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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Loniten

Generic Name: minoxidil (Pronunciation: min OX i dil)

What is minoxidil (Loniten)?

Minoxidil is a vasodilator that relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Minoxidil is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is usually given together with two other medications including a diuretic (water pill).

Minoxidil may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Minoxidil 10 mg-WAT

round, white, imprinted with 10, DAN 5643

Minoxidil 2.5 mg-WAT

round, white, imprinted with 2.5, DAN 5642

What are the possible side effects of minoxidil (Loniten)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • dry cough, sharp or stabbing chest pain;
  • chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • trouble breathing (especially while lying down);
  • swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet;
  • rapid weight gain of 5 pounds or more;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • sudden numbness, weakness, headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • easy bruising or bleeding; or
  • feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • breast pain or tenderness; or
  • changes in the color, length, or thickness of body or facial hair.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about minoxidil (Loniten)?

Minoxidil tablets should not be used to promote scalp hair growth.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to minoxidil, or if you have pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor).

Before using minoxidil, tell your doctor if you have angina (chest pain), congestive heart failure, kidney disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or if you have recently had a heart attack.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially guanethidine (Ismelin).

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as swelling in your legs or ankles, chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, trouble breathing, swelling or rapid weight gain, sudden numbness or problems with vision or speech, the first sign of any skin rash, or if you feel like you might pass out.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so you may not know when your blood pressure is high. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

You may need to receive your first few doses of minoxidil in a hospital setting where your heart and blood pressure can be monitored in case the medication causes serious side effects.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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