Available without a prescription, Rogaine® (minoxidil) may help stimulate hair growth in men and women with androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male and female pattern hair loss. But how does Rogaine work?
Although it is not exactly clear how this medication works to cause hair growth, it is thought that Rogaine stimulates resting hair follicles to enter into an active growth phase and, therefore, grow hair. Rogaine may also open the blood vessels around the hair follicles, allowing more blood to flow to the follicles. In addition, this medicine may directly stimulate and enlarge the hair follicles.
Clinical studies have shown that Rogaine tends to be more effective in people who are younger, who have little hair loss, and who have been losing their hair for only a short period of time. Rogaine is not a cure for baldness. If you stop using this medicine, hair loss will recur within three to four months.
(For more information on how this nonprescription medication works, click Rogaine Uses. This Web article offers more details on specific uses of this hair product in men and women, whether it is safe for use in children, and possible off-label uses of the drug.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Men's Rogaine Extra Strength [package label]. New Brunswick, NJ: Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products;2010 July.
Rogaine Web site. Available at http://www.rogaine.com/. Accessed February 1, 2011.
Rogaine. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2011. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed February 1, 2011.
Goldstein BG and Goldstein AO. Hair loss in women and men (androgenetic alopecia). In: UpToDate, Basow, DS (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2011.
Ellis JA, Sinclair R, and Harrap SB. Androgenetic alopecia: Pathogenesis and potential for therapy. Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine 2002; 4: 1-11.
Rogaine. In DRUGDEX System. Thomson Reuters (Healthcare), Inc. Available at: http://www.thomsonhc.com. Accessed January 31, 2011.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click