What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that help address general thinning of head hair. Minoxidil causes widening of the blood vessels, which can help regrow hair on the top of the scalp. It can be found in single-ingredient hair regrowth products for both men and women.

What is Minoxidil used to treat?

  • Thinning head hair
Common brands containing Minoxidil:
  • Rogaine
  • Store Brands (ex. Walmart’s “Equate” store brand or CVS Health store brand)

Safety guide for Minoxidil

Minoxidil is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help hair regrowth and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label directions. These products are for scalp use only and should never be applied to other parts of the body. You should read the educational pamphlet enclosed with the medicine for complete directions on how to use the product and obtain the best results.

Safe Use Tips:

  • It may take up to four months of use before results are seen.
  • Continued use is necessary to increase and keep your hair regrowth.
  • The amount of hair regrowth varies from person to person.
  • Use the applicator that comes with the medicine if one is provided.
  • You should avoid getting the medicine into your eyes.
  • Using more medicine than directed will not improve your results.
  • These medicines may not work for everyone.
  • Products labeled for use in men only are not intended to treat frontal baldness or a receding hairline. These products can help hair regrowth on the top of the scalp.
  • These products may be flammable. Keep away from fire and flame.

Ask a Healthcare Provider Before Use If:

  • You have heart disease.

Do Not Use If:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Your degree of hair loss is different than what is shown on the side of the medicine package because that product may not work for you.
  • You have no family history of hair loss.
  • Your hair loss is sudden or patchy.
  • Your hair loss is associated with childbirth.
  • You do not know the reason for your hair loss.
  • Your scalp is red, inflamed, infected, irritated, or painful.
  • You use other medicines on the scalp.
  • Women should never use a product labeled only for use in men.

Stop Use and Ask a Doctor If:

  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat, or dizziness occurs.
  • You experience sudden, unexplained weight loss.
  • Your hands or feet swell.
  • Scalp irritation or redness occurs.
  • You experience unwanted facial hair growth.
  • You do not see hair regrowth after four months.
  • You accidentally swallow the medicine. Immediately contact a healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.

What are the side effects of Minoxidil?

  • These medicines may be harmful if used while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Changes in hair color or texture may occur.