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Is Oral Minoxidil more effective than Topical Minoxidil?

When hair loss starts to creep into our lives, it can leave us feeling disheartened and eager to find a solution that works. If you’ve sought hair loss medications to regain a full head of hair, you’ve likely heard of oral minoxidil.

What is Oral Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a hair loss medication initially developed as an oral treatment for hypertension. However, its unexpected side effect of stimulating hair growth led to its repurposing as a hair loss treatment, also known as topical Minoxidil. 

Low dose Oral Minoxidil is the oral version of this medication. It treats hair loss by dilating blood vessels, increasing blood flow, and promoting hair follicle stimulation, which can lead to hair growth.

In Singapore, topical minoxidil is still first line therapy for male pattern hair loss. Oral Minoxidil may be a suitable option for those who cannot tolerate or are unable to see satisfactory results from topical Minoxidil. 

How is oral minoxidil different from topical minoxidil?

Convenience of application

Topical Minoxidil involves direct application to the scalp. This requires a fair amount of conscientiousness on the patient’s end as the medication must be applied twice daily. For patients who frequently travel, this process can be quite troublesome. Lastly, depending on your area of hair loss, applying topical Minoxidil may require some assistance.

As a pill that’s ingested once a day, oral minoxidil is a lot more convenient and can be packed easily.

Efficacy

Both forms of Minoxidil have demonstrated efficacy in promoting hair growth. However, as Oral Minoxidil is taken orally, some patients find it easier to be compliant with treatment.

A study observed a 12% increase in hair density among subjects who underwent a 24-week Oral Minoxidil treatment regimen.

Cost-effectiveness

Oral Minoxidil is cheaper than most topical foams/solutions for the same duration of use. This cost will make a significant difference if you intend to be on hair loss medication for some time. 

Neat and seamless

Oral minoxidil will not stain bedding, clothing etc as with topical minoxidil. 

Even coverage

Patients who tend to miss out applying certain areas of topical minoxidil on the scalp may find resolve with oral minoxidil. When ingested orally, Minoxidil also allows for more widespread follicular accumulation.   

When is Oral Minoxidil recommended?

The decision to pursue Oral Minoxidil as a hair loss treatment should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare professional. Besides the reasons outlined above, there are specific scenarios where Oral Minoxidil might be recommended:

  • When topical treatments yield suboptimal results
  • When other options have been exhausted
  • When compliance with treatment is unmanageable

What type of hair loss can Oral Minoxidil treat?

Oral Minoxidil is most ideal for male pattern hair loss. However, it also has other indications such as female pattern hairloss and alopecia areata.

However, its effectiveness may vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience similar results. 

Contraindications

Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as those with a history of arrhythmia or those with a significant cardiac condition or chronic kidney or chronic liver disease are not good candidates for oral minoxidil.

To determine if Oral Minoxidil is suitable for you, your doctor may consider:

  • Your health profile
  • Your likely adherence to treatment
  • Your expectations

It is therefore crucial to discuss your medical history with a doctor before considering this treatment. 

Oral Minoxidil treatment process

If your doctor determines Oral Minoxidil suits you, they will prescribe the appropriate dosage. Typically, treatment begins with a low dose of 0.25-2.5 mg that is gradually increased while closely monitoring the response and any side effects. It may be used in combination with other hair loss treatments like lasers, microneedling or FUE hair transplant.

Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to assess your progress and address any concerns.

Where to buy Oral Minoxidil in Singapore

In Singapore, Oral Minoxidil is a special access prescription medication that must be obtained through a healthcare professional. You must consult a doctor to determine if oral minoxidil suits you.

Read more about Oral Minoxidil here

Price/Cost Of Minoxidil In Singapore

A bottle of Minoxidil (100 pills) costs $99+ GST at SL Aesthetic Clinic.

Interested?

FAQ

Upon commencing oral minoxidil treatment, it is normal to experience initial hair shedding during the initial 1-2 months. Following this phase, noticeable indications of hair regrowth become apparent within 4-8 months, and the complete effects tend to become consistent after approximately 12-18 months. However, individual reactions may differ. It is crucial for patients to refrain from discontinuing the medication prematurely and to have a clear understanding of the anticipated timeline for achieving hair regrowth.
Oral minoxidil is a prescription medication in Singapore and should only be used under medical supervision.
Oral minoxidil for hair loss is available in tablets at a recommended dosage of 0.25-2.5mg.

Yes, both men and women can use oral minoxidil.

Are there side effects? 

The most common side effect of oral minoxidil is hair growth at other parts of the body – but nothing too extreme that regular shaving or laser hair removal cannot resolve. 

Rare side effects include: 

  • Leg swelling
  • Postural blood pressure changes 
  • Heart rate changes 

However, these side effects typically occur at high dosages. 

Oral minoxidil may be combined with hair loss supplements like MIRIQA; however, it is advised to consult your practitioner before taking any supplements. 

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