This question comes from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums

Recently, I started noticing my progressive hair loss and decided I wanted to try minoxidil (Rogaine). However, I started to do some online research about minoxidil, and it turns out the drug is used to treat heart failure and dangerous high blood pressure, and can cause some serious side effects. Knowing this, I’m wondering: is it dangerous to treat hair loss with minoxidil?

As you described in the question, minoxidil, when used in certain ways, is a pretty potent drug.

As many probably know, the drug is frequently used in patients suffering from heart failure and malignant hypertension (dangerously high blood pressure), and minoxidil truly acts as an effective vasodilator (an agent that relaxes and increases the diameter of blood vessels) in the human body.

However, keep the following in mind: when used to treat heart failure or hypertension, minoxidil is taken in an oral form and is absorbed and utilized by the body in very high concentrations. Furthermore, many of these harmful side effects described online pertain to the highly concentrated oral tablet, and not the 5%, topical solution designed for hair loss.

On the other hand, the 5% topical solution is certified effective and safe for hair loss by the US FDA, and is utilized, without issue, by countless hair loss sufferers every day. What’s more, patients who do experience side effects report that the issues subside quickly after stopping the medication.

Regardless, it’s important for potential minoxidil users to realize that all medications, even ones proven to halt progressive hair loss, carry side effects, and all individuals should perform thorough research and a undergo a physician consultation are before starting a new hair restoration drug.
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Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

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