- What is minoxidil, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for minoxidil?
- Is minoxidil available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for minoxidil?
- What are the uses for minoxidil?
- What are the side effects of minoxidil?
- What is the dosage for minoxidil?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with minoxidil?
- Is minoxidil safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about minoxidil?
What is minoxidil, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Minoxidil is a drug that is used for treating male-pattern baldness and hair loss in women. Oral minoxidil was originally used for treating high blood pressure, but patients and health care providers noticed that hair growth was a side effect of treatment. This led to the development of topical (solution applied to the skin) minoxidil for the treatment of male-pattern baldness. The mechanism of action leading to growth of hair is unknown. The FDA approved minoxidil in August 1988.
What are the uses for minoxidil?
Minoxidil is used to treat male-pattern baldness. In women, it is used to treat diffuse loss of hair or thinning of hair in the frontal areas of the scalp.
What are the side effects of minoxidil?
Common side effects of minoxidil include:
Other side effects include:
- chest pain, and
- increased or decreased blood pressure.
An increase in the absorption of minoxidil from the scalp can occur in patients with damaged skin, leading to increased side effects. Minoxidil's contains alcohol that can irritate the eyes. In case of accidental contact with eyes or other sensitive areas, the exposed area should be washed with cool water. Tendonitis has also been reported.
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What is the dosage for minoxidil?
Minoxidil should be applied as 1 ml of solution or half a capful of foam to dry hair and scalp once in the morning and again in the evening. It should be spread evenly over the affected areas, and then the hands should be washed with warm water (if the hands are used for application). Minoxidil must be applied on the scalp at least twice daily and for at least four months to see results. Minoxidil works less well in patients that are older, have larger areas of baldness, and have been bald for longer periods of time. Minoxidil should be applied to a dry scalp only, and left in place for at least four hours. Minoxidil must be continued in order to maintain or increase the hair growth achieved.
Is minoxidil safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Minoxidil should not be used in pregnancy because it has not been studied adequately in pregnant women.
Minoxidil should not be used by nursing women because it has not been evaluated adequately in nursing mothers.
What else should I know about minoxidil?
What preparations of minoxidil are available?
Solution: 2 and 5%; Foam: 5% (for topical use only, do not confuse topical minoxidil with oral minoxidil).
How should I keep minoxidil stored?
Minoxidil should be stored at room temperature, 20 C - 25 C (68 F - 77 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information.
Quick GuideHair Loss: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Mistakenly thought to be a strictly male disease, women make up a significant percentage of American hair loss sufferers. See a...
Picture of Male Pattern Baldness
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Top minoxidil Related ArticlesComplete List
Alopecia AreataAlopecia areata is a condition that causes hair loss on the scalp and sometimes other parts of the body. It is believed to be caused by an abnormality of the immune system that causes the body's immune system to attack the hair follicles. Typically, hair regrows within a year without treatment. Steroid injections, creams, and shampoos may be used during treatment.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
Febrile SeizuresFebrile seizures, or convulsions caused by fever, can be frightening in small children or infants. However, in general, febrile seizures are harmless. Febrile seizure is not epilepsy. It is estimated that one in every 25 children will have at least one febrile seizure. It is important to know what to do to help your child if he/she has a febrile seizure. Some of the features of a febrile seizure include:
- losing consciousness,
- moving limbs on both sides of the body,
- lasts 1-2 minutes.
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Hair LossThere are many causes of scalp hair loss. This featured article covers the common ones such as patchy hair loss (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and tinea capitis), telogen effluvium, and androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness).
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High Blood Pressure TreatmentHigh blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include lifestyle modifications (alcohol, smoking, coffee, salt, diet, exercise), drugs and medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), alpha blockers, clonidine, minoxidil, and Exforge.
Mens HealthMen's health is an important component to a happy lifestyle and healthy relationships. Eating healthy, exercise, managing stress, and knowing when to have medical tests for a particular age is key to disease prevention in men.