Minoxidil (Topical & Low-Dose Oral)

Minoxidil is a medication that dilates blood vessels, originally developed in the late 1950s by Upjohn Company. Minoxidil was first approved by the FDA in 1979 for treatment of high blood pressure, in the form of an oral tablet. Studies conducted for Minoxidil as an anti-hypertensive medication showed unexpected hair growth and led to its development as a treatment for hair loss. The over-the-counter product, Rogaine for men, contains 5% Minoxidil. Rogaine for women contains 2% Minoxidil.

In contrast to Finasteride and Dutasteride, Minoxidil does not affect DHT. Minoxidil appears to improve hair loss by its effect on hair growth; increasing the Anagen or growth phase of the hair growth cycle. This allows the miniaturized follicle to grow longer and gain greater diameter. The longer, thicker hairs have more volume and provide better coverage.

See Hair Growth Cycle for a detailed description.

In recent years, Low-Dose Oral Minoxidil has gained popularity as a convenient alternative to topically applied Minoxidil. Typically, a 2.5 mg oral Minoxidil tablet is divided in half, and one-half tablet (1.25 mg) is taken daily.

Low-Dose Oral Minoxidil has a lower risk of side effects (less than 2%) and can be an effective and convenient way to treat hair loss in patients who are candidates for this medication.

Please consult with your physician before considering any of the drugs or treatments discussed on this website