Medical treatments for balding in men

Am Fam Physician. 1999 Apr 15;59(8):2189-94, 2196.


Two drugs are available for the treatment of balding in men. Minoxidil, a topical product, is available without a prescription in two strengths. Finasteride is a prescription drug taken orally once daily. Both agents are modestly effective in maintaining (and sometimes regrowing) hair that is lost as a result of androgenic alopecia. The vertex of the scalp is the area that is most likely to respond to treatment, with little or no hair regrowth occurring on the anterior scalp or at the hairline. Side effects of these medications are minimal, making them suitable treatments for this benign but psychologically disruptive condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / diagnosis
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use
  • Hair / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Teaching Materials


  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil