Is Provillus Just Another Hair Loss Scam?

by Staff Writer

Question: Hi,I am beginning to experience male pattern baldness. I have found on the internet a hair loss product called provillus. Do you know anything about this product as to whether it’s successful/safe, etc. It claims to be FDA approved and has ingredients found in both Rogaine and Propecia as well as some vitamins. I don’t want to take a risky medication for health reasons/further hair loss, so I was hoping you guys at american hair loss association might have some information on this product.Thanks,
Travis

Answer:

Dear Travis,

The sad truth is that that the hair loss industry is a 3.5 billion dollar a year business, yet 99% off all products and services being sold to hair loss sufferers are either a complete scam or questionable at best.

It’s important to understand that there have only been two FDA approved medical treatments for hair loss. They are Minoxidil and Propecia (Finasteride).

There is no other product on the market that has been approved by the FDA to treat hair loss!

Provillus claims to be a proprietary blend of herbal, mineral, and vitamin components which include:
Saw Palmetto Berries, Gotu Kola, Nettles, Magnesium, Zinc Sulfate, Siberian Ginseng, Vitamin B-6, Pumpkin Seed Meal, and Mura Puma Root. These are all considered to be nutritional supplements none of which are approved by the Food & Drug Administration for any medical purpose let alone the prevention and treatment of hair loss.

The topical formulation included in with the Provillus package contains the FDA approved drug Minoxidil which can be purchased over the counter at any drug store in the country for a fraction of what Provillus charges vulnerable hair loss consumers. So in short consumers are paying an arm and a leg for generic minoxidil.

There are several companies currently hawking repackaged Minoxidil along with magical dietary supplements as “miracle breakthroughs” in the fight against hair loss.

Here’s simple rule of thumb: If a hair loss product or service is being advertised on late night television, on the radio, in the back of men’s magazines or on the internet, and is not FDA approved or does not carry the American Hair Loss Association certification seal, avoid it!

Provillus itself is NOT FDA approved to our knowledge, and is definitely NOT recommended by The American Hair Loss Association.

Also View This Related Post on Provillus at BaldTruthTalk.Com:
http://www.baldtruthtalk.com/showthread.php?p=486#post486

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Peter H. Proctor, PhD,MD December 6, 2007 at 9:43 am

Unfortunately, it is not so simple. FDA-approval is more a matter of economics than whether a drug works or not. Thus, about 20% of all prescriptions are written “off-label” for indications that are not FDA-approved.

E.g., it is well-established that antiseborrheic dermatitis agents ( E.g., “tar”, ketoconazole (nizoral), and pyrithione ) have efficacy in the treatment of pattern loss. E.g., in the clinical trials for Propecia, Merck used T-gel (a coal-tar formulation) in both wings to minimize seb-derm as a variable. Unfortuately, you cannot patent this– the first-century Greek physician Dioscoridies lists “Tar” as a treatment for baldness. So no drug company will do the requisite studies. Yet physicians regularly use these agents.

Even the two drugs that are FDA_approved for pattern loss, finasteride and minoxidil, piggy-backed onto other more-profitable indications. These have not made much money for their manufactures, so hair loss is pretty much on the back-burner these days.

Similarly, a close look at the minoxidil studies shows that about half of what you get is from the vehicle, probably from propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a pretty standard constituent of topical solutions.

There are on-going studies at Pfizer on “K-channel agonists”. Other examples include minoxidil itself and nicorandil. The spin-trap TEMPOL, a superoxide dismutase, is entering Phase-3 trials for radiation alopecia. SOD’s in general are hair-growth-stimulators, possibly thru an indirect effect on nitrix-oxide-mediated K-channel opening.

Peter H. Proctor, PhD,MD

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