Brand Name(s): Rogaine
Drug Class: Arteriolar vasodilator
Treats: Hair loss
Minoxidil is in a group of medications known as arteriolar vasodilators. Minoxidil intended for treating high blood pressure. It also treats hair loss and malignant hypertension. It operates by relaxing the blood vessels and helps to improve the flow of blood. This medication is mainly used together with a diuretic or water pill and other medications.
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Minoxidil is a drug that belongs to the antihypertensive vasodilators family of drugs. Minoxidil is applied on the scalp to slow down or completely stop hair loss for both adult women and men who suffer from a particular type of baldness. It can also be used to promote the regrowth of hair in some individuals. Hair growth usually occurs after using minoxidil for a few months. This growth usually lasts as long as one continues using this medication. Hair loss will start again in a few months after the patient stops using this medication. Minoxidil is available without the prescription of a doctor.
- Hair Loss
- High Blood Pressure
Minoxidil is available in two different forms: as an oral medication for treating high blood pressure. It is also in topical solution form for treating baldness and hair loss. Minoxidil should not be given to children or teens below 18 years because its safety and effectiveness in this age group has not been established. Typical adult dosage for Hypertension
- Initial dose: 5 mg of Minoxidil administered orally once daily
- Maintenance dose: 10 to 40 mg given once or twice daily
- Maximum dose: 100 mg given per day.
- Minoxidil is applied as either half a cup of foam or 1ml solution to dry scalp and hair two times daily usually in the morning and evening. This drug should be applied two times every day for about four months.
Minoxidil Side Effects
Minoxidil is usually well tolerated by most individuals. However, most people will experience a few side effects when using this medication. These negative effects usually go away after using the drug for a few days as the body adjusts to the medication. Common side effects are listed below. Note that not all possible minoxidil side effects are listed here.
- Irritation, redness or burning of treated area
- Unwanted hair growth
- Exacerbation of alopecia or hair loss
- Breast tenderness or pain
Serious Minoxidil side effects include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain and tightness
- Tachycardia or rapid heartbeat
- Unexplained or sudden weight gain
- Swelling of the feet and hands
- Temporary hair loss
Like any drug, minoxidil may interact with other drugs and substances. Drug interactions usually alter the mechanism of action of most medicines and increase the risks of side effects. Inform your clinician about the medications that you are currently taking. This is important especially if you are taking drugs such as the following. Note that not all possible interactions are listed here.