The efficacy of the combination of topical minoxidil and oral spironolactone compared with the combination of topical minoxidil and oral finasteride in women with androgenic alopecia, female and male hair loss patterns: A blinded randomized clinical trial

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2024 Feb;23(2):543-551. doi: 10.1111/jocd.15979. Epub 2023 Aug 31.


Introduction: Androgenic alopecia (AGA) is the most common cause of hair loss in women, affecting their quality of life. The present study was conducted with the aim of comparing the combined effect of topical minoxidil and oral spironolactone with the combined effect of topical minoxidil and oral finasteride in women with AGA, female and male hair loss patterns.

Method: This clinical study was performed on 60 women suffering from AGA. The patients were divided into two groups receiving spironolactone 100 mg/day and finasteride 5 mg/day. In addition, a 2% minoxidil solution was used in all patients in addition to treatment with finasteride or spironolactone. At 2 months after initiation and at the end of treatment, patients were evaluated using the Ludwig/Norwood-Hamilton scale and the degree of physician and patient satisfaction.

Results: After 2 months, hair density, hair thickness, and hair loss had improved in both groups; however, statistically, there was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to these parameters (p > 0.05). After 4 months, a significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of treatment response (physician satisfaction), hair density, and hair loss severity. So that, the drugs used were ineffective in 6.7% of cases in the minoxidil-spironolactone group and in 16.7% of cases in the minoxidil-finasteride group. In addition, 43.3% of cases in the minoxidil-spironolactone group and 53% in the minoxidil-finasteride group responded well to treatment. The treatment effect was excellent in 56.7% and 0% of the mentioned groups, respectively, and the mentioned difference was statistically significant (p: 0.01). The response to treatment in female pattern hair loss (FPHL) was not statistically significant (p: 0.52), but there was a significant difference in the response to both treatments in male pattern hair loss (MPHL; p: 0.007). In terms of patient satisfaction, minoxidil-spironolactone treatment was significantly better than minoxidil-finasteride regarding hair density and severity of hair loss (p: 0.01). Finally, in terms of treatment complications, the patients in two groups did not have any serious adverse effects.

Conclusion: The combination of minoxidil and spironolactone could be considered a more effective treatment than the combination of minoxidil and finasteride in women with AGA, FPHL, and MPHL.

Keywords: androgenic alopecia; female pattern hair loss; oral finasteride; oral spironolactone; topical minoxidil.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / therapy
  • Female
  • Finasteride* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minoxidil* / adverse effects
  • Quality of Life
  • Spironolactone / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Minoxidil
  • Finasteride
  • Spironolactone