Minoxidil solution and foam are used to help hair growth in the treatment of male pattern baldness. It is not used for baldness at the front of the scalp or receding hairline in men. The 2 percent minoxidil solution is also used to help hair growth in women with thinning hair.
Minoxidil belongs to a class of drugs known as vasodilators. It is not known how minoxidil causes hair growth. This medication is not used for sudden/patchy hair loss, unexplained hair loss (e.g., no family history of hair loss), or hair loss after giving birth.
Do not use this product if you are 18 years old or younger.
Read and follow all directions on the product package before using this product. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Clean and dry the scalp area before applying the medication. You may apply this product to damp hair. To use the solution, fill the applicator with 1 milliliter of medication (to the 1 milliliter line), or use 20 drops. Part your hair in the area of thinning and apply the solution evenly to the affected area of the scalp. Gently rub in. Apply twice a day or as directed by your doctor. Allow the solution to dry completely before using other styling products (e.g., gels, mousse) or before going to bed.
To use the foam, rinse your hands in cold water and dry well. Apply about 1/2 capful of foam to the scalp and rub in gently. Allow the foam to dry completely before styling or going to bed.
If scalp irritation is a problem, you may need to avoid using minoxidil on the same days that you have your hair colored or chemically treated (e.g., permed).
Do not use on other parts of the body unless directed by your doctor. Do not use on skin that is red, painful, irritated, scraped, cut, or infected. Wash hands thoroughly after application. Avoid getting the medication in your eyes. If this occurs, rinse your eyes with large amounts of cool water.
This medication comes in 2 strengths, 2 and 5 percent. The 5 percent solution is for use by men only. The 2 percent strength may be used by women and men. Do not use this medication more often, apply more of it than as directed, or apply it to an irritated or sunburned scalp. Doing so can cause the drug to be absorbed into your body and result in serious side effects. This product may contain alcohol and can be irritating and drying to the scalp. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to use this product safely.
It takes time for hair to regrow. Most people need to use this medication regularly for 4 months to see benefit. This medication must be used continuously to maintain hair growth. If your condition does not improve or worsens after using this medication for 4 to 6 months, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, tell your doctor.
Burning, stinging, or redness at the application site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Rarely, this medication can be absorbed through the skin and cause side effects. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unwanted facial/body hair, dizziness, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, chest pain, swelling of hands/feet, unusual weight gain, tiredness, difficulty breathing especially when lying down.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before using minoxidil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any of its ingredients; 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.
If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: diseases of the scalp (e.g., eczema, infection, cuts), heart problems (e.g., chest pain, heart attack, heart failure), kidney disease, liver disease.
During pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
If you are using this product under your doctor's direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you use any of the following products: drugs for high blood pressure (e.g., guanethidine), other skin products used on the scalp, drugs that interact with alcohol (e.g., disulfiram, metronidazole).
Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or 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: dizziness, drowsiness, fainting, flushing.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store the US product at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight.
Store the Canadian product at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
This product is flammable. Keep it away from fire, and avoid open flame after treatment until the medication has completely dried.
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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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