When it comes to dealing with hair loss, the drug that usually comes to mind is Minoxidil. It is the leading over-the-counter treatment for androgenic alopecia and other types of hair loss. The drug was initially made to treat hypertension, but was later on discovered to promote hair growth.
Minoxidil is the drug of choice for people who want to slow down their balding and stimulate the growth of their hair. The drug is said to work best on users not over forty years old with recently detected balding. Although it is strongly effective in hair growth stimulation, the drug does not work on receding hair lines. When Minoxidil is discontinued, the rate of hair loss will be back as before within a month or two.
The drug comes in topical form, usually a liquid, which is applied on the scalp two times a day. To apply to the scalp, you can choose from the three applicators that come with packaging: a metered spray applicator meant for large areas of the scalp, an extended spray applicator for smaller areas and rub on applicator.
Minoxidil does not produce results instantly. Be patient as it may take four months to a year for you to see any changes. Do not attempt to apply more than what is needed. If you think spreading large doses to your scalp will make your hair grow faster, you are wrong. This will only increase the side effects and can put your health at risk. Apply the drug onto your scalp according to package instructions or as prescribed by your doctor. If you forgot to apply a dose, do not double the next dose to make up for the missed one.
As mentioned above, Minoxidil has several side-effects. While taking the medication, you may notice signs of irritation on your scalp including itching, flaking, scaling and even a burning sensation. These are just minor side effects but should be reported to your doctor if it becomes severe. Signs you should not ignore include lightheadedness, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, increased heart rate, weight gain and swelling in your face and extremities. If you notice any of these symptoms, inform your doctor immediately.
Just like all other drugs, there are some precautions you should follow before you take Minoxidil. Before getting a prescription for Minoxidil from your doctor, inform him if you have any drug allergies. Also inform him of the medications you are taking presently because some drugs, like high blood pressure pills for example, can interact with Minoxidil and create unwanted reactions. It is also best to give your doctor your medical history indicating if you have diseases involving your liver, kidney or scalp.
Once you apply Minoxidil to your scalp, stay away from unnecessary or extended exposure to the sun. This drug can increase your sensitivity to sunlight so always have hats, sunscreen and sun glasses with you when you go out.
Despite the side effects and several precautions you have to take, Minoxidil is still considered to be the hair loss wonder drug. If you want to regain your lush locks, this is the drug to have.