Topical adenosine increases thick hair ratio in Japanese men with androgenetic alopecia

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2015 Dec;37(6):579-87. doi: 10.1111/ics.12235. Epub 2015 May 18.


Objective: Hair thickness is more important than hair density in the appearance of baldness in male with androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Adenosine improves hair loss by stimulating hair growth and by thickening hair shafts in women. The objective of this study was to evaluate the hair growth efficacy and safety of topical adenosine in men with AGA.

Methods: A lotion containing either adenosine or niacinamide was administered to the scalps of 102 Japanese men twice daily for 6 months in a double-blind, randomized study. Efficacy was evaluated by dermatologists who assessed the quality of the hair and by calculating the percentages of vellus-like and thick hairs among the vertex hairs, as well as hair density.

Results: Adenosine was significantly (P < 0.05) superior to niacinamide in terms of global improvement of AGA, increase in the percentage of thick hairs (at least 60 μm) and self-assessment of hair thickness by the study participants. No causal adverse event due to the adenosine lotion was observed.

Conclusion: These data indicate that adenosine increases thick hair ratio in Japanese men with AGA, and this compound is useful for the improvement of AGA.

Keywords: adenosine; androgenetic alopecia; fibroblast growth factor-7; hair growth; hair thickness; minoxidil.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / administration & dosage*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Adenosine