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Side Effects of Minoxidil

Common minoxidil side effects may include a dry, flaky, and itchy scalp. Other possible reactions may include unwanted facial hair and a red, irritated scalp. While most side effects do not require immediate medical attention, some serious problems should be reported to your healthcare provider right away, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, or an unexplained rash.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Minoxidil

Just like any medicine, minoxidil (Rogaine®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with minoxidil. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you. This article applies only to minoxidil formulations that are applied on the scalp. An oral form of minoxidil is available by prescription and is used to treat severe hypertension. Oral minoxidil should not be used to treat hair loss, as it can cause serious side effects. See Loniten for more information.)

Serious Minoxidil Side Effects

Some minoxidil side effects are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Swelling in the face, hands, legs, ankles, or feet
  • A sudden, unexplained weight gain
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Problems breathing (especially when lying down)
  • Chest pain, or pain radiating to the neck, arm, or shoulder area
  • Extreme dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • Feelings of tingling or numbness in the hands, feet, or face
  • An increase in hair loss that continues for longer than two weeks
  • Persistent or severe scalp irritation or redness
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
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Minoxidil Drug Information

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