Minoxidil may cause serious heart problems or worsen chest pain (angina). Therefore, 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.Who should not take 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.
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. It is important to continue to take 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).
Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If either of these effects persists or worsens, 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.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: swelling hands/ankles/feet/abdomen, unexplained/sudden weight gain, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, fainting.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest/jaw/left arm pain.
In the US -
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. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
This drug passes into breast milk, but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: guanethidine.
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist for more details.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood minerals levels, kidney function) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Have your blood pressure and pulse (heart rate) checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure and pulse at home, and share the results with your doctor.
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.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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