Sold under the brand names Diane 35 and Diane 50, these contraceptive tablets are prescribed in Europe for women’s androgenetic alopecia. Currently, both versions of this contraceptive are not available in the U.S.
The drug is a combination of cyproterone and estradiol, an estrogen. Both Diane 35 and Diane 50 contain 2 mg of cyproterone. Diane 35 contains 0.035 mg of estradiol, while Diane 50 contains 0.050 mg.
They work by blocking some of the actions of male hormones commonly present in women. Although it’s possible for the drug to stop further hair loss and trigger regrowth of hair within about a year, it needs to be used on an ongoing basis to maintain regrowth and eliminate hair loss.
Possible side effects include breast tenderness, headaches, and decreased libido.