Minoxidil dose response study in female pattern hair loss patients determined to be non-responders to 5% topical minoxidil

J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2016 Oct-Dec;30(4):1153-1155.


Topical minoxidil is the only US FDA approved drug for the treatment of female pattern hair loss (FPHL). 5% minoxidil foam is only effective at re-growing hair in a minority of women (approximately 40%). Thus, the majority of FPHL patients remain untreated. Previously, we demonstrated that nonresponders to 5% minoxidil have low metabolism of minoxidil in hair follicles. As such, we hypothesized that increasing the dosage of topical minoxidil to low metabolizers would increase the number of responders without increasing the incidence of adverse events. In this study, we recruited FPHL subjects that were identified as non-responders to 5% topical minoxidil utilizing the previously validated assay for minoxidil response. Subjects were treated for 12 weeks with a novel 15% topical minoxidil solution. At 12 weeks, 60% of subjects achieved a clinically significant response based on target area hair counts (>13.7% from baseline), as well as significant improvement in global photographic assessment. None of the subjects experienced significant hemodynamic changes or any other adverse events. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the potentially beneficial effect of a higher dosage of minoxidil in FPHL subjects who fail to respond to 5% minoxidil.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Minoxidil / administration & dosage*
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Minoxidil