This question, from a member of our Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums, was answered by recommended hair transplant surgeon Dr. Blake Bloxham:
What are your thoughts on the 2.5% topical liposomal finasteride gel? I spoke with Dr. Wong who told me they have about 600 hair loss patients on it without any apparent sides, my concern is that there may be no sides because it may not be really working.
The biggest complaints I’ve heard from people on topical anti-androgens (RU and finasteride) is that those who switched from oral to topical to avoid side effects still experienced systemic side effects. As you pointed out, this is a double edged sword: this does mean that the medication is at least absorbing through the scalp, but it indicates that it isn’t staying as local as one would hope.
I do believe there can be big issues with stuff absorbing through the scalp and creating/utilizing the correct vehicles to get drugs across the skin has always been a big challenge in pharmacology.
Dr. Blake Bloxham
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator