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Drugs to Prevent Hair Growth
Women experiencing excessive hair growth are commonly diagnosed with a condition called hirsutism. Symptoms of the condition include excessive, male-patterned hair growth on the face, chest, back and arms. While many temporary hair-removal options exist including tweezing, waxing, shaving and dissolving, such methods require constant upkeep. Permanent solutions include electrolysis and laser hair removal. These options require several sessions to complete and can be quite expensive. Medications and drugs to prevent future growth may also be used. However, medications do not reverse or remove existing hair.
Birth-control pills contain two key components that prevent hair growth: estrogen and progestin. These female hormones prevent hair growth by inhibiting the production of androgens, or male hormones, which are responsible for excessive hair growth, according to MayoClinic.com. Oral contraceptives are ideal for women who also desire birth control.
Spironolactone, a common anti-androgen used to treat hair growth, prevents growth by blocking androgens. The drug prevents androgens from attaching to androgen receptors found within the body. It may take a month or more for anti-androgens to bring about favorable results.
Eflornithine, a prescription cream used to prevent facial hair growth, is applied directly to the affected area. This medication gradually slows and halts hair growth. The benefits associated with this medication are not immediately noticeable. It may take up to two months for change to occur. Once treatment stops, hair growth returns to pre-treatment rates within two months, according to Drugs.com.
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