.

Whether you’re experiencing hair thinning or significant hair loss, book a free Zoom consultation to discuss the next steps and weigh up possible hair loss treatments with Dr Bonaros — Scotland’s only full member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).

Hair Loss Medications

When it comes to combatting hair loss, tailored solutions are key. As part of a personalised treatment plan from Dr Bonaros, over-the-counter and prescription hair loss treatments may address the hair restoration needs of patients dealing with female or male pattern baldness or other causes of hair loss.

The ideal medication to stop hair loss will vary based on your health and the underlying hair loss cause. The three most commonly used hair loss treatment tablets and topical solutions are Finasteride, Dutasteride and Minoxidil. To give you a better understanding of each medication for hair loss, we discuss their uses, mechanisms of action, effectiveness, and potential side effects below.

None of the information below constitutes medical advice. Book a free consultation with Dr Bonaros to receive personalised, expert advice and pave the way to making an informed decision.


Originally formulated as an antihypertensive agent for those with high blood pressure, minoxidil garnered attention due to an unexpected side effect. It caused generalised hypertrichosis, which is excessive bodily hair growth.

This phenomenon sparked the exploration of minoxidil’s potential as a male and female pattern baldness medication. Presently FDA-approved in the US and a licenced over-the-counter medication in the UK, the hair loss medication, Minoxidil, is available as a topical solution for both women and men, coming in various forms from lotion to scalp foam.

Low-dose oral minoxidil is also an alternative to the topical solution in certain cases.

As a hair loss treatment, Minoxidil is the generic name for products that stimulate hair growth, such as Rogaine. They all contain the same active ingredient (minoxidil), typically in a strength of 2% or 5%.

If you’re looking for supplements for hair loss in females in the UK, topical minoxidil is approved as a safe female baldness medication.

Mechanism of Action

Minoxidil’s exact mechanism of action is not entirely clear. It is theorised that minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles, thus creating a more favourable environment for hair follicles to grow healthy hair that is thicker and stronger. A minoxidil solution that is applied topically to the scalp can, therefore, prevent hair loss in many patients.

A hair loss treatment with minoxidil is primarily used to treat androgenetic alopecia, although it may also be recommended as a treatment for other types of hair loss, such as patchy alopecia areata and traction alopecia.

Finasteride for hair loss treatment, Side effects and dosage. Dr Bonaros hair transplant surgeon in Glasgow

Finasteride was first developed as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, otherwise known as an enlarged prostate. As a hair loss treatment, finasteride is possibly the most thoroughly researched male pattern baldness medication.

As a hair loss medication, finasteride is available as men’s hair loss tablets in the UK. The prescription hair loss medication, Propecia, is FDA-approved in the US and licenced in the UK. A tablet of finasteride, the generic of Propecia, contains 1 mg of the same active ingredient (finasteride).

Mechanism of Action

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen produced from testosterone, is largely responsible for male pattern hair loss. In men prone to hair loss, DHT binds to androgen receptors in hair follicles. This causes the hair follicles to shrink and die.

Finasteride disrupts this process by attaching to and inhibiting the type II 5 alpha reductase enzyme. This prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT, effectively reducing DHT levels and working to prevent further hair loss.

Finasteride for hair loss Side effects and dosage. Dr Bonaros hair transplant surgeon in Glasgow

Dutasteride is the generic of Avodart, a medication that is used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

It is also prescribed off-label as a hair loss oral medication for treating androgenetic alopecia in men, otherwise known as male pattern baldness. Dutasteride tablets for hair loss typically contain 0.5 mg of dutasteride each.

Mechanism of Action

Featuring a mechanism of action that is similar to finasteride, dutasteride falls within the category of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. For those with male pattern baldness, dutasteride can effectively lower DHT levels, thereby preventing DHT from binding with receptors in the hair follicles to cause their miniaturisation.

Along with finasteride and minoxidil, dutasteride stands as a highly efficient non-surgical avenue to treat hair loss in men.

Ready to explore your options for regaining your hair and your confidence? Book a free online consultation today or call our leading hair loss treatment clinic in Scotland on 0141 340 9098 to book an appointment.

Hair Loss Medication FAQs

For those considering non-surgical hair loss treatment options, these are answers to questions we are commonly asked about hair loss medications like minoxidil, finasteride and dutasteride.

What causes hair loss?

Our hair growth is affected by various aspects of our life, from our immune system and hormones to genetics and medical conditions:

  • Androgenetic alopecia — which causes female or male pattern baldness — stems from genetic susceptibility and hormonal changes. Androgens, particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT), bind to androgen receptors in the hair follicles and cause the follicles to shrink over time. This results in finer, shorter hair and eventually leads to hair thinning and hair loss.
  • Another cause of hair loss can be an autoimmune disease. A common example of this is alopecia areata.
  • Stress, cancer treatment (like chemotherapy) and certain medications (such as those used to treat heart disease, arthritis and depression) can also cause you to lose hair as a side effect.
Hair Implanter pen during DHI hair transplant procedure in Glasgow Scotland by Dr Bonaros

In some cases, the hair loss caused by these conditions is only temporary, while there are also certain types of hair loss that cannot be effectively treated with hair loss medication.

