Medically reviewed on September 12, 2018
What is minoxidil topical?
Minoxidil topical is used to help you regrow hair on your scalp.
minoxidil topical will not cause permanent regrowth of scalp hair. You must continue using the product to keep the regrowth of your hair.
Minoxidil topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use minoxidil topical if the skin on your scalp is red, swollen, irritated, or infected.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use minoxidil topical if the skin on your scalp is red, swollen, irritated, or infected. This may allow more of the medication to be absorbed by your body, which could be dangerous.
Check the medicine label carefully to make sure minoxidil topical will treat your specific type of hair loss.
Use only the minoxidil topical formula that is made for your gender. Women should not use minoxidil topical products that are made specifically for men.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use minoxidil topical if you have other medical conditions, especially:
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether minoxidil topical will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether minoxidil topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not use this medicine on anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.
How should I use minoxidil topical?
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.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of minoxidil topical is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using minoxidil topical?
Avoid getting minoxidil topical in the eyes, nose, or mouth. If this occurs, rinse the area with water.
Avoid using other skin products on the areas you treat with minoxidil topical, unless your doctor tells you to.
Minoxidil topical side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although the risk of serious side effects is low when minoxidil topical is applied to the skin, side effects can occur if the medicine is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe scalp irritation;
unwanted growth of facial hair;
chest pain, fast heartbeats;
swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).
Common side effects may include:
changes in the color or texture of your hair.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Minoxidil topical dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Alopecia:
Apply 1 mL topically to the affected area(s) of the scalp twice a day. The dose should not exceed 2 mL per day.
Apply half a capful topically to the affected area(s) of the scalp twice a day.
What other drugs will affect minoxidil topical?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied minoxidil. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01.
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- Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents