6 Hair Removal Prescription Oral Medications

1. Spironolactone (Aldactone)
2. Finasteride (Marketed As Propecia And Proscar)
3. Flutamide
4. Cyproterone Acetate (Not Available In The US)
5. Ketoconazole
6. Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone Agonists

1. Spironolactone (Aldactone)

Spironolactone (also known as Aldactone) is a mild diuretic used to control high blood pressure, but it is the number one hirsutism treatment of choice for dermatologists in the US. It is the prescribed to treat unsightly facial hair growth in women because of its safety, availability, and low cost.

In daily doses of 50-200 mg, Spironolactone interferes with the production of testosterone and it increases the metabolism of any testosterone that is produced. It binds to cell androgen receptors and blocks them from binding to naturally produced androgens. In addition with long term spironolactone use, there is a gradual reduction in 5 alpha reductase activity. It is this enzyme that converts testosterone to the more potent, hair follicle stimulating, dihydrotestosterone.

6 Hair Removal Prescription Oral Medications

With current systemic therapies for hirsutism, 6 months to a year of therapy is usually required before results are noticeable. Even then, only approximately one half to three quarters of patients show improvement. The problem may lie partially in the nature of the hair follicle, which persists for 6 months to a year even after androgen levels have been normalized. Ineffectiveness may also be due to the inability of treatment to completely normalize elevated tissue dihydrotestosterone levels. Newer therapies directed at inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase or blockade of the androgen receptor may improve the ability to treat patients.

Treatment protocols may involve continuous spironolactone use at 50mg to 200mg per day or cyclic use. For example 50mg or 100mg twice daily from the 4th to the 22nd day of the menstrual cycle. Sexually active women taking spironolactone should ensure that contraceptive measures are adequate. In some cases, spironolactone can be combined with an OC for added effect on the hirsutism.

Spironolactone is a diuretic, so it's advised to drink plenty of water while taking it. Side effects with spironolactone are generally transient. As with all antiandrogens , spironolactone use should be avoided during pregnancy and in women who have a family history of breast cancer, although there is no proven association between spironolactone and breast malignancy.

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