Rogaine (Minoxidil) Topical Hair Loss Treatment Causing Systemic Side Effects?

Thu 7 Mar 2013

This question, from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums, was answered by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. James DeYarman:

Can topical Rogaine be absorbed into the body causing negative side effects?

0_3499Rogaine was created from a drug called Loniten. It was a high blood pressure medication and the side effect was people would start to grow body hair. The strength of the pill was 100 mg. and started out at one pill per day. The active ingredient in Loniten is minoxidil and that is what was put into solution to create the first minoxidil hair loss treatment.

The side effects from Rogaine can be skin rash, hair growth on the face and, in some cases, headache. Because of the amount being used it would be hard to get any lowering of the blood pressure using the medication topically. For minoxidil to be effective on the hair follicle it has to be massaged into the scalp and because of the small amount of minoxidil in Rogaine, it is unlikely to have any effect on blood pressure. I hope this answers your question.

Dr. James DeYarman
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David (TakingThePlunge)
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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Technorati Tags: Rogaine, , hair loss,

2 Comments so far:

  1. Judy says:

    does rogaine damage your hair follicles? Used it twice my hair has thinned out and it hasn’t grown since I used it in Auguest of last year. I used it on side and top and that is where my hair has thinned and it’s so very dry and brittle wonder if it will ever get better? pLease any information you can provide would be helpful
    thanks

  2. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Judy,

    Regular, daily application of liquid Rogaine (minoxidil) over a period of several weeks can result in temporary hair loss known as shedding. Furthermore, the alcohol content may also dry out the hair. However, with only two applications more than seven months ago, I do not believe that Rogaine is responsible for your dry, brittle hair or the increased hair loss. Hair grows at an average rate of 1/2″ per month. Thus, you should have approximately 3 to 4 inches of new hair growth since your last application of Rogaine.

    If you have not yet done so, I strongly recommend consulting with a dermatologist. There are many factors that contribute to female hair loss. Some of these conditions are easily treatable. If you are suffering from androgenic alopecia (genetic balding) then the best treatment available to you is minoxidil. In order to know just how effective Rogaine will be for you, it is necessary to apply the drug as directed for between 6 months and one year. Once you pass the shedding phase, you may see fuller, darker and more robust growth in areas of thinning hair.

    Good luck!
    David

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