Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Oral Minoxidil

Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Oral Minoxidil for Hair Loss

Oral Minoxidil: High 10 Factors for Prescribers and Sufferers.

Listed here are the highest 10 factors that prescribers and customers of minoxidil must know.

1. Oral minoxidil just isn’t FDA accredited for hair loss.

Using oral minoxidil is FDA accredited for hypertension. Its use in hair loss is completely off label.

2. If you will use or prescribe oral minoxidil, you want to know a factor or two (or three) about it.

If one goes to make use of or prescribe oral minoxidil they should know the whole lot about it. The identical is true for any therapy – prescription, non-prescription, cosmeceutical, holistic, pure or ayurvedic. No therapy must be used with out strong understanding of dangers and advantages, indications and contraindications. If you happen to can’t record 5-6 frequent unwanted side effects of oral minoxidil, I consider you shouldn’t be utilizing it or shouldn’t be prescibing it. Plain and easy.

One also needs to have a transparent sense who shouldn’t use this medicine. The next are contraindications or causes to not be utilizing or prescribing minoxidil:

1. Minoxidil shouldn’t be used if girls are pregnant or making an attempt to conceive. 

2.    Sufferers over 60 years of age can use oral minoxidil solely with warning as they might be extra delicate and will probably have underlying heart problems which may precipitate angina if blood strain have been to drop.

3,    Sufferers with underlying continual well being points, particularly kidney, coronary heart and liver issues shouldn’t use

4.    Sufferers with coronary heart illness embrace these with earlier coronary heart assaults but in addition these with angina, coronary heart failure and rhythm issues shouldn’t use

5.    Sufferers with pheochromocytomas shouldn’t use oral minoxidil

6.    Sufferers with porphyria shouldn’t use oral minoxidil

7.    Sufferers who haven’t used or thought of different commonplace hair loss remedies first shouldn’t soar not essentially soar into utilizing oral minoxidil.

8.    Sufferers with low blood strain to start with or these utilizing different anti-hypertensives is probably not perfect candidates for oral minoxidil.

3. Oral minoxidil generally is a very useful second-line therapy for a lot of situations when used correctly. This contains androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, continual telogen effluvium, traction alopecia and post-chemotherapy everlasting induced alopecia.

As talked about above, oral minoxidil just isn’t FDA accredited for hair loss. Oral minoxidil might help some situations and may have an incredible function in managing varied situations. Nevertheless, it’s hardly ever a first-line agent. Different choices is perhaps thought of first for a lot of of those situations, together with consideration given to topical 2 or 5% minoxidil. Nevertheless, if varied first-line remedies don’t show fully useful or can’t be used for varied causes, oral minoxidil is perhaps thought of. Oral minoxidil at doses 0.25 to five mg has proven profit in treating androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, continual telogen effluvium, traction alopecia and post-chemotherapy everlasting induced alopecia

4. When minoxidil tablets are taken by mouth, a lot of the drug is shortly absorbed into the blood.

Oral minoxidil is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The height ranges within the blood happen at round 1 hour after taking the medicine after which ranges slowly drop after that. Minoxidil is metabolized by the liver. The half lifetime of oral minoxidil is round 4.2 hours. The focus of minoxidil that seems within the blood depends upon the dose used. With 5 mg tablets, a focus of of 157 ng/mL will be measured within the blood about 1 hour later earlier than ranges begin to drop off. If one-half the quantity of minoxidil is ingested (ie a 2.5 mg capsule), the focus within the blood on the one hour time level is definitely a lot lower than merely one half the quantity. It’s about one-fifth the quantity at roughly 28 ng/mL. That is necessary info as a result of it reminds us that it’s not acceptable to say “Oh you probably did nicely on 2.5 mg, I’m certain you’ll do exactly positive if we go as much as a 5 mg dose …. let’s go up on the dose.” Probably the affected person will do exactly positive, however we have to monitor issues simply the identical. There could also be greater than twice the quantity of minoxidil within the blood at sure occasions with twice the dose.

5. There are a lot of ‘potential’ unwanted side effects of oral minoxidil. The most typical ones are simply remembered by the mnemonic “HAIR “- (complications, ankle edema, elevated hair on the face, and rashes/urticaria). Different unwanted side effects probably happen as nicely.


The complications could happen from modifications in blood strain. The ankle edema happens from fluid retention and infrequently additionally manifests with swelling across the eyes. In fact different unwanted side effects are additionally doable, and one wants to grasp the vary of unwanted side effects that may happen. Shortness of breath, elevated coronary heart fee and weight acquire from fluid retention are all doable.

6. Topical minoxidil doesn’t typically change coronary heart fee and blood strain in most customers – however oral minoxidil can.

Research of topical minoxidil confirmed that blood strain and coronary heart fee don’t change considerably in wholesome customers who use minoxidil on the acceptable dose. That stated, there may be an occasional affected person who does discover that their coronary heart fee goes up within the firsts hours after making use of minoxidil or that they really feel dizzy.

Oral minoxidil can have an effect on coronary heart fee and blood strain. 0.625 mg doses and 1 mg doses hardly ever trigger modifications in blood strain and coronary heart fee. As we improve the dose, the increasingly probably it’s for the affected person to expertise modifications. For instance, the 5 mg dose is more likely to trigger modifications in blood strain and coronary heart fee than the two.5 mg dose. We advise our sufferers to watch coronary heart fee and blood strain after beginning. (See ORAL MINOXIDIL MONITORING FORM).

7. Though the oral minoxidil reaches peak ranges within the blood about 1 hour after a single dose of the tablets, the primary impact on blood strain happens on the 2-Three hour mark after which blood strain rises once more slowly after that. For these utilizing minoxidil each day long run, the maximal impact on blood strain happens on the 10-14 day mark.

We typically advise sufferers to watch their coronary heart fee and blood strain weekly after beginning. We evaluate this to baseline measurements to get a way of the hemodynamic modifications (if any) that happen with oral minoxidil use.


It’s useful to know what is going on to the blood strain within the first few days however particularly 10-14 days after any change in dose. It’s a good suggestion for customers of oral minoxidil to get a baseline blood strain studying earlier than they begin utilizing the tablets as a result of one will refer again to this quantity in future days, weeks and months forward. Earlier research have taught us that sufferers utilizing oral minoxidil at doses 0.625 mg and 1 mg hardly ever have modifications of their coronary heart fee or blood strain after utilizing minoxidil. Adjustments in blood strain and coronary heart fee should not that frequent with 2.5 mg however definitely extra frequent with 5 mg doses. I all the time advise measuring blood strain and coronary heart fee initially after which once more on the finish of the primary week after which once more on the finish of the second and third week. Sufferers can do that at house themselves in the event that they personal a blood strain cuff or in any native pharmacy (many pharmacies in North America have blood strain machines that sufferers can use totally free). For most individuals, there aren’t any modifications on the actually low doses or oral minoxidil we use for hair progress. Blood strain must be measured at any time a affected person utilizing oral minoxidil experiences dizziness. Luckily, that is are.

Most research prior to now have proven that it’s as soon as a affected person begins utilizing 5-10 mg doses of oral minoxidil that results on coronary heart fee and blood strain will be seen. The early research of oral minoxidil confirmed that serum concentrations of 21.7 ng/mL was the bottom focus that resulted in vital blood strain and coronary heart fee modifications in sufferers. About 1:200 to 1:300 sufferers utilizing topical minoxidil will obtain this focus nevertheless it’s a bit extra frequent after all in customers of two.5 and 5 mg oral minoxidil.

8. Serum concentrations with oral minoxidil are about 20-30 occasions larger than topical minoxidil.

It isn’t shocking that blood ranges of minoxidil are larger if you take it orally, however the important thing query is how a lot larger? First, it’s necessary to grasp the there may be some systemic absorption of minoxidil even in customers of topical minoxidil. It’s simply that it’s very low. About 99 % of customers of topical minoxidil have blood ranges lower than 2-5 ng/mL. Nevertheless, some sufferers utilizing topical minoxidil occassionally do acheive a lot larger ranges or minoxidil within the blood – even ranges as much as 21 ng/mL. Luckily that’s unusual. Concentrations of minoxidil larger than 5 % could improve absorption. Topical drugs like topical retinoids and topical cortisones can improve absorption of minoxidil for instance. The serum focus of minoxidil is about 20-30 occasions larger with use of oral minoxidil than topical minoxidil.

9. The upper the dose of oral minoxidil, the upper the degrees within the blood.

It might appear apparent however bears mentioning that larger doses of minoxidil result in higher ranges within the blood and the potential for higher unwanted side effects. One wants to easily monitor unwanted side effects with any dose improve. The potential for unwanted side effects on 1 mg is bigger than 0.5 mg. Negative effects on 5 mg is bigger than 2.5 mg.

10. Along with the scalp, hair progress on the physique happens in pretty predictable areas whether it is to happen

The eyebrows, hairline, temples, areas beneath the eyes (malar areas), again of the arms and shoulders are areas outdoors of the scalp that are almost certainly to be affected by oral minoxidil use.

About 15-20 % of girls utilizing oral minoxidil will expertise a rise in physique hair together with hair on the face. Many customers will selected to nonetheless proceed the minoxidil as a result of they’re happy with its results on the scalp and take away the surplus hair with varied means (laser, electrolysis).


Oral minoxidil generally is a very useful second line therapy for a lot of situations. One have to be conscious to dangers and advantages of this medicine and the way the dangers and potential for unwanted side effects change with completely different doses. IN addition, one must be conscious to learn how to monitor sufferers utilizing oral minoxidil.



[2] Novak et al. Topically utilized minoxidil in baldness. Int J Dermatol. 1985 Mar;24(2):82-7.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *