Doctors use drug off label to treat hair loss

What’s old is new again in the world of hair loss.

Minoxidil, a drug that’s been around for decades, was originally prescribed orally to treat high blood pressure.

When patients started growing hair, the drug was repurposed into a topical version which is FDA-approved specifically for hair loss.

Hair loss specialist Dr. Alan Bauman and others also sometimes prescribe oral minoxidil in low doses to support hair growth.

“As a topical, it worked good,” he said. “You have to be consistent with it. Some people didn’t respond well, some people it messed up their hair style, they could endure inflammation on the scalp and cause other side effects, so sometimes topical minoxidil is not a great idea.”

Bauman said while the low dose oral version costs far less than the topical product, it comes with risks.

Patients need to be closely monitored by a doctor for systemic side effects from the oral drug.

Also in today’s health news, when it comes to healthcare, a new poll found that the majority of Americans aren’t satisfied with our system. In fact, most give it a failing grade with only 12 percent saying it’s handled well.

How prescription drug costs, nursing home and mental health care are handled in this country are the main reasons.

The poll also found Americans have similar views about health care for older adults.

And a new study suggests air pollution impacts women more than men.

Canadian scientists found women who breathed in diesel exhaust had higher levels of 90 proteins than men who did the same thing.

These proteins are linked to inflammation, infection and heart disease.

Diesel exhaust is already known to be a major risk factor in diseases like asthma.

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