Rogaine – Minoxidil

Rogaine is a hair regrowth product, mainly used for the hair loss or alopecia treatment. It contains minoxidil as its main ingredient that helps in hair regrowth. Note that the hair growth through Rogaine is not permanent and the product has to be used continuously to keep the change and to slow down hair loss.

Rogaine - Minoxidil for hair loss treatment
What is minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a vasodilator medicine and helps in lowering blood pressure by causing the blood vessels to dilate. As a result of vasodilation in the scalp, it slows down hair loss and promotes the regrowth of hair in some people. It’s available as topical treatment for androgenic alopecia too as an over the counter treatment. It’s FDA approved drug for the treatment of androgenic hair loss. Its formulations are usually:

Remember not to confuse topical minoxidil with the oral one. Although it’s very much effective in patients with androgenic hair loss, it’s not clear if it’s of much help in alopecia areata (spot baldness).

Dosage and how to apply

Dosage and tips on how to use minoxidil include:

Note that minoxidil has less effect on old age patients. It also doesn’t work well in patients with large areas of baldness or the ones who have been bald for longer period of time. The use of Rogaine should be continued to increase the hair growth and to maintain the increase. See your doctor if you don’t see any increase in hairs after 4 months use.

When not to use Rogaine

Don’t use minoxidil when:

Side effects of Rogaine

Risk of side effects from topical minoxidil is low, however they may appear in some cases, especially if the medicine is swallowed or applied on injured skin. Side effects of Rogaine include:

Discuss with your doctor if you experience any of the side effects of Rogaine. The increase in dandruff and development of contact dermatitis is considered to be due to alcohol and propylene glycol in various preparations of topical minoxidil, used as vehicle for the main drug. Some products add Nanosomes in the product to reduce the incident of developing contact dermatitis from prophylene glycol or alcohol. Allergic reaction is possible to any medicine and can be fatal if not treated immediately. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

If you experience any of the symptoms of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction, wash the medicine immediately if possible and rush to the hospital to avoid any life threatening condition. Side effects of oral minoxidil are more than the topical one and should only be used with doctor’s advice.

Rogaine and Pregnancy

FDA has assigned pregnancy category C to minoxidil. Which means that the animal studies using oral minoxidil do not show the evidence of teratogenicity. However, reduced rate of conception and increased fetal absorption incidences were observed in animals (rabbits) who were given the medicine 5 times the usual oral dose for humans. Minoxidil oral and topical both should not be used in a pregnant woman. Among 4 reported cases of oral minoxidil exposure in human pregnancy, two of them were associated with congenital abnormalities, but due to the presence of severe hypertension in those patients and also the usage of other drugs to control it, makes it difficult to consider minoxidil as a teratogen, however possibility still exists. One patient experienced no side effect too.

Rogaine and Breastfeeding

Minoxidil is excreted into the breast milk. Due to the potential development of side effects while nursing infants, the drug should not be used in nursing women to avoid any adverse affects.

rogaine for alopecia treatment
Drug interactions of Rogaine

Drug interactions are possible between any two drugs or a drug and any other product, even if both of them are safe on their own. Drug interactions result in either reduction of the efficiency of the drugs or else in increasing their side effects. There are almost 53 drugs that interact with Rogaine, including:

Discuss with your doctor if you’re using any medicine, including ones not listed, before using minoxidil. Make sure you discuss with your doctor if you start taking any new medicine, especially related to cardiovascular system. Rogaine is effective in reducing or even reversing the hair loss and promoting hair growth, however don’t forget to read the label that comes along the medicine before using it. Consult your doctor if you have any questions.