Compounded Topical Medications

Over-the-counter (OTC), Topical Minoxidil
Hair loss medications that are applied to the scalp “topically,” such as minoxidil drops, are perceived by many to be messy, smelly, inconvenient, and too oftentimes cause itching and irritation. Individuals experiencing hair loss will frequently try over-the-counter (OTC) topical minoxidil products, but will rarely continue using them. So, although daily application of topical minoxidil is a potentially effective treatment it is commonly viewed as an unpleasant and fruitless endeavor; most patients discontinue treatment long before any results are realized. Ironically the unpleasant side effects, previously mentioned, are usually not caused by minoxidil, but are the result of propylene glycol; the solvent used in OTC topical minoxidil solutions, such as Rogaine.

Propylene glycol (PG) is a very popular and effective solvent found in antifreeze, paint, plastics, and numerous household products. Unfortunately PG has some undesirable side effects that are important to consider when treating hair loss. For example, when applied to the scalp as a vehicle for minoxidil, PG is commonly associated with irritation and can occasionally cause allergic contact dermatitis. These notable side effects, since scalp irritation can worsen and even cause hair loss. In addition. PG has a greasy texture and a sweet smell that many patients find to be unpleasant.

Compounded, Non-propylene Glycol, Topical Solutions
Compounding is a process where a professional compounding pharmacist prepares customized medications for patients. Compounded medications are formulated based on the prescribing physicians prescription. Ingredients can therefore be tailored to individual patient needs and combined in precise strengths to optimize benefits and avoid adverse side effects.

By utilizing custom compounding techniques, topical minoxidil formulations, can be prepared using non-propylene glycol solvents. These preparations are pleasant non-greasy, virtually odorless and rarely cause skin irritation. Other medications can also be added to enhance effectiveness. Personalized, non PG topical medications for hair loss can therefore provide a more pleasant, easier to “consistently” use, and more effective alternative to older mass produced formulations.

Minoxidil Foam Preparations
Newer “foam” preparations of minoxidil, that do not contain propylene glycol, may also be safer than the older liquid formulations, but are difficult to apply in patients with longer hair styles; getting a dollop, of whip cream-like consistency, foam through the hair and onto the scalp is challenging. Foam preparations are therefore more convenient when the hair is very short, around 1/4 inch. or when applied to the leading edge of the hair line.

See Minoxidil & Rogaine for detailed description.

Please consult with your physician before considering any of the drugs or treatments discussed on this website