hey doc,

im 22 yrs old, experiencing receding hair line, and thinning of hair. i have been using propecia for the past few wks, and will continue using it for a while. should i also use rogaine? i wanted to know if it would benefit to use both or not. also, if i use rogaine, can i use a monoxydil subsititute, found at local grocery stores instead? will the cheaper generic product give the same intended effect as rogaine? please let me know.

thanks for your help.

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Minoxidil is the generic form of Rogaine. Both are over the counter medications, sold at many places, you do not need a doctor’s prescription, like you do for Propecia.

I generally tell my patients to just take Propecia alone for at least 8 months to a year to be able to gauge its effectiveness. When you combine both Propecia and Rogaine from the beginning, you will not be able to tell if any effect is due to just one of the drugs or the combination, and you will be incurring the cost of both drugs for as long as you want the hair loss stopped or slowed down. If you find that Propecia by itself is effective and you are happy with the results, you have saved the cost of Rogaine for that period. If you are one of the few patients who do not get the desired results with Propecia, then you can stop taking the drug.

The two medications work differently. Minoxidil must be applied twice a day and it is messy. Propecia is a pill that should be taken every morning. Propecia attacks the hormone DHT that causes hair loss. Minoxidil was developed as an oral medication to treat high blood pressure and was found to have a side effect, which is the ability to grow hair in a small percentage of the population who took the drug. Minoxidil was then approved as a hair loss treatment in a topical solution called Rogaine. The topical Minoxidil can cause blood pressure drops and skin reactions, so you need to be careful taking it, and it does not work very well in the front of your head. Although Propecia does not impact regrowth in the frontal area most of the time, it will slow down or stop the loss in the front, particularly in young men.