What is the best hair loss medicine for male pattern baldness?

Finasteride and minoxidil are among the most effective licenced hair loss treatments in the UK for male pattern baldness. Clinical studies have explored the effectiveness of a finasteride and minoxidil combined treatment, which indicated that this may result in better results than that of monotherapies.

  • Minoxidil: A one-year study into the effectiveness of topical minoxidil has suggested that balding areas of the scalp had become significantly smaller in 2.9% of patients, noticeably smaller in 62% of patients, and unchanged in 35.1%.
  • Finasteride: By inhibiting DHT (which is responsible for follicle shrinkage), finasteride prevents the hair from falling out and promotes new growth. Finasteride is most effective on the vertex, and research into the effectiveness of long-term finasteride usage indicated that over 95% of men will experience a halt in further hair loss, 66% will see reasonable hair regrowth, and 5% will achieve marked finasteride regrowth. According to a long-term analysis of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, published in January 2019, individuals who took finasteride had a 25% relative reduction in prostate cancer risk.
  • Dutasteride: While dutasteride is not licensed as a hair loss medication in the UK, it is widely used for this purpose as it is able to reduce DHT production more significantly compared to finasteride. It also has a longer half-life in the body. Research has found that dutasteride was slightly more effective than finasteride in stimulating new hair growth in men.

Whether you’re looking for a topical receding hairline medication or for effective hair loss pills in the UK, the best treatment for you will depend on individual factors, and the potential side effects of each medication should also be considered.

Consulting a healthcare professional like Dr Bonaros is the first step towards finding the best treatment for your specific needs — contact us for a free online consultation today.

What are the side effects of hair loss medications?

  • Minoxidil: The most common side effects reported by men and women from topical minoxidil use include contact dermatitis, scalp dryness, and unwanted facial hair growth (hypertrichosis). And while minoxidil is not advised for pregnant women, the American Academy of Pediatrics considers topical minoxidil to pose little to no threat in lactation.
  • Finasteride: Side effects that have been reported from patients taking finasteride include temporary hair shedding, low libido, erectile dysfunction, a temporary reduction in sperm count and ejaculatory volume, testicular pain, breast enlargement and tenderness and mood disturbances.
  • Dutasteride: Similar to finasteride, dutasteride’s potential side effects include sexual dysfunction, gynecomastia and mood disturbances. Dutasteride may provoke an allergic reaction in some individuals, causing a rash or swelling of the throat, face and tongue.

After discontinuation of these hair loss treatment options, most unwanted side effects are resolved. As none of these medications is a permanent hair loss solution, discontinuation is likely to cause hairs to fall out again over the subsequent months.

What is the process for getting a hair loss treatment prescription?

During consultations, Dr Bonaros employs a patient-first approach to evaluate your situation, establish an accurate diagnosis, and devise a personalised, comprehensive treatment plan that aligns with your unique needs. This may involve prescribing a suitable hair loss medication.

He will subsequently oversee the progress of your treatment regimen and suggest other treatments if necessary, such as alternative medical options or permanent surgical solutions.

Patients should only take prescription medicines that have been prescribed by a registered medical expert and only buy a hair loss treatment that is dispensed by a licensed pharmacy.

Dr Bonaros performs online assessment for hair loss patients in glasgow

Dr Bonaros can help you find the right treatment for your hair loss condition to slow or reverse the hair loss progression. Request a detailed assessment and personalised quote using our Online Assessment Form.

Dr Bonaros:
Trusted Hair Loss Specialist in Scotland

At Dr Bonaros’ hair restoration clinic, our objective is to offer sincere, responsible and ethical guidance personalised to the individual needs of each patient. We are committed to achieving safe results with a long-term perspective that empowers both men and women to reclaim their self-confidence and enhance their quality of life.

Our patient-first philosophy — anchored in trust, integrity and expertise — guarantees your well-being is our top priority. Choose the Dr Bonaros Hair Transplant Clinic for:

  • Cost-effective and cutting-edge hair restoration treatments
  • A state-of-the-art hair restoration clinic
  • A highly experienced team dedicated to restoring your self-confidence

Dr Bonaros is a full member of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS) and the only full member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) in Scotland. Both of these esteemed associations are concerned with upholding the highest standards of hair restoration surgical practices.

Alternative Hair Loss Treatments

If you’re interested in permanent solutions to combat hair loss, an alternative treatment option to hair loss medications is a FUE hair transplant.

As a full member of both the BAHRS and ISHRS, Dr Bonaros is a renowned hair transplant surgeon with a trusted hair loss clinic in Scotland. Here, every step of the FUE hair transplantation procedure is performed with Dr Bonaros as the lead surgeon, using the advanced direct hair implantation method to create incredibly natural-looking results.

We can assist you with everything from hair transplants to female or male hair loss medication in the UK. To discuss our hair restoration solutions, get in touch with our Glasgow clinic or book an appointment with Dr Bonaros.

Disclaimer: This content is meant for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Book a consultation with Dr Bonaros for individual guidance.