There are two clinically-proven hair loss medication products available in the UK and they have been of benefit to many men suffering from male pattern baldness. However, these products do not come safe from all side effects and it’s important you are made fully aware of all potential complications and risks that can occur so you can make an informed choice about your treatment.
In November 2014, a case of a young and fit man who suffered from dizziness and fainting fits was reported. He was tested for a number of underlying medical conditions, all of which came back negative, but an analysis of his symptoms found that they had come on after using a formulation of minoxidil that was double the strength of the over-the-counter version that is readily available.
The hair loss benefits of minoxidil were discovered when men taking this medication to treat high blood pressure found their hair increased in thickness. As an oral medication to treat high blood pressure one of the side effects listed is fainting or extreme dizziness, but this should not be a problem when applied topically as a hair loss treatment.
The other hair loss medication that is available in the UK, on prescription only, is Propecia, which is the brand name of finasteride. Again, this was a drug initially developed to treat another condition – an enlarged prostate gland – but in trials it was found that it also reversed hair loss in some patients.
Developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck, this was heralded as the wonder drug, but since its introduction, evidence built up that it could also cause the serious side effect of sexual dysfunction. Merck has disclosed that 3.8 per cent of patients on Propecia had ‘one or more adverse sexual experiences’ compared with 2.1 per cent of those taking a placebo.
The most common side effects associated with this drug include decreased libido, ejaculation disorder and erectile dysfunction. These problems can also last for 40 months on average after treatment ends.
Before embarking on any medication, prescription or otherwise, it’s important to do your research. If you have further questions on any possible side effects associated with hair loss medication, make an appointment to speak to one of our hair loss experts.