A Viagra follow-up? Drug used to treat glaucoma actually grows human hair

October 26, 2012, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

If you're balding and want your hair to grow back, then here is some good news. A new research report appearing online in The FASEB Journal shows how the FDA-approved glaucoma drug, bimatoprost, causes human hair to regrow. It's been commercially available as a way to lengthen eyelashes, but these data are the first to show that it can actually grow human hair from the scalp.

"We hope this study will lead to the development of a new therapy for balding which should improve the quality of life for many people with hair loss," said Valerie Randall, a researcher involved in the work from the University of Bradford, Bradford, UK. "Further research should increase our understanding of how hair follicles work and thereby allow new for many hair growth disorders."

To make this discovery, Randall and colleagues conducted three sets of experiments. Two involved human cells and the other involved mice. The tests on human cells involved using hair follicles growing in organ culture as well as those take directly from the human scalp. In both of these experiments, the scientists found that bimatoprost led to . The third set of experiments involved applying bimatoprost to the skin of bald spots on mice. As was the case with , the drug caused hair to regrow.

"This discovery could be the long-awaited follow up to Viagra that middle-aged men have been waiting for," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, editor-in-chief of The . "Given that the drug is already approved for human use and its safety profile is generally understood, this looks like a promising discovery that has been right in front of our eyes the whole time. On to the front of our scalp!"

Explore further: Research identifies inhibitor causing male pattern baldness and target for hair-loss treatments

More information: FASEB J doi:10.1096/fj.12-218156

Related Stories

Research identifies inhibitor causing male pattern baldness and target for hair-loss treatments

March 21, 2012
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified an abnormal amount a protein called Prostaglandin D2 in the bald scalp of men with male pattern baldness, a discovery that ...

Recommended for you

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.