Get topical minoxidil (generic for Rogaine) online prescriptions for hair loss

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Product Overview

Minoxidil (topical) (generic for Rogaine)

  • What is minoxidil?
    Minoxidil is a topical medication used for the treatment of hair loss. It works by increasing the amount of blood flow to the scalp, which in turn stimulates new hair growth.

    Talk to your doctor about whether minoxidil is right for you.

  • What are the most common side effects of minoxidil?
    Minoxidil has been shown to cause adverse side effects in some patients. If these reactions become severe or do not go away after a day or two, seek medical attention right away.

The most common side effects of minoxidil use include:

  • Scalp irritation
  • Scalp dryness
  • Scaling or itching at the application site
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Medically Reviewed By Dr. Allison Edwards, MD

Frequently asked questions about minoxidil (topical)

What is topical minoxidil?

Topical minoxidil is a medication used to treat hair loss and promote hair growth. It works by increasing the amount of blood flow to the scalp, which in turn stimulates new hair growth. The most common form of topical minoxidil is a foam or liquid that is applied directly to the scalp twice daily. While it can take up to four months for results to become noticeable, many patients experience visible regrowth within two months after starting treatment with topical minoxidil.

Minoxidil is available as a generic drug or under the brand name Rogaine.

What is minoxidil (topical) used to treat?

Minoxidil is a prescription medication used to treat hair loss and promote hair growth in both men and women. It is most effective for people under the age of 40. Hair loss (alopecia) is a common condition that affects 300+ million people every single year. Nearly 85% of men over the age of 50 will experience hair loss, as will nearly 50% of women. By the age of 35, two-thirds of men will experience symptoms of male pattern hair loss, with balding occurring as early as 21.

Male pattern hair loss (or male pattern baldness) is the most common type of hair loss in men. Androgenetic alopecia/ androgenic alopecia (the interchangeable medical term for male pattern hair loss) is hereditary and occurs gradually as men grow older. If you have a family history of receding hairlines or baldness, you will likely experience male pattern hair loss at some point in time.

Male pattern hair loss is caused by changing androgens, or, sex hormones. The most prevalent androgen is testosterone, which is converted to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone. Androgens regulate hair growth, which explains why men grow facial hair and pubic hair. As men age, these hormones can affect the growth cycle of hair and shorten hair follicles, leading to thinner and weaker strands of hair. Eventually, hair begins to fall out and balding begins to occur.

Female pattern hair loss is a common condition among aging women. Nearly two-thirds of women experience some form of hair loss after menopause. While female pattern hair loss doesn't usually leave the bald spots that male pattern baldness does, it can result in very thin hair, especially at the top of the head.

Minoxidil will not cure these conditions, but it can help you keep the hair you have while preventing further balding. In addition, minoxidil has been shown to encourage hair growth. It may take several months for hair growth to occur, and the regrown hair will fall out if you stop using minoxidil.

How does minoxidil (topical) work?

Minoxidil belongs to a classification of medications known as vasodilators. Vasodilators work by opening blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely to and from the heart. It is thought that minoxidil works by increasing the amount of blood flow to the scalp, which in turn stimulates new hair growth. The active ingredient in topical minoxidil causes an increase in nitric oxide production, which helps dilate the blood vessels near the scalp and improve circulation. This increased circulation delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the follicles, resulting in thicker and healthier hair growth over time. In addition, it also helps reduce inflammation of the scalp which can cause further damage or impede the normal regrowth of hairs.

It should be noted that while this theory explains how minoxidil works on hair, its exact mechanism of action is not fully understood.

What are the common side effects of topical minoxidil?

This medication has been shown to cause some adverse side effects. Talk to your health care provider if these side effects become severe, or do not go away within a few days.

Common symptoms reported while taking minoxidil include:

  • Scalp irritation
  • Scalp dryness
  • Scaling, itching and burning at the application site

More serious side effects include:

  • Weight gain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness

Seek medical attention right away if you begin to notice any of these symptoms. These are signs of a serious adverse reaction and medical treatment is required.

As with all medication, inform your doctor of any medical conditions you are currently managing. Tell them about any and all medication, prescription drugs, and supplements you are taking before starting treatment with minoxidil. Minoxidil can interact with substances in the body, causing potentially serious adverse reactions.

You should inform your provider if you have or have had heart, kidney, or liver disease. Also, inform them if you are currently taking any form of blood pressure medication.

Wear protective clothing to avoid prolonged or excessive sun exposure when using minoxidil. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen when going outside.

Finally, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant before starting treatment with minoxidil. If you become pregnant while taking minoxidil, inform your health care provider immediately. Do not take this medication if you are currently breastfeeding.

What is the typical starting dose of topical minoxidil?

Minoxidil for hair loss is usually prescribed as a liquid solution or foam that should be applied directly to the scalp. Follow your health care provider’s orders on how to apply the solution, as well as how often it should be applied.

Make sure your hair and scalp are completely dry before applying the medication. Put the medication directly on the site requiring treatment. Do not shampoo your hair or use a blowdryer after applying minoxidil. Minoxidil can stain bedding and clothing. After applying the solution, wait for at least 2-4 hours before going to bed.

Finally, wash your hands after using minoxidil to prevent getting the solution on your clothes or other items.

Keep all medication bottles and containers out of reach of small children, and at room temperature. Avoid exposing the medication to excess heat or moisture. Seek medical attention right away if you begin to notice chest pain, trouble breathing, or signs of an allergic reaction (hives, rash, swelling) after applying this medication.

Do not exceed the dosage prescribed by your health care provider or discontinue the use of minoxidil without consulting your health care provider first.

Can I get topical minoxidil over the counter?

Good news! Topical minoxidil is available over the counter. This means it is widely available for purchase at most retail health stores without a prescription from a doctor.

Not sure if minoxidil is right for you? Book a convenient and affordable virtual visit on Sesame to talk about your treatment options with a licensed health care provider.

Can I get topical minoxidil online?

Minoxidil is available over the counter or via online purchase. Want to know more? Book a video visit on Sesame to discuss this medication with a licensed health care provider. You can use this visit to ask about proper dosage, usage and storage.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, you can also book an online hair loss consult with a licensed health care provider to discuss your symptoms and the best treatment options for you.