Hair loss is a common thing in both men and women. It could happen due to many factors and causes, including hormonal changes, heredity, a medicine side effect, anemea or a health condition. Minoxidil is the only treatment FDA-approved for male and female pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia. While it’s effective at stopping hair loss, people need to know about minoxidil side effects.
Minoxidil was originally used to treat high blood pressure, and was sold under the label Loniten. However, health care providers noticed that hair growth was a side effect of the treatment. As a result, the drug stopped being used as a medication to treat blood pressure and started being prescribed to treat hair loss in men and women. This led to the development of topical solution which can be applied directly to the scalp. However, it is not yet clear how does this drug grow hair.
How does it work?
This drug is an antihypertensive vasodilator that can help reduce or slow down the hair loss process in some men and women. In addition, it stimulates hair follicles and growth But does not reduce dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or the enzyme responsible for its accumulation around the hair follicle.
2% and 5% Minoxidil Concentrations
Minoxidil is available in a topical form in a 2% and 5% concentration under the name Rogaine in North America. While the 2% concentration can be used by both men and women, the Minoxidil 5% is a treatment only for men. Due to its more potent properties and side effects. This type is available under the brand name Regaine in Asia and Europe.
Topical minoxidil for hair (Rogaine)
Rogaine is the brand name for topical minoxidil. People with thinning hair or male/female pattern baldness use it to slow hair loss and stimulate hair growth. Before, rogaine, was a topical prescription drug but is now available over-the-counter. No one’s really quite sure how it works, but some scientists think that Rogaine causes hair growth by shortening the resting phase of the hair follicle during its life cycle
This type helps hair growth in male pattern baldness. However, it is not a treatment for baldness at the front of the scalp or receding hairline in men. The foam and 2 percent minoxidil is also a treatment for women with weak and thin hair. But is not for sudden/patchy hair loss, or hair loss after birth. In addition, it is not a hair treatment for 18 years old or younger. Here is how to use it:
- Place the foam on your fingertips or directly on the scalp
- Gently massage it into your scalp using your fingertips.
Minoxidil sprays and droppers
If you wish to use the drug in spray shape, you can spray the solution directly into problem areas on the scalp. This is a newer and cleaner application that reduces the waste of the serum and directly hits the scalp. Just spread apart hair that is thick so that the serum can fully reach the scalp and the hair follicles. You can also use a traditional dropper instead. First of all, extract 1 ml of the drug from the bottle, apply it to the scalp and then use your fingertips to spread it.
Pregnancy and Rogaine
Rogaine may not be safe for a developing baby. Most doctors, however, consider Rogaine safe to use while breastfeeding your baby. But as a safety precaution, talk to your doctor before using Rogaine if you’re pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or breastfeeding.
Rogaine for Facial Hair and Beards
There is still no prove about this, but some say that rogaine encourages growth of facial hair. However, there are no studies showing it’s effective for beard growth.
The active ingredient in Minoxidil
Minoxidil is the active ingredient in rogaine products.
- Rogaine Foam contains 5% minoxidil for optimal results. It quickly penetrates into the scalp with gentle massaging to revitalize hair follicles that have become dormant and stimulate hair regrowth.
- MINOXIDIL FOR WOMEN – minoxidil solution: Active ingredient is minoxidil 2%. Inactive ingredients: Alcohol (60% v/v), propylene glycol, purified water.
Minoxidil side effects
As known with any medication, serious side effects are always a possibility, but currently, none have been reported with Rogaine. The most common side effects are itching and a rash or skin irritation.
However, get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:
- 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
Less serious side effects may include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Breast pain or tenderness
- Changes in the color, length, or thickness of body or facial hair
Minoxidil sexual side effects:
While sexual side effects relating to Rogaine may not yet be clinically proven, but ssome men online reported the following:
- Smaller and softer penis (when flaccid)
- Difficulty getting and maintaining an erection
- Loss of morning erection.
- Loss of involuntary erections during the day
- Inability to get an erection without manual stimulation
- You shouldn’t take Rogaine if you’re allergic to minoxidil or any other ingredients found in the medication.
- Avoid applying Rogaine to irritated areas of the your scalp.
- If you have kidney problems, ask your doctor if Rogaine is safe for you to take.