What is MINOXIDIL?
(MINOXIDIL) Minoxidil is used with other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. Minoxidil works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily.
How should I use MINOXIDIL?
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice a day. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight. Your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Take this medication and your other blood pressure medications regularly in order to get the most benefit from them. To help you remember, take them at the same time(s) each day. Keep taking your medications even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. It may take several days to a couple of weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
What should I tell my health care provider before I take MINOXIDIL?
Before taking 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. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: pheochromocytoma, heart problems (such as heart failure, chest pain, recent heart attack), kidney disease, a certain lung disease (pulmonary hypertension). This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk, but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with MINOXIDIL?
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: guanethidine. Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
What should I watch for while using MINOXIDIL?
Minoxidil may cause serious heart problems or worsen chest pain (angina). This medication is only used when other treatments have not worked well or cannot be taken. Your doctor should direct you to also take other medications to reduce the side effects of minoxidil. These medications include a "water pill" (diuretic) to prevent the body from holding on to too much water and salt and a heart medication (such as a beta blocker including propranolol) to prevent the heart from working too hard or beating too fast. Your doctor will follow you closely while you are taking this medication. Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
What if I miss a dose of MINOXIDIL?
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. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving MINOXIDIL?
Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If either of these effects lasts or gets worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Minoxidil may cause increased growth or darkening of fine body hairs. If this bothers you, consult your doctor. When you stop taking the medication, the hair will usually return to normal within 1 to 6 months. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fast heartbeat, symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain), fainting. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest/jaw/left arm pain. 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: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe 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. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep MINOXIDIL?
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.