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The impact of monotherapies for male androgenetic alopecia: A network meta-analysis study.

BACKGROUND: The evidence base pertaining to the efficacy of monotherapies for androgenetic alopecia (AGA), the most common form of hair loss, is ever expanding-and this warrants a formal comparison therapies' effect on a frequent basis.

AIMS: The objective of the current study was to determine the comparative effect of relevant monotherapies for male AGA.

PATIENTS/METHODS: Our aim was achieved by conducting Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA), under a random effects model, for two outcomes: 6-month change in (1) total and (2) terminal hair density in adult (i.e., aged 18 years and above) men with AGA; these analyses were preceded by a systematic search of the peer-reviewed literature for suitable data. Interventions' surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) and pairwise relative effects (quantified as mean differences) were estimated through the NMAs.

RESULTS: We determined the comparative effect of 20 active comparators and a control (i.e., placebo/vehicle). "Dutasteride 0.5 mg once daily for 24 weeks" was ranked the most effective in terms of 6-month change in (1) total hair density (SUCRA = 87%) and terminal hair density (SUCRA = 98%). Our results showed that interventions' effectiveness can be dose dependent.

CONCLUSIONS: Our updated analyses of the up-to-date evidence regarding monotherapies for male AGA showed that the oral form of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are more effective than oral minoxidil and other newer agents like Botox, microneedling, and photobiomodulation. Our findings can better inform clinical decision making and design of future research studies.

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