Generic Name : Minoxidil.

Trade Name     : Rogaine.

Drug Class       :  Arterio – Vasodilators, Topical Skin Products.

Forms of The Drug

  1. Topical Solution:  2%, 5%.
  2. Topical Foam:  5%.

Mechanism of Action

Minoxidil is a medication primarily used to treat hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness). Its exact mechanism of action isn’t completely understood, but it’s believed to work through multiple pathways to promote hair growth. Here’s an overview of the proposed mechanisms of action for minoxidil:

  1. Vasodilation: Minoxidil was originally developed as an oral medication to treat high blood pressure. One of its primary effects is to relax and dilate blood vessels, which leads to increased blood flow. When applied topically to the scalp, minoxidil’s vasodilatory effects can enhance blood circulation to hair follicles. Improved blood flow brings with it essential nutrients and oxygen, creating a more favorable environment for hair growth.
  2. Potassium Channel Opening: Minoxidil is thought to open adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-sensitive potassium channels in the cell membranes of hair follicles. This leads to hyperpolarization of the cell membrane, preventing the influx of calcium ions. Calcium ions play a role in controlling hair follicle contraction and relaxation. By reducing calcium influx, minoxidil may promote a more relaxed state in the hair follicles, potentially extending the growth phase of the hair cycle (anagen phase).
  3. Proliferation and Differentiation: Minoxidil may also influence the proliferation and differentiation of hair follicle cells. It could stimulate the division of matrix cells in the hair follicle, which contribute to hair shaft production. Additionally, it might promote the differentiation of precursor cells into specialized hair cells, which then form the hair shaft.
  4. Increased Blood Flow to the Follicles: As mentioned earlier, minoxidil’s vasodilatory effects enhance blood circulation. This improved blood flow can bring more nutrients, oxygen, and growth factors to the hair follicles, supporting their overall health and function.
  5. Stimulation of Hair Follicle Growth Factors: Minoxidil application could potentially stimulate the release of various growth factors within the hair follicles. These growth factors play a role in regulating hair follicle development, growth, and maintenance.

Indications

  1. Androgenetic Alopecia (Male Pattern Baldness).
  2. Androgenetic Alopecia (Female Pattern Baldness).
  3. Non-Androgenetic Hair Loss.
  4. Promotion of Beard Growth.
  5. Hair Loss Prevention After Hair Transplant Surgery.

Contraindications

  1. Allergy or Sensitivity.
  2. Broken, Irritated, or Inflamed Scalp.
  3. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.
  4. Cardiovascular Conditions.
  5. Dermatitis or Scalp Conditions.
  6. Age Restrictions.
  7. Unwanted Hair Growth on Other Parts of the Body.
  8. Interactions with Other Topical Preparations.

Side Effects

  1. Scalp Irritation and Redness.
  2. Increased Hair Shedding.
  3. Unwanted Hair Growth.
  4. Hypertrichosis.
  5. Dryness and Flaking.
  6. Dizziness or Lightheadedness (Oral Minoxidil).
  7. Heart-related Side Effects (Oral Minoxidil).
  8. Allergic Reactions.
  9. Systemic Absorption (Oral Minoxidil).

Drug Interaction

Other drugs that can interact with it.

  1. Topical Medications.
  2. Topical Skin Preparations.
  3. Oral Medications: as Beta-blockers, Diuretics (Water Pills), ACE Inhibitors and ARBs, Other Blood Pressure Medications, Sodium-containing Products.

Precautions

  1. Pregnancy: Category C.
  2. Lactation: Limited information is available about the safety of using minoxidil during lactation (breastfeeding), and caution is advised. However, due to the lack of comprehensive studies on its effects during breastfeeding, it’s recommended to take certain precautions if considering the use of minoxidil while breastfeeding.

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