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Rogaine (drug)

Rogaine (now branded as Regaine outside the U.S.) is the brand name for minoxidil, when used as a topical drug to treat male pattern baldness. The solution is applied to the scalp daily to stimulate hair growth and help prevent hair loss. It is available over-the-counter (OTC) in the U.S. in a 2% minoxidil solution and also as a 5% minoxidil solution (Rogaine Extra Strength for Men). While the 2% solution can be used by either gender, the 5% solution is recommended for use by men only.

Clinical studies of the effectiveness of topical minoxidil have shown both a slowing of hair loss and some regrowth of hair in some (but not all) patients. These studies also show that these measurable changes disappear fairly rapidly (within one to two years) after discontinuation of treatment.

In 2006 Rogaine Foam was released. Prior to the foam, Rogaine came only in liquid form. The foam is meant to allow for better and easier application with fewer side effects. It also allows the scalp to absorb the minoxidil more efficiently.[1]


Side effects

As a drug to combat hair loss, the most common side effect is itchy scalp. In some cases Minoxidil may initially cause an increase in hair loss.

There have been cases of allergic reactions to minoxidil or the non-active ingredient propylene glycol which is found in some forms of the topical version, such as Rogaine. Large amounts of minoxidil can cause hypotension, and it has been found that using petroleum jelly or tretinoin on the scalp with minoxidil can cause too much of the drug absorption by the scalp, as can using the drug on sunburned scalps.

If a person uses minoxidil to stop hair loss for a length of time and then stops taking the drug, hair loss will occur again.

Other side effects include:

  • acne on the area where it is being used as a topical solution
  • headaches and/or lightheadedness
  • very low blood pressure
  • irregular or fast heart beat
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain

All the side effects in the above list except for acne may be an indicator that too much of the drug is being used.

It has also been found that the drug can be passed from a mother to a child via breast milk.

Side effects in animals

Minoxidil is highly toxic to cats. Rogaine/Regaine is highly toxic (can cause death) when applied onto the skin of cats.[2][3] As such, Rogaine/Regaine cannot be used to treat the loss of fur in cats.

See also

  • Baldness treatments


  1. ^ Olsen EA, Whiting D, Bergfeld W, Miller J, Hordinsky M, Wanser R, Zhang P, Kohut B (2007). "A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of a novel formulation of 5% minoxidil topical foam versus placebo in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men". J Am Acad Dermatol.. PMID 17761356.
  2. ^ Camille DeClementi; Keith L. Bailey, Spencer C