minoxidil (generic name)

Loniten (brand name)

It relaxes blood vessels, increasing the blood and oxygen supply to your heart
(mi NOX i dill)
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What is this medicine?

MINOXIDIL (mi NOX i dill) is a type of vasodilator. It relaxes blood vessels, increasing the blood and oxygen supply to your heart. This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure. It is not recommended for use in mild cases of high blood pressure because of the potential for serious side effects.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • angina
  • heart or blood vessel disease
  • kidney disease
  • lung disease
  • pheochromocytoma
  • previous heart attack
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to minoxidil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

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

What may interact with this medicine?

  • medicines for chest pain
  • medicines for high blood pressure

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly while you are taking this medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your heart rate and blood pressure should be and when you should contact him or her. While you are taking this medicine, keep a check on your weight. Tell your doctor or health care professional if you rapidly gain more then 5 pounds.

You may get dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you more dizzy, and increase flushing and rapid heartbeats. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are taking this medicine without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients may increase your blood pressure.

You may need to follow a special low sodium diet while taking this medicine. Check with your doctor or health care professional.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, palpitations
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness or fainting spells
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • skin rash or itching
  • stiff or swollen joints
  • sudden weight gain
  • swelling of the feet or legs
  • unusual weakness

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

  • headache
  • unusual hair growth, on the face, arm, and back

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Last Updated: July 06, 2009
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