Minoxidil - topical
Minoxidil - topical
Minoxidil solution and foam are used to help hair growth in the treatment of male pattern baldness. It is not used for baldness at the front of the scalp or receding hairline in men. The foam and 2 percent minoxidil solution is also used to help hair growth in women with thinning hair.
Minoxidil belongs to a class of drugs known as vasodilators. It is not known how minoxidil causes hair growth. This medication is not used for sudden/patchy hair loss, unexplained hair loss (for example, if you have no family history of hair loss), or hair loss after giving birth.
Do not use this product if you are 18 years old or younger.
Read and follow all directions on the product package before using this product. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Clean and dry the scalp area before applying the medication. You may apply this product to damp hair. To use the solution, fill the applicator with 1 milliliter of medication (to the 1 milliliter line), or use 20 drops. Part your hair in the area of thinning and apply the solution evenly to the affected area of the scalp. Gently rub in. Allow the solution to dry completely before using other styling products (e.g., gels, mousse) or before going to bed.
To use the foam, rinse your hands in cold water and dry well. Apply about 1/2 capful of foam to the scalp and rub in gently. Allow the foam to dry completely before styling or going to bed.
If scalp irritation is a problem, you may need to avoid using minoxidil on the same days that you have your hair colored or chemically treated (for example, permed).
Do not use on other parts of the body unless directed by your doctor. Do not use on skin that is red, painful, irritated, scraped, cut, or infected. Wash hands thoroughly after application. Avoid getting the medication in your eyes. If this occurs, rinse your eyes with large amounts of cool water.
Do not use this medication more often, apply more of it than as directed, or apply it to an irritated or sunburned scalp. Doing so can cause the drug to be absorbed into your body and result in serious side effects. This product may contain alcohol and can be irritating and drying to the scalp. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to use this product safely.
It takes time for hair to regrow. Most people need to use this medication regularly for 4 months to see benefit. This medication must be used continuously to maintain hair growth. If your condition does not improve or worsens after using this medication for 4 to 6 months, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, tell your doctor.
Burning, stinging, or redness at the application site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that 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.
Rarely, this medication can be absorbed through the skin and cause side effects. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before using minoxidil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product:
During pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: dizziness, drowsiness, fainting, flushing.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from heat. This product is flammable. Keep it away from fire, and avoid open flame after treatment until the medication has completely dried. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Information last revised November 2019.
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