How to Use Minoxidil: A Guide

Topical minoxidil is a treatment for alopecia and other diseases linked to hair loss. People should carefully examine the negative effects before using this therapy, even though it is accessible over the counter.


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What minoxidil is and how it functions are covered in this article. Additionally, it offers details on how to apply this medicine as well as any potential side effects.

What is minoxidil?

Minoxidil is still used as a blood pressure medication, and patients with severe hypertension may still be given the drug in oral form by their doctors.

Scientists created a topical minoxidil solution in 1987 that can be used to treat hair loss in both sexes. The concentration of the solution is either 2% or 5%. Topical minoxidil is sold under the trade names Rogaine and Theroxidil.

Earlier, "Loniten" pills containing minoxidil were used to treat hypertension. But scientists found that it also promotes hair growth. As a result, its usage as a medication to promote hair growth began. Minoxidil Uses, It couldn't be utilised in the same way because it caused hair growth all over the body. The researchers ultimately decided on a novel lotion formulation that could be applied directly to the scalp without having an impact on other body areas.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved minoxidil and finasteride (Proscar and Propecia), another medication that inhibits hair loss, as therapies for male pattern baldness. According to studies, these two medications can stop hair loss and promote hair growth with an effectiveness of up to 60%.

How does minoxidil work?

Direct application of minoxidil to the head is done using a solution or foam. In comparison to minoxidil solution, minoxidil foam enables faster medication penetration, higher active ingredient delivery, and decreased scalp irritation.

The minoxidil is transformed into minoxidil sulphate by an enzyme found on the scalp called sulfotransferase. It functions by accelerating the transition of hair from the telogen, or resting, stage to the anagen, or growing, stage. There is some evidence to suggest that minoxidil can thicken hair.

The blood-brain barrier prevents minoxidil from entering the brain, and a person's kidneys filter 95% of the medication in just four days.

A person's hair may not change until they start using minoxidil.

When may doctors recommend minoxidil?

Minoxidil is available without a prescription. However, if a patient complains of hair loss, a doctor might advise minoxidil.

For those who have recently started losing their hair and are under the age of 40, minoxidil is most effective. Retinuing hairlines are unaffected by the medication.


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How to use minoxidil

People commonly apply minoxidil twice a day in the form of a liquid solution or foam. A person should make sure their hair is dry, their scalp is not sunburned, and their hair is dry.

It's critical to thoroughly read all directions. The recommended dosage, which should never be exceeded, will be provided by the manufacturer.

Minoxidil is often applied with a pipette or a spray. They should refrain from applying this medication to any area of the body save the scalp and should not consume it.

One should rinse the region with cool water if the minoxidil gets on their skin or in their eyes. They need to call a doctor if the region starts to itch.

Side effects of minoxidil

If after using minoxidil, a person experiences an itchy, dry, scaly, irritated, or burning scalp, they should speak to their doctor.

People should seek emergency care if they encounter any of the following adverse effects.

  • rise in weight without cause

  • breathing difficulty shortness of breath increased heart rate edoema of the face, hands, ankles, or stomach

  • chest discomfort dizziness

A person can report any serious side effects they experience to MedWatch, the FDA's safety information and adverse event reporting programme, with the help of their doctor.


A person should speak with a doctor or pharmacist before taking minoxidil if they:

  • A person can report any serious side effects they experience to MedWatch, the FDA's safety information and adverse event reporting programme, with the help of their doctor.

Additionally, using minoxidil may increase a person's skin's sensitivity to sunlight. Therefore, it is recommended to stay out of the sun and, when exposure to the sun cannot be avoided, to wear protective clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Minoxidil drug interactions

A doctor or pharmacist should be consulted by anyone who is taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications, as well as any dietary supplements, to see whether using minoxidil is safe for them.

Because minoxidil is a vasodilator, it reduces blood pressure. It can be hazardous to combine minoxidil with other vasodilators, such as blood pressure or erectile dysfunction medications. Unless a doctor advises it, a person shouldn't combine minoxidil with another vasodilator.

Pros and cons of minoxidil

The following are some of the pros and cons of minoxidil:


  • topical minoxidil can be effective in treating hair loss

  • available without a prescription

  • suitable for males and females


  • not suitable for people who take vasodilators

  • works best for people under 40 years of age

  • does not treat receding hairlines


Frequently asked questions

Below, we provide the answers to some frequently asked questions about minoxidil.

Does minoxidil regrow all hair?

Individual differences in minoxidil's efficacy may exist. Although minoxidil can decrease and stop hair loss, the rate of hair growth will differ from person to person.

Hair loss cannot be cured with minoxidil. The body will probably lose any new hair after the user quits utilising this medication.

Can I leave minoxidil on during the night?

Minoxidil should be applied twice daily, typically separated by a 12-hour period. But in order to use the treatment properly, one should adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines.

It is acceptable to leave minoxidil on overnight. To avoid the treatment transferring to the pillow, one should make sure the minoxidil is totally dry before going to bed.

Is minoxidil safe for long-term use?

Long-term usage of minoxidil is safe as long as the specified dosage is followed.

A person ought to keep a list of all the prescription, over-the-counter, and dietary supplements they are taking and bring it with them to any doctor's appointments or hospital visits. To make sure there are no harmful drug interactions, a medical professional must be aware of the prescriptions a patient is taking.



Both men and women can address their hair loss with topical minoxidil. When used with finasteride, this medication can be up to 60% as effective at halting hair loss and promoting the development of new hair.

There is no need for a prescription for topical minoxidil. Before buying minoxidil, a person should however let their doctor or pharmacist know if they are using any other prescription or over-the-counter drugs. A person should stop taking the medication as soon as they notice any side effects and consult a doctor.


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