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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? Yes
  • Drug class: Antihypertensive


  • Treatment for high blood pressure in conjunction with other drugs, such as beta-adrenergic blockers and diuretics.
  • Treatment for congestive heart failure.
  • Can stimulate hair growth.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Tablet--Swallow with liquid. If you can't swallow whole, crumble tablet and take with liquid or food.

When to take:
At the same time each day, according to instructions on prescription label.

If you forget a dose:
Take as soon as you remember up to 2 hours late. If more than 2 hours, wait for next scheduled dose (don't double this dose).

What drug does:
Relaxes small blood vessels (arterioles) so blood can pass through more easily.

Time lapse before drug works:
2 to 3 hours for effect to begin; 3 to 7 days of continuous use may be necessary for maximum blood pressure response.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Low blood pressure, fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, coma.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see Overdose section.


  • Excessive hair growth, flushed skin or redness.
  • Bloating.


  • Chest pain, irregular or slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, swollen feet or legs, rapid weight gain.
  • Numbness of hands, feet, or face; headache; tender breasts; darkening of skin.



Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to minoxidil.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have had recent stroke, heart attack or angina pectoris in past 3 weeks.
  • If you have impaired kidney function.
  • If you have pheochromocytoma*.

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.

Studies inconclusive on harm to unborn child. Decide with you doctor whether drug benefits justify risk to unborn child.

Human studies not available. Avoid if possible. Consult doctor.

Infants & children:
Not recommended. Safety and dosage have not been established.

Prolonged use:
Request periodic blood examinations that include potassium levels.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Avoid if you become dizzy or faint. Otherwise, no problems expected.

Don't discontinue without consulting doctor. Dose may require gradual reduction if you have taken drug for a long time. Doses of other drugs may also require adjustment.


  • Check pulse regularly. If it exceeds 20 or more beats per minute over your normal rate, consult doctor immediately.
  • Check blood pressure frequently.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Anesthesia Drastic blood pressure drop.
Antihypertensives, Dosage adjustments
other* may be necessary to keep blood
pressure at desired level.
Carteolol Increased antihypertensive effect.
Diuretics* Dosage adjustments may be necessary
to keep blood pressure at desired
Guanadrel Weakness and faintness when arising
from bed or chair.
Guanethidine Weakness and faintness when arising
from bed or chair.
Lisinopril Increased antihypertensive effect.
Dosage of each may require
Nicardipine Blood pressure drop. Dosages may
require adjustment.
Nimodipine Dangerous blood pressure drop.
Nitrates* Drastic blood pressure drop.
Sotalol Increased antihypertensive effect.
Sympathomimetics* Possible decreased minoxidil
Terazosin Decreases effectiveness of

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Possible excessive blood pressure
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: Increased risk of heart block and
high blood pressure.
Salt substitutes. Possible excessive potassium levels
in blood.
Marijuana: Increased dizziness.
Tobacco: May decrease minoxidil effect.

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