Comparison of the efficacy and safety of topical minoxidil and topical alfatradiol in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2007 May;5(5):391-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2007.06295.x.
[Article in English, German]


Background: Two drugs which are approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women in Germany were compared with regard to their influence on hair growth.

Patients and methods: Patients were randomized to group I (n = 52) who used 2% minoxidil solution twice daily for a period of 12 months or to group II (n = 51) who used 0.025% alfatradiol solution once daily for 6 months and were then switched to 2% minoxidil solution for months 7-12. Changes in hair growth parameters were determined using the TrichoScan.

Results: Topical treatment with 2% minoxidil solution for 6 months resulted in a significant increase of cumulative hair thickness (p < 0.0001) and absolute hair density (p < or = 0.0025), whereas these parameters of hair growth remained nearly unchanged after 6 months of treatment with alfatradiol solution. Evaluation of the same parameters from month 7 to month 12 demonstrated that 12 months minoxidil treatment resulted in an increasing stabilization (group I). After the alfatradiol-->minoxidil switch in group II a significant increase in cumulative hair thickness (p < 0.0001) and absolute hair density (p < 0.0001) was achieved. Both study medications were well tolerated.

Conclusions: Treatment with minoxidil can induce an increase in hair density and hair thickness,whereas treatment with alfatradiol results in deceleration or stabilization of hair loss.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase IV
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Drug Eruptions / etiology
  • Estradiol / administration & dosage
  • Estradiol / adverse effects
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Hair / drug effects*
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Minoxidil / administration & dosage*
  • Minoxidil / adverse effects
  • Scalp Dermatoses / chemically induced
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Women's Health


  • alfatradiol
  • Estradiol
  • Minoxidil