Category Archives: Prostaglandin F2α

New Latanoprost for Hair Growth Trial

In my old posts on Bimatoprost, I mentioned the related glaucoma drug Latanoprost. While Bimatoprost is a synthetic prostamide analog, Latanoprost is a prostaglandin F2α analog and it prolongs the anagen phase of the hair cycle via the prostaglandin effect.

Latanoprost Hair Growth
Latanoprost for hair growth trial at Sinclair Clinic. Source: 9News Australia.

Latanoprost for Hair Growth Trial

The renowned Dr. Rodney Sinclair and his Melbourne based Sinclair Dermatology clinic will test Latanoprost eye drops for hair growth in a new clinical trial. I have covered Dr. Sinclair numerous times on this blog, including in my post on “Oral Minoxidil“. Most recently, his clinic has taken the lead in testing Hope Medicine’s HMI-115 prolactin receptor antibody.

Latanoprost (sold under the brand name Xalatan) is a medication that is used to treat increased pressure inside the eye. This includes ocular hypertension and glaucoma. It was approved for medical use in the US in 1996. However, it is not FDA approved to treat hair loss. One of the noted side effects of Latanoprost (off-label use) is an increase in the thickness and density of eyelash hair.

However, this type of cosmetic use near the eye region can come with serious side effects in the eyes. Moreover:

“The overgrowth of lashes may result in lash misdirection and distichiasis, and an extra row of hair at the aperture of the meibomian glands that can result in eye irritation.”

Prostaglandin Analogs

Latanoprost is a prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α or PGF2a) analog, similar to Travoprost and Tafluprost. A 2012 German study of 16 men with androgenetic alopecia found that Latanoprost significantly increased hair density (terminal and vellus hairs) at 24 weeks compared with baseline. A 2015 review concluded that the most promising alternative clinical uses of prostaglandin F2α analogs beyond the eyelashes include: androgenic alopecia; chemotherapy-induced alopecia; and alopecia areata.

Even over 20 years ago, a detailed 2002 study on stump-tailed macaques found that Latanoprost had a potent positive effect on hair growth. Note that Aneira Pharma is developing a hair loss product that will likely contain Latanoprost, Cyclosporine and Minoxidil.

Also, Dermaliq Therapeutics (US) is working on a topical Prostaglandin F2α analogue product for male pattern baldness. I covered the company in my post on increasing PGE2 and PGF2α for hair growth. On a related note, make sure to read my posts on PGD2 inhibition for hair growth.

Misplaced Skepticism

Most readers are skeptical about existing drugs such as Bimatoprost and Latanoprost doing much for scalp hair growth. However, in my opinion, we should welcome every new mechanism of targeting hair regrowth. Even if each one is “only” as effective as the tried and tested topical Minoxidil.

Some products might just make existing hair thicker rather than re-grow lost hair. However, this thicker scalp hair is then less easily destructible by the ravages of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Moreover, if we have many different alternatives to tackle hair loss, the chances are that each of us can find at least three products that cause him or her no side effects.

Ultimately, a cocktail of topical products could multiply the hair growth effect. A number of new companies that sell topical finasteride are also including Latanoprost as part of the ingredients. Delivery mechanisms continue to improve, resulting in superior product absorption and penetration into the scalp.

Increasing PGE2 and PGF2α for Hair Growth

I originally wrote this post in 2020 and covered the hair growth effects of increasing prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α). Not to be confused with decreasing prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) for more hair.

Update: December 14, 2022

Dermaliq Therapeutics: Prostaglandin F2α Analogue Clinical Trials

Earlier today, Dermaliq Therapeutics (US) announced that it has begun Phase 1b/2a clinical trials for its DLQ01 solution (h/t “Nick”). This product is a topical Prostaglandin F2α analogue that will be used to grow hair in men with androgenetic alopecia (aka male pattern baldness). You can check out Dermaliq’s home page for its pipeline.

The DLQ01 topical formulation is based on hyliQ®, Dermaliq’s novel and proprietary platform technology. The trials will be conduced at Dr. Rodney Sinclair’s cliinic in Australia and will last for six months. Dr. Sinclair is currently also conducting trials for Hope Medicine’s HMI-115 prolactin blocker. Make sure to read that post for one trial volunteer’s biweekly updates.

According to Dr. Betsy Hughes-Formella (Chief Scientific Officer at Dermaliq):

“Dermaliq’s hyliQ® technology has the potential to transform follicular and dermal delivery of a broad range of active ingredients. DLQ01 is just the start of a promising pipeline targeting follicular delivery.”

June 27, 2020

In a number of past posts, I have discussed how hair loss is impacted by prostaglandins (lipids). Most of my focus has been on how a reduction in prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) levels benefits hair growth. In this post, I will discuss how an increase in levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and PGF2a (PGF2α) leads to hair growth.

PGE2, PGF2α and Hair Growth.
Increase PGE2 and PGF2α for hair growth. Reduce PGD2.

It has also been hypothesized that the balance between PGE2 and PGD2 levels controls hair growth. Increased levels of PGD2 and reduced levels of PGE2 have been observed in the scalps of men suffering from androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Also of note, PGE2 is known to act synergistically with PGF2 alpha

PGE2 and Hair Growth

PGE2 (also known as dinoprostone) is a naturally occurring prostaglandin that is also known to interact with Wnt signaling. A number of studies have shown that increasing PGE2 levels on the scalp can benefit hair growth.

An interesting 2019 study found that one of the ways in which skin and tissue injury can sometimes lead to hair growth is via an increase in PGE2.

A 2018 case report from Spain found that the drug Omeprazole induced hypertrichosis (excessive body hair) in two children. This side effect resulted from a significant increase in prostaglandin E2 levels. Once Omeprazole therapy was stopped, the excess body hair entirely disappeared after six months.

One of the ways in which Minoxidil works to grow hair is via increasing PGE2 levels.

Dexamethasone and Sulfasalazine can both increase prostaglandin E2 levels significantly.

Natural products such as castor oil are thought to raise PGE2 levels, and potentially benefit hair growth. Even if true, such gains will be modest at best in my opinion.

PGF2α (aka PGF2a) and Hair Growth

PGF2α acts by binding to the prostaglandin F2α receptor. When injected into the body or amniotic sac, PGF2α can either induce labor or cause an abortion in a pregnant woman. PGF2a levels are higher in people with non-balding scalps.

In the past, I have written in detail about the glaucoma drug Bimatoprost. This drug is an analog of prostamide F2a, which is almost the same as prostaglandin F2a. Bimatoprost raises both PGF2a and PGE2 levels, and is therefore the key ingredient in eyelash hair growth drug Latisse.

Another analogue of prostaglandin F2a is the well known drug Latanaprost. It prolongs the anagen phase of the hair cycle via the prostaglandin effect.

Another glaucoma and high eye pressure relief drug named Travoprost has a patent related to its scalp hair growth properties. Travaprost raises both PGF2α and PGE2 levels on the scalp when applied topically.

The only other major PGF2a analogue pharmaceutical on the market is called Carboprost.