A drug that has been used for a long time to stop hair loss when applied to the scalp has now been shown to work the same way when taken by mouth in small doses.

The New York Times says that minoxidil, which is the active ingredient in Rogaine, a lotion or foam that is rubbed on the scalp,

was first approved for men in 1988 and for women in 1992. It is now available as a generic. A long time ago, it was found by

accident that the drug could be used to help hair grow. People with high blood pressure were taking high-dose Minoxidil

capsules. But most people who took the pills noticed that hair started to grow all over their bodies. So, the company that made

it made a lotion with Minoxidil, which was eventually called Rogaine, and got it to grow hair on balding heads.

Dermatologists say that the lotion or foam either didn't work for everyone or people didn't like how sticky it was.

"Sulfotransferase enzymes, which may or may not be present in enough amounts in hair roots, must change minoxidil into an

ACTIVE FORM. "WHEN THE DRUG IS TAKEN BY MOUTH, IT CHANGES INTO A TYPE THAT GIVES YOU ENERGY," THE NEWS REPORT SAID.

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