How does Minoxidil oral work?
Minoxidil belongs to a class of medications known as vasodilators. It is a potassium channel opener that expands the blood vessels to promote blood flow to the hair follicles. It also decreases blood pressure to keep it within the normal range. The increased blood flow action provides all the necessary nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles which helps in preventing hair cell death and promotes hair growth.
A person may experience some hair loss at the beginning. This occurs due to the shrinking of weakened hair follicles that make way for new hairs to grow properly.
Uses of Minoxidil Oral
Minoxidil oral is an approved medication for the treatment of hair loss (alopecia) and hypertension (high blood pressure). It treats hereditary hair loss and hair thinning that occurs at the top of the scalp effectively. Depending on the circumstances, your doctor may prescribe either the 5 mg dose or the 10 mg one.
Minoxidil oral tablets should be taken once daily with or without food. Take the medicine as advised by your doctor. Do not chew, crush, or break the medicine. Swallow it as a whole. Take it at the same time every day to avoid missing the dose. The effects of this medicine can be experienced within the first 3-6 months.
Missed dose: If a dose has been missed, take it as soon as possible. However, if it’s time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.
Overdose: An overdose of the drug can lead to serious side-effects. A person may experience a sudden drop in blood pressure and may feel dizzy. If problems persist for long, contact your doctor immediately.
As with any other medication, Minoxidil also leads to certain side-effects. They often don’t require any medical attention and disappear as soon as your body adjusts to the medicine. If any of these side-effects persist for long, seek medical help immediately.
- Scalp itching
- Edema (swelling)
- Hair discoloration
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive hair growth on the face
- Chest pain
Before taking this Medicine
Minoxidil oral may not be suitable for you if you have a certain medical condition. Before you take this medicine, let your doctor know:
- If you have a family history of balding/hair loss.
- If you are under 18 years old.
- If you use hair styling products such as gels, creams, and other hair grooming products and have been experiencing hair loss.
- If you have heart disease.
- If you suffer from kidney or liver disease.
- If you have uncontrolled blood pressure.
- If you suffer from diabetes, high blood cholesterol, etc.
- If you are undergoing any surgery or recovering through one.
- If you suffer from any medical condition that’s causing hair loss.
If you take any OTC drugs, supplements, or medications for existing illnesses or for any other purposes, let your doctor know about them. These drugs may interact with Minoxidil and affect the way it works. These include:
- Medications for Erectile Dysfunction such as Sildenafil and Tadalafil
- Medications for Premature Ejaculation such as Dapoxetine
Interaction with alcohol
Consumption of alcohol alongside Minoxidil should strictly be avoided. It may cause scalp dryness.
Food interactions with Minoxidil haven’t been studied.
Important Storage Instructions
Minoxidil oral tablets should be stored in a proper manner in their original packaging.
- Keep the tablets out of reach of children and pets.
- Keep these pills away from heat, moisture, and light.
- Store the pills in an airtight container.
- Do not consume the pills if the pack has expired.
- Keep the pills in a cool, dry place, or at room temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I stop taking Minoxidil oral tablet when I experience significant hair growth?
Ans. No! This medicine shouldn’t be stopped unless the doctor has advised you to do so. Stopping this medicine immediately may cause hair loss to occur again. It may also cause anginal pain if you have been prescribed this medicine for some other condition.
How long does it take for the effects of Minoxidil to appear?
Ans. The effects of this medicine can be experienced within the first 3-6 months of its usage. This medicine is generally prescribed for the long term. Consult your doctor if you don’t achieve the desired results of the drug for a long time.
Can I take this medicine if I take Aspirin?
Ans. This medicine is not safe to be taken with aspirin. Taking both the medicines together can cause bleeding in the mouth, stomach, or intestine and increase the risk of ulcers.
Can this medicine affect my sex life?
Ans. No, Minoxidil does not affect your sex life. However, if you suffer from sexual conditions such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE) and have been taking medications for the treatment of these conditions, you should let your doctor know about them. Medications for ED and PE can lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure when taken in combination with Minoxidil.