Minoxidil Side Effects and How to Use It

You may have likely heard of Minoxidil, commonly known by its brand name: Rogaine. This topical product is available over-the-counter to treat male pattern baldness. Rogaine contains 2% to 5% minoxidil and is often used to treat baldness or hair loss in both men and women. Read this article to know Minoxidil side effects.

What you might not know is that Minoxidil can also treat high blood pressure. It is available in tablet form. It is a vasodilator medication that helps the blood vessels expand to increase the blood flow throughout the body. Oral Minoxidil is only available with a prescription. Loniten, brand-name minoxidil, is no longer sold; only general Minoxidil is currently available for high blood pressure.

Although this medicine is mostly safe to use, there may be some Rogaine side effects. To help you to identify minoxidil side effects for men as well as women, we have prepared an article. Read the following to learn more.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil Side Effects

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Before reading about Minoxidil’s side effects for men, it is better to learn more about the product. You can use this medicine to stimulate hair growth and slow balding. It is effective for people under 40 whose hair loss is recent. Minoxidil does not affect receding hairlines. It does not cure baldness. Most of the new hair falls within a few months after stopping the medicine.

Minoxidil Topical Side Effects

Minoxidil Side Effects

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Minoxidil’s side effects are usually mild. Common repercussions of this medicine include itching and burning, and flaky skin. It can also cause the hair to shed, especially when using it initially.

As Minoxidil promotes the resting phase of the hair, it falls out more quickly than it normally would. However, Minoxidil extends the growth phase of the hair. That means you should expect some hair shedding. New hair growth should replace the hair that you have lost.

Not everyone will experience shedding as a Rogaine side effect, while some may experience it severely. There are no statistics currently available that explore how common this particular side effect is.

Although this medicine is almost safe to use, there are also some severe side effects of Minoxidil. You should get immediate medical assistance if you have the following side effects.

  • severe scalp irritation;
  • unwanted growth of facial hair;
  • chest pain
  • swelling of feet or hands, rapid weight gain;
  • a light-headed feeling;
  • headache, dizziness, confusion; or
  • flushing.

Millions of men globally use Minoxidil daily to prevent hair loss due to minoxidil topical side effects and enhance hair growth. Overall, minoxidil’s side effects for men are rare, and Minoxidil is viewed as one of the safest hair loss treatments on the market today.

You can avoid these side effects, if you use this medicine as precisely as prescribed or following the instructions that come with the medicine. Please read the following on how to use it to avoid minoxidil topical side effects.

Is it Safe to Use Minoxidil During Pregnancy?

Minoxidil Side Effects

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During pregnancy, you should use this medicine only when prescribed. You must try to avoid it if there is a chance to prevent any of the minoxidil side effects for women. This is so because it can pass through breast milk but is unlikely to have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

How to Use Minoxidil?


Minoxidil Side Effects

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Minoxidil is accessible as a liquid form to apply on the scalp. You should generally use this medicine twice a day. Follow the directions on the package or prescription label carefully, and ask the doctor to explain any part you do not understand. Use it exactly as directed. Please do not use more or less of it or use it more often than directed by your doctor, as it may result in Rogaine side effects.

Exceeding the recommended dose will not produce greater or faster hair growth and may cause severe Minoxidil side effects for women and men. You should use Minoxidil for at least four months and possibly for up to 1 year before seeing any effect.

Three special applicators are provided:

  • Spray applicator for scalp areas
  • An extender spray applicator for narrow areas or under the hair
  • A rub-on applicator

Remove the inner and outer caps from the bottle, choose an applicator, and screw it tightly onto the bottle.

You should use the spray applicator and put together the metered-spray applicator, follow the instructions provided to attach the extender spray applicator. You should pump the metered spray or extender spray applicator six times for each dose. Try not to inhale the mist. Put the cap on the metered spray bottle or the small cap on the extender spray nozzle when you are not using it.

To use the Rub-on Applicator:

  1. Hold the bottle straight and squeeze it until the upper chamber of the applicator is filled.
  2. Turn the bottle upside down and rub the medicine.
  3. Put the cap on the bottle when you are not using it. If you use the fingertips to apply the medication, wash them thoroughly afterward.

Minoxidil Side Effects

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Apply for this medicine directly to dry hair and scalp only. You should not apply it to other body areas and keep it away from the eyes and sensitive skin. If it comes in contact with these parts, wash them with cool water; call your doctor if they become irritated.

Dry your hair and scalp before using Minoxidil. Apply the endorsed amount to the affected scalp area. It is typically applied twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.

Wash your hands after applying Minoxidil topical. It may take four to five months or longer before seeing hair growth. With treatment, the hair should begin to have the same color and thickness as your existing hair.

Talk to your doctor if you do not see any hair growth after four months of treatment. Keep it away from heat and moisture. Keep the foam canister away from flame or heat. You should not puncture or burn an empty canister.

How does Minoxidil Work?

Minoxidil Side Effects

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Minoxidil was a medication originally for hypertension. Researchers came to know that those people with alopecia and used this medicine for hypertension cause hair regrowth. After that, the world’s most popular over-the-counter medication for alopecia was born. People have been using Minoxidil to treat hair loss.

The way that minoxidil works aren’t completely clear. What’s evident is that Minoxidil decreases hair loss in some people while also increasing hair growth. It doesn’t work for everyone.

Experts have classified this medicine as an effective vasodilator, meaning that it dilates your blood vessels to enhance blood flow when applied. The enhancement in blood circulation to the scalp can be part of why this medicine increases hair growth.

When to See a Doctor?

Minoxidil Side Effects

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If you are experiencing severe Rogaine side effects, call the doctor and discontinue use. If you have been using Minoxidil for several weeks and still see more hair loss than growth, see your doctor. They may be able to determine if another underlying health condition is causing hair loss.

You should always seek medical assistance if you experience the following:

  • Yellow or green discharge from broken skin on the head
  • Persistent scales, redness, or irritation on the scalp
  • Sudden, patchy hair loss that does not fit the normal hair loss pattern
  • Depression related to your hair loss

Is Minoxidil Safe for Pets?

Minoxidil Side Effects

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Minoxidil is important to note because it can be toxic to cats. Cats lack the enzymes that are needed to metabolize and excrete the medicine from the body. According to the ASPCA, there were 6 cases of cats being affected by exposure to this product. Of these, 4 cats died after exposure, while the others required aggressive treatment to survive.

If you have a cat, ensure that you do not directly apply the medicine to its fur or skin. You should use the minoxidil spray or foam in an isolated area and keep this product stored in a safe area that is out of reach for your pets and children.

Also Read:  What Do You Need To Know About DIY Hair Bleach?

Minoxidil Interactions

Minoxidil Side Effects

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Every time you see a commercial for a new medicine, the interactions, and repercussions list seems to be through the roof. Believe it or not, according to the majority of studies regarding Minoxidil, it will not interact with anything. However, it is contraindicated in people who have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.


Some minoxidil side effects are normal when using this medicine. If you experience hair loss, you should be wary; other than that, no severe side effects affect the body. You should consult with your doctor if your hair loss does not stop within 4-5 months.

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