Minoxidil

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Generic Name: Minoxidil Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Minoxidil used for?

Minoxidil solution and foam are used to help hair growth in the treatment of male baldness pattern. It is not used for baldness at the front of the scalp or receding hairline in men. The foam and 2 percent minoxidil solution is also used to help hair growth in women with thinning hair.

Minoxidil belongs to a class of drugs known as vasodilators. It is not known how minoxidil causes hair growth. This medication is not used for sudden/patchy hair loss, unexplained hair loss (e.g., no family history of hair loss), or hair loss after giving birth.

Do not use this product if you are 18 years old or younger.

How should I take Minoxidil?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Using more of this medicine than recommended will not speed up hair growth, and may cause dangerous side effects.

This medicine comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Dry your hair and scalp before applying minoxidil topical.

Apply the recommended amount to the affected areas of the scalp. Minoxidil topical is usually applied twice daily, in the morning and at night.

Wash your hands after applying minoxidil topical.

Use minoxidil topical only on your scalp. Do not use on any other part of your body.

It may take up to 4 months or longer before you notice new hair growth. New hair may be soft, colorless, and barely visible. With further treatment, the hair should begin to have the same color and thickness as your existing hair.

Talk to your doctor if you do not see any hair growth after 4 months of treatment.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep the minoxidil topical foam canister away from open flame or high heat, such as in a car on a hot day. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty canister.

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 minoxidil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: diseases of the scalp (e.g., eczema, infection, cuts), heart problems (e.g., chest pain, heart attack, heart failure), kidney disease, liver disease.

During pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Minoxidil during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Minoxidil. Minoxidil is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Minoxidil?

Burning, stinging, or redness at the application site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Rarely, this medication can be absorbed through the skin and cause side effects. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unwanted facial/body hair, dizziness, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, chest pain, swelling of hands/feet, unusual weight gain, tiredness, difficulty breathing especially when lying down.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Minoxidil?

Some products that may interact with this drug include: drugs for high blood pressure (e.g., guanethidine), drugs that interact with alcohol (e.g., disulfiram, metronidazole).

Minoxidil 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. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Minoxidil?

Minoxidil 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?

Minoxidil may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Minoxidil.

What is the dose of Minoxidil for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Alopecia

Solution:

Apply 1 mL topically to the affected area(s) of the scalp twice a day. The dose should not exceed 2 mL per day.

Foam:

Apply half a capful topically to the affected area(s) of the scalp twice a day.

Other Comments

Patients may not realize hair growth for the first 4 months or more with the 2% solution or 2 months or more with the 5% solution or foam. If the drug is applied with the hands instead of using a spray, hands should be washed thoroughly after application or gloves should be worn.

Hair loss may recur within 3 to 4 months after minoxidil topical treatment is stopped.

What is the dose of Minoxidil for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Minoxidil available?

Minoxidil is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Topical solution,
  • Topical foam.

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 your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Minoxidil, 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

Review Date: March 29, 2018 | Last Modified: March 29, 2018

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