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Minoxidil Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Minoxidil (minoxidil) is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is usually given together with two other medications including a diuretic (water pill). Minoxidil is a vasodilator. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and tiredness while taking this medication, especially during the first few weeks as your body adjusts to the lower blood pressure. This is normal. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.
The recommended initial dosage of Minoxidil tablets is 5 mg of given as a single daily dose. The effective dosage range is usually 10 to 40 mg per day. Minoxidil can interact with guanethidine. There may be other drugs that can interact with minoxidil. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. During pregnancy, Minoxidil should be used only when prescribed. This drug passes into breast milk but is unlikely to have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Minoxidil (minoxidil) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Minoxidil in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- dry cough, sharp or stabbing chest pain;
- chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- trouble breathing (especially while lying down);
- swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet;
- rapid weight gain of 5 pounds or more;
- fast or pounding heartbeats;
- sudden numbness, weakness, headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
- the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
- easy bruising or bleeding; or
- feeling like you might pass out.
Less serious side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting;
- breast pain or tenderness; or
- changes in the color, length, or thickness of body or facial hair.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Minoxidil (Minoxidil Tablets) »
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Minoxidil FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
- Salt and Water Retention (see WARNINGS: Concomitant Use of an Adequate Diuretic is Required)-Temporary edema developed in 7% of patients who were not edematous at the start of therapy.
- Pericarditis, Pericardial Effusion, and Tamponade (see WARNINGS).
- Dermatologic-Hypertrichosis-Elongation, thickening, and enhanced pigmentation of fine body hair are seen in about 80% of patients taking minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil tablets) tablets) tablets) tablets. This develops within 3 to 6 weeks after starting therapy. It is usually first noticed on the temples, between the eyebrows, between the hairline and the eyebrows, or in the side-burn area of the upper lateral cheek, later extending to the back, arms, legs, and scalp. Upon discontinuation of minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil tablets) tablets) tablets) , new hair growth stops, but 1 to 6 months may be required for restoration to pretreatment appearance. No endocrine abnormalities have been found to explain the abnormal hair growth; thus, it is hypertrichosis without virilism. Hair growth is especially disturbing to children and women and such patients should be thoroughly informed about this effect before therapy with minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil tablets) tablets) tablets) is begun. Allergic-Rashes have been reported, including rare reports of bullous eruptions, and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
- Hematologic-Thrombocytopenia and leukopenia (WBC < 3000/mm3) have rarely been reported.
- Gastrointestinal-Nausea and/or vomiting has been reported. In clinical trials the incidence of nausea and vomiting associated with the underlying disease has shown a decrease from pretrial levels.
- Miscellaneous-Breast tenderness-This developed in less than 1% of patients.
- Altered Laboratory Findings-(a) ECG changes-Changes in direction and magnitude of the ECG T-waves occur in approximately 60% of patients treated with minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil tablets) tablets) tablets) . In rare instances a large negative amplitude of the T-wave may encroach upon the S-T segment, but the S-T segment is not independently altered. These changes usually disappear with continuance of treatment and revert to the pretreatment state if minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil (minoxidil tablets) tablets) tablets) is discontinued. No symptoms have been associated with these changes, nor have there been alterations in blood cell counts or in plasma enzymeconcentrations that would suggest myocardial damage. Long-term treatment of patients manifesting such changes has provided no evidence of deteriorating cardiac function. At present the changes appear to be nonspecific and without identifiable clinical significance. (b)-Effects of hemodilution-hematocrit, hemoglobin and erythrocyte count usually fall about 7% initially and then recover to pretreatment levels. (c) Other-Alkaline phosphatase increased varyingly without other evidence of liver or bone abnormality. Serum creatinine increased an average of 6% and BUN slightly more, but later declined to pretreatment levels.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Minoxidil (Minoxidil Tablets) »
Additional Minoxidil Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get tips on handling your hypertension.