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MINOXIDIL (REGAINE)

Brand Name(s) : Regaine, Boots Hair Loss Treatment, Loniten
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

MINOXIDIL WARNINGS

For oral preparations: minoxidil should be used with caution in:

It should not be used in:

  • People allergic to minoxidil or any other ingredient in the medicine
  • People with paeochromocytoma (high blood pressure caused by hormones from a tumour usually near the kidneys)

Also see list of precautions and interactions

For topical preparations: minoxidil should be used with caution in:

It should not be used in:

  • People allergic to minoxidil or any other ingredient in the medicine
  • People who have high blood pressure or who are taking medicines to control it
  • People with conditions affecting the scalp such as psoriasis
  • People with a shaved scalp
  • People using dressings on their scalps
  • People under the age of 18 years and over 65 years old

Also see list of precautions and interactions

STORAGE

Store below 25ºC.

MINOXIDIL USES

What is it used for?

  • Minoxidil is used to treat hereditary hair loss, also known as alopecia androgenetica. It is also used in the treatment of very high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • It belongs to a group of medicines called vasodilators.
  • Minoxidil can help lower blood pressure, by relaxing blood vessels so that blood passes through them more easily. When used for high blood pressure, two other medicines are usually prescribed to take with minoxidil. One will be a water tablet (diuretic) and the other a beta blocker or a similar medicine. See the patient information leaflet for more details.
  • The mechanism by which minoxidil stimulates hair growth is not fully understood but it prevents further hair loss and helps hair re-growth.
  • In general this drug is used to treat hereditary hair loss and very high blood pressure .
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include the prevention of further hair loss and helping hair re-growth; and controlling very high blood pressure.

Listed below are the typical uses of minoxidil

  • Treatment of hereditary hair loss (alopecia androgenetica) in both men and women
  • Treatment of very high blood pressure (hypertension)

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Minoxidil tablets should be taken by mouth, exactly as your doctor has told you.
  • Minoxidil solution and foam (topical preparations) should be applied directly to the scalp, twice daily. The product must not be used more than twice daily. Follow patient information leaflets and packaging information instructions to ensure correct use.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told not to by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • For topical preparations: avoid contact with the eyes
  • For oral preparations: avoid driving or operating machinery if affected by drowsiness or dizziness

When can I stop?

  • For topical preparations: It is important to regularly continue using this medication to maintain hair growth.
  • For oral preparations: Do not stop taking this medicine without speaking to your doctor first

MINOXIDIL SIDE EFFECTS

    For topical preparations:
  • Changes or texture of newly grown hair
  • Facial hair growth
  • An increase in hair loss
  • Redness, itching, dry or flaky scalp
  • Itchy eyes
  • Headache
  • Skin reactions including dermatitis and acne
If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling faint or dizzy, especially when you stand up
  • Feeling wheezy, breathless and tired
  • Angina pains for the first time, or worsening of angina symptoms if you already have angina
  • Sudden unexplained weight gain
  • Irritation of the scalp (redness, itchiness)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain, fast heart rate, swollen hands and feet, low blood pressure, palpitations

Further information about other side effects can be found in the patient information leaflet.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because 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.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

MINOXIDIL PRECAUTIONS

Before taking minoxidil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.

For oral preparations: This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of:

  • Allergy to minoxidil or any other ingredient in the medicine
  • Paeochromocytoma (high blood pressure caused by hormones from a tumour usually near the kidneys)

Before using this medication tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

For topical preparations: This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of:

  • Allergy to minoxidil or any other ingredient in the medicine
  • High blood pressure or if taking medicines to control it
  • Conditions affecting the scalp such as psoriasis
  • A shaved scalp
  • Dressings on their scalps
  • People under the age of 18 years and over 65 years old

Before using this medication tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • Heart conditions, including abnormal heart rhythms or chest pain (angina)
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol is not known to affect minoxidil.

Minoxidil oral preparations need to be initiated with caution in people over 65.Topical preparations of minoxidil are not recommended for adults over 65, as their safety and effectiveness has not been established in this age group.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

The safety of minoxidil has not been established in pregnancy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

The safety of minoxidil has not been established in breastfeeding. Minoxidil passes into breast milk and is not recommended in breastfeeding, unless your doctor thinks it is necessary. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

MINOXIDIL INTERACTIONS

Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with minoxidil:

  • Other medicines used to treat high blood pressure, especially guanethidine
  • Medicines or dressings that are applied directly to the scalp (for topical preparations only)

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.

MINOXIDIL OVERDOSE

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of minoxidil or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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