Generic Name: minoxidil (min OX i dil)Brand Names: Loniten
Minoxidil is a vasodilator that relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.
Minoxidil is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is usually given together with two other medications including a diuretic (water pill).
Minoxidil may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before using minoxidil, tell your doctor if you have angina (chest pain), congestive heart failure, kidney disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or if you have recently had a heart attack.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially guanethidine (Ismelin).Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as swelling in your legs or ankles, chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, trouble breathing, swelling or rapid weight gain, sudden numbness or problems with vision or speech, the first sign of any skin rash, or if you feel like you might pass out.
Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so you may not know when your blood pressure is high. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.You may need to receive your first few doses of minoxidil in a hospital setting where your heart and blood pressure can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Loniten (minoxidil)?Minoxidil tablets should not be used to promote scalp hair growth. You should not use this medication if you are allergic to minoxidil, or if you have pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor).
Before using minoxidil, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
angina (chest pain);
congestive heart failure;
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or
if you have recently had a heart attack.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.FDA pregnancy category C. Minoxidil may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Minoxidil can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Do not take minoxidil without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Take minoxidil exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your weight and blood pressure will need to be checked on a regular basis. You may also need blood tests. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Minoxidil is usually given together with other medications. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.
Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so you may not know when your blood pressure is high. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.Store minoxidil at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Loniten dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include dizziness or fainting.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
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:
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.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially guanethidine (Ismelin).
This list is not complete and 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.