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minoxidil

Pronunciation

Generic Name: minoxidil (min OX i dil)
Brand Name: Loniten

What is minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a vasodilator that relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Minoxidil is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is usually given together with two other medications including a diuretic (water pill).

Minoxidil may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about minoxidil?

Minoxidil tablets should not be used to promote scalp hair growth.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to minoxidil, or if you have pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor).

Before using minoxidil, tell your doctor if you have angina (chest pain), congestive heart failure, kidney disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or if you have recently had a heart attack.

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Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially guanethidine (Ismelin).

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as swelling in your legs or ankles, chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, trouble breathing, swelling or rapid weight gain, sudden numbness or problems with vision or speech, the first sign of any skin rash, or if you feel like you might pass out.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so you may not know when your blood pressure is high. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

You may need to receive your first few doses of minoxidil in a hospital setting where your heart and blood pressure can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking minoxidil?

Minoxidil tablets should not be used to promote scalp hair growth.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to minoxidil, or if you have pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor).

Before using minoxidil, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • angina (chest pain);

  • congestive heart failure;

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or

  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

FDA pregnancy category C. Minoxidil may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Minoxidil can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Do not take minoxidil without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take minoxidil?

You may need to receive your first few doses of minoxidil in a hospital setting where your heart and blood pressure can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects.

Take minoxidil exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your weight and blood pressure will need to be checked on a regular basis. You may also need blood tests. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Minoxidil is usually given together with other medications. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so you may not know when your blood pressure is high. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Store minoxidil at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include dizziness or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking minoxidil?

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Minoxidil side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • dry cough, sharp or stabbing chest pain;

  • chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;

  • trouble breathing (especially while lying down);

  • swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet;

  • rapid weight gain of 5 pounds or more;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • sudden numbness, weakness, headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • easy bruising or bleeding; or

  • feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • breast pain or tenderness; or

  • changes in the color, length, or thickness of body or facial hair.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Minoxidil dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 5 mg orally once a day.
Maintenance dose: 10-40 mg in 1-2 divided doses.

What other drugs will affect minoxidil?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially guanethidine (Ismelin).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with minoxidil. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about minoxidil.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.10. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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