Minoxidil Topical Solution or Foam

Minoxidil is a medication that increases new hair growth in cases of hereditary hair loss. You can apply this topical solution or foam on your scalp to promote hair growth. The brand name of this medication is Rogaine®.

What is this medication?

MINOXIDIL (mi NOX i dill) treats certain types of hair loss. It works by increasing hair growth on the scalp.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Rogaine

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Frontal hair loss or receding hairline
  • No family history of hair loss
  • Sudden or patchy hair loss
  • Unknown reason for hair loss
  • Your scalp is red, inflamed, infected or painful
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to minoxidil, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is for external use on the scalp only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions that come with the product. The hair and scalp should be dry before you use this medication. You do not need to shampoo your hair before each application. Do not use more often than directed.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. This medication is not approved for use in children.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other medications on the scalp without asking your care team.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

This medication must be used on a regular basis for your hair to regrow. It may take 2 to 4 months of regular use before you notice any improvement. It is important to continue to use this product to maintain regrowth of hair. Once you stop using it, the regrown hair will usually fall out within 3 months. If you do not see any new hair growth after 4 months, stop using this product and contact your care team.

Do not get this medication in your eyes, nose, mouth, or on other sensitive areas. If you do, rinse off with plenty of cool tap water. Always wash your hands after use. Do not apply if your scalp is cut, scraped, or sunburned.

Some people may notice changes in hair color or texture after using this medication.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Burning, itching, crusting, or peeling of treated skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Change in hair color or texture
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation at application site
  • Unexpected hair growth

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Some products may be flammable. Keep away from heat, fire or flame. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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