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Minoxidil (antihypertensive agent, hair grower)

Minoxidil is a blood pressure-lowering drug. It is not a first-line treatment for hypertension but it may be used in combination with other antihypertensive agents. Additionally, research has shown that it can stimulate hair growth on the scalp when applied topically.

Uses

What is Minoxidil used for?

Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

For oral dosage forms, swallow it whole without chewing, crushing, or dissolving it in liquid.

For topical preparations, apply a thin layer to the affected areas. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the product. Avoid contact with your eyes, nostrils, and mouth. Wearing latex or rubber gloves can prevent excess hair growth on the fingers and hand.

How should I take Minoxidil?

Store this product at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

How do I store Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Minoxidil in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Minoxidil that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Minoxidil down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & Warnings

What should I know before using Minoxidil?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

Side Effects

What side effects can occur from Minoxidil?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Hypotension
  • Reflex tachycardia
  • Fluid retention (edema)
  • Excess body hair growth
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Pericarditis
  • Worsening of angina pectoris
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men)
  • Breast tenderness
  • Polymenorrhea (menstrual cycle lasting shorter than 21 days)
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Skin rash
  • Burning sensation
  • Slight change in hair color or texture

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Minoxidil?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Other antihypertensive agents
  • Corticosteroids
  • Retinoids
  • Occlusive ointment preparations

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with Minoxidil?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Minoxidil?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Psoriasis
  • Sunburn
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Angina pectoris
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Kidney impairment

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Uncontrolled hypertension

Initially, take 5 mg per day. Gradually increase the dose every 3 days or more to 40 mg or 50 mg, either as a single or in 2 divided doses per day. The maximum dose is 100 mg a day.

Stimulating hair growth

Men: Using 2% or 5% solution, apply 1 mL of product to the scalp 2 times per day. For 5% foam or aerosol, apply half a capful to the scalp 2 times per day.

Women: Using 2% solution, apply 1 mL of product to the scalp 2 times per day. For 5% foam or aerosol, apply half a capful to the scalp 2 times per day.

What is the dose for a child?

Uncontrolled hypertension

Initially, give 200 mcg per kilogram a day. Increase the dose every 3 days or more by 100 to 200 mcg per kg, either as a single or in 2 divided doses per day. The maximum dose is 50 mg a day.

How is Minoxidil available?

Minoxidil is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral tablet 2.5 mg, 10 mg
  • Topical foam: 5%
  • Topical solution: 2%, 5%

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Minoxidil https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/minoxidil?mtype=generic Accessed July 27, 2021

Minoxidil (Topical Route) https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-topical-route/description/drg-20068750 Accessed July 27, 2021

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-oral-route/description/drg-20068757

Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691938/ Accessed July 27, 2021

Minoxidil solution https://dermnetnz.org/topics/minoxidil-solution/ Accessed July 27, 2021

Minoxidil (Topical). Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed July 27, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jul 28
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