Is minoxidil safe? What are the minoxidil side effects after stopping? These are essential questions to ask before you start using this medication.
In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the potential side effects of Minoxidil and what you can do to lessen them. Keep reading for more information.
What are the side effects of minoxidil?
As opposed to the oral form of minoxidil, topical minoxidil is generally safer and better-tolerated. However, the side effects of topical minoxidil may be observed in some individuals.
The localized adverse effects of topical minoxidil may include minoxidil-induced telogen effluvium that is minoxidil shedding, aggravation of seborrheic dermatitis, discomfort, erythema, isolated pruritus or itching, allergic contact dermatitis, and generalized or localized hypertrichosis.
There are severe reactions to Minoxidil. Those are minoxidil side effects sexually, mentally and physically.
What are minoxidil drug interactions?
Topical minoxidil is associated with several drug interactions.
You should consult a doctor before getting minoxidil to fully protect yourself.
The combined use of topical minoxidil and systemic cyclosporine can lead to the exacerbation of the side effects of topical minoxidil.
For instance, a person taking systemic cyclosporine and topical minoxidil may experience greater hypertrichosis as compared to topical minoxidil alone.
Drug interactions are also seen with the combined topical minoxidil and baby aspirin. The latter reduces the efficacy of the topical minoxidil in stimulating the growth of hair. The underlying mechanism is the suppression of sulfotransferase by baby aspirin.
When should you stop minoxidil?
There are 3 situations when you should stop using minoxidil: you experience harmful side effects, minoxidil is not working or your hair loss has stabilized.
One may discontinue the use of minoxidil with the onset of severe or unusual side effects. In case of drug interactions, you may consult your doctor about stopping minoxidil.
If you apply minoxidil once a day according to instructions, minoxidil can take 3 months to a year to work. In instances where minoxidil is not working, your doctor might advise other alternatives to minoxidil such as:
Generally speaking, you should stop using minoxidil when your hair loss has stabilized. This usually occurs after 4-6 months of treatment.
However, some people may need to continue therapy for more extended periods. Speak with a doctor to determine how long you should continue treatment.
In the majority of the cases, if you stop using minoxidil, your hair loss will gradually return.
Therefore, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of treatment before starting therapy.
You may also consult a healthcare provider to discuss maintenance treatment for stabilizing hair growth and preventing the onset of hair loss.
Are there minoxidil side effects after stopping?
Although minoxidil is generally considered safe, some potential side effects may occur after stopping treatment. The side effect are scalp irritation, which can cause itchiness, redness, and scaling.
In rare cases, minoxidil may also cause hypertrichosis or excess hair growth. This side effect is more likely to happen in women than men, and it usually goes away after treatment is stopped.
Another potentially severe side effect is perioral dermatitis, which causes a rash around the mouth.
Contact your health care practitioner if you experience any of these side effects after stopping minoxidil treatment.
How to treat minoxidil side effects after stopping?
If you've been using Minoxidil to treat your hair loss and have noticed some side effects, don't worry - these are usually temporary and will stop once you stop using the medication. However, you can do a few things to help ease any discomfort in the meantime.
Firstly, if you're experiencing scalp itchiness, try using mild shampoo and avoid scratching your scalp. You can also apply a cool compress to the affected area for a few minutes daily.
If you're experiencing any redness, irritation or dryness of the skin around your hairline, try using a topical steroid cream or ointment. Apply this sparingly to the affected area and avoid contact with your eyes.
If you're experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath or irregular heartbeat, stop using Minoxidil immediately and seek medical attention. These could be signs of a more severe condition known as cardiac toxicity, which can be fatal.
In most cases, the side effects of Minoxidil are mild and will resolve once you stop using the medication. However, if you're concerned about any of the symptoms you're experiencing, speak to your doctor or dermatologist for advice.
What is minoxidil?
The pharmacologists initially developed oral minoxidil, a peripheral vasodilatory agent, a medication for the treatment of hypertension. Individuals with hypertension who took minoxidil noticed an unusual side effect. They experienced minoxidil hair growth results in the form of hypertrichosis.
With further research and development, topical minoxidil for men and women was formulated for the treatment of hair loss and stimulating hair growth.
Topical minoxidil is available in the form of minoxidil foam and liquid. This is available in different concentrations including 5% topical minoxidil and 2% topical minoxidil.
Your hair transplant clinic might also advise you to use minoxidil after hair transplant.
How does minoxidil work for hair loss?
Following the topical application of minoxidil foam or minoxidil solution, minoxidil is converted into its active form, minoxidil sulfate. This conversion is catalyzed by the enzyme – sulfotransferase, which is present in the scalp.
The exact mechanism of the action of minoxidil is not yet known clearly, however, the investigators have come up with different hypothesis to explain the working of minoxidil in stimulating hair growth and reducing hair loss.
Minoxidil stimulates the potassium channels that are present in the hair follicles and the blood vessels. The vasodilation of the arteries that supply the hair follicles with oxygen and nutrients improves hair growth.
The effects of minoxidil on the hair growth cycle include an increase in the duration of the anagen phase and a decrease in the duration of the telogen phase.
Minoxidil also promotes hair growth by increasing the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). It stimulates hair growth directly by functioning as an epidermal growth factor.
Minoxidil is a topical formulation for the treatment of different forms of hair loss such as androgenic alopecia, scarring alopecia, etc. Minoxidil comes in the form of minoxidil foam and minoxidil solution with different concentrations including topical minoxidil 2% topical minoxidil and 5% topical minoxidil.
People may stop using topical minoxidil due to a variety of reasons. Some may discontinue its use after the onset of side effects or drug interactions whereas others stop using it after they observe satisfactory hair growth. In either case, minoxidil withdrawal may lead to gradual loss of hair growth, which was achieved with minoxidil treatment.
You may opt for symptomatic treatment if the side effects persist after the discontinuation of minoxidil.
Minoxidil (Topical Route) Side Effects - Mayo Clinic. (2022). Mayoclinic.org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-topical-route/side-effects/drg-20068750?p=1
Minoxidil (Oral Route) Side Effects - Mayo Clinic. (2022). Mayoclinic.org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20068757
Badri T, Nessel TA, Kumar D D. Minoxidil. [Updated 2021 Dec 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/