Oral Minoxidil: What it is and how it works

Minoxidil has been used as an effective treatment for male pattern hair loss for several years and is often the first medication that people turn to. It is most effective when used in conjunction with Finasteride, another medication that has been used to treat the same condition. So, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what oral Minoxidil is and how it can help you.

Introducing oral Minoxidil

Topical Minoxidil was originally approved by the US FDA as a treatment for hair loss in 1988. In fact, Minoxidil was first used to treat high blood pressure and has been used as such since the 1970s in tablet form. The hair growth benefits of Minoxidil were initially identified as a positive side effect of the medication before being harnessed to specifically help men who were suffering from hair loss.

Low-dose oral Minoxidil is now regarded as an alternative to topical Minoxidil. In essence, Minoxidil, in this form, is known as an off-label treatment or the use of a specific medication for a purpose other than that for which it is specifically licensed.

Why should you use oral Minoxidil?

Oral Minoxidil has been proven to be a suitable and safe alternative to topical Minoxidil for those who experience certain side effects associated with the topical medication, such as irritation, headaches, redness, and an itchy scalp. The main ingredient within oral Minoxidil is 2.5mg of Minoxidil, which is considered to be the best dosage of the medication for treating male pattern hair loss without the risk of some of the most common side effects.

How does oral Minoxidil work?

Scientists don’t know exactly how Minoxidil works for your hair, but it is widely assumed that it is effective at shortening the telogen phase of the hair cycle. Also, as a vasodilator, Minoxidil increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the affected areas of your scalp, which can fuel the regrowth of your hair. Given that hair growth is a slow process, it can take several months before you see any results of Minoxidil treatment, with most people having to wait around six months before noticing significant improvements. You also need to be consistent and disciplined with your application, as missing days will reduce the efficacy of Minoxidil.

Is oral Minoxidil safe?

Although oral Minoxidil for hair loss is considered an off-label use of the medication, it doesn’t mean that the process is unsafe. In fact, Minoxidil has been the subject of multiple clinical trials and has been proven effective on numerous occasions. However, you should always be aware that side effects are possible when taking any form of medication, and you should discuss any Minoxidil side effects with a health professional before continuing with your medication.

What else to know about oral Minoxidil?

As mentioned, oral Minoxidil is most effective when taken alongside Finasteride, the other medication that has been clinically proven as an effective hair loss treatment. As such, it makes sense to incorporate both medications into your treatment plan to give yourself the best chance of combatting male pattern hair loss.

The bottom line

While oral Minoxidil is not as commonly used in hair loss treatments as its topical counterpart, it can still be effective, particularly when it’s used in conjunction with Finasteride.