What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a prescription medication that contains Minoxidil as the active ingredient. It is used with other medications in treating high blood pressure. When left untreated, high blood pressure is a condition that may cause damage to the brain, heart, blood pressure, kidneys, and other parts of the body.
Let us understand more about the medication, including its uses, side effects, and precautions to be followed.
How to use Minoxidil?
What are the approved label uses of Minoxidil?
- Minoxidil is a generic drug that comes as an oral tablet or a solution or foam. Minoxidil is used in combination with other drugs to treat high blood pressure
- Doctors usually prescribe beta-blockers and diuretics along with Minoxidil to help with blood pressure management and reduce the harmful effects of Minoxidil
- Minoxidil solution and foam are used in treating male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). Minoxidil solution or foam helps in hair growth and slow balding
What are some off-label uses of Minoxidil?
Topical off-label use of Minoxidil are:
- Alopecia areata (a condition where is a sudden loss of hair that starts with one or more circular bald patches that could overlap)
- Alopecia induced by chemotherapy (chemotherapy causes hair loss in many individuals, Minoxidil prevents hair loss to an extent and causes acceleration of hair regrowth)
- Hair transplant (administration of Minoxidil before and after hair transplant minimizes hair loss)
- Scarring alopecia (is an inflammatory type of hair loss disorder, which results in bald patches on the scalp due to permanent destruction of hair follicles)
- Monilethrix ( is a condition that affects hair growth)
It may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What are the instructions for Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is available in various dosage forms and dosages. However, the dose and type of dosage form will depend on:
- Severity of the condition
- Type of condition
- Reaction to the first dose (tolerability)
- Other medical conditions and medications
The Minoxidil tablet is available in two strengths, 2.5 mg, and 10 mg. Your doctor may decide your dose based on your condition. You will likely be prescribed 5 mg once daily, and your dose may be adjusted depending on how you respond and your medical condition.
- Do not stop taking the medication without consulting with your doctor. Follow the instructions on the prescription label and ask your physician or pharmacist if you have any queries regarding the dosing.
- Minoxidil is available as a tablet that is to be taken orally (for hypertension)
- It is usually prescribed once or twice daily.
- Take this medication regularly to get the maximum response to the treatment. Do not stop the treatment even if you feel well.
- Your doctor may advise you to a low-salt or low-sodium diet
- Your physician may start you with the low dose and gradually increase the dose as needed
- Minoxidil helps in controlling hypertension but does not cure it
If you miss your dose, take the dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose.
What are the ingredients in Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a tablet that contains Minoxidil as an active ingredient. It is available in two dosages, 2.5 mg and 10 mg tablets.
Minoxidil belongs to the vasodilators class of drugs. It works by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow easily through the body, thus reducing blood pressure.
How to store and dispose of Minoxidil?
- Minoxidil can be stored at room temperature between 20°C to 25°C
- Do noy freeze Minoxidil
- Keep it away from sunlight
- Do not store the medication in moist or damp areas
What are the side effects of Minoxidil?
Like all the medications, Minoxidil also has side effects. It is possible that most people may not experience any side effects or may experience minor side effects. You may experience the following side effects. Inform your physician if these symptoms are severe or if they do not go away.
Common side effects include:
- Increase in size or darkness of body hair
- Breast tenderness
Some of the side effects can be serious. You must call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the below-mentioned symptoms:
- Fast heartbeat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swollen ankles or feet
- Unexplained sudden weight gain
- Arm pain
- Shoulder pain
- Severe or persistent heartburn
Minoxidil may cause other side effects. Call your physician if you experience any unusual problems while on this medication.
What are the most important contraindications when on Minoxidil?
Tell your physician or pharmacist about it if you are allergic to Minoxidil. If you have any other allergies, do not forget to share the same with the health care professional.
Do not take or inform your doctor if you have or had following conditions:
- Pheochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal gland)
- Recent history of heart attack
- Kidney disease
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you are thinking of getting pregnant.
What are the warnings and precautions of Minoxidil?
Inform your health worker about other prescription, non-prescription medications, and nutritional supplements that you are taking. Also, inform about vitamins and herbal supplements that you are taking or planning to take.
Before having surgery, inform your doctor or dentist about all the medications you use.
Minoxidil may make you feel drowsy, so do not drive or operate machinery until you realize how the medication affects you.
If you consume alcohol, ask your physician about how safe it is to drink alcohol during the treatment. Alcohol can make the side effects of Minoxidil worse.
What are the most important interactions of Minoxidil?
Minoxidil may interact with any of the following medications or inform your doctor if you are taking any of the below-mentioned medication:
- Diuretics (water pills)
- Other medications for treating blood pressure
- Antipsychotic agents
The list is not comprehensive, and other drugs may interact with Minoxidil. You should mention all the medications that you are taking and consult your doctor before starting the medication.
Can I take Oral Contraceptive Pills While Taking Minoxidil?
While there is no observed interaction between these medicines, they may not be suitable for everyone. It is thus best to consult your doctor before taking either of them.
When can I Take Minoxidil?
Minoxidil can be taken any time of the day. It would help if you consumed it at a fixed time so that remembering it becomes easy. If it is prescribed two times a day, follow the instructions provided by your healthcare worker.
What Medications contain Minoxidil?
Apo-Gain; Hair Regrowth Formula; Minox; Rogaine
Is There A Generic Version to Minoxidil?
Yes, Minoxidil is the generic version of the drug that is available in Canada under the name of Loniten.
How Is Minoxidil Different from Others In The Treatment Of Ailment?
Minoxidil is used to manage high blood pressure when other medicines fall short of controlling it. It may also be used with other medicines to manage hair loss.
Who Makes Minoxidil and What Is Their Manufacturing Record of Success?
Rogaine and many other pharma companies manufacture Minoxidil. They all are well-known companies that have largely contributed to manufacturing medicines treating a variety of conditions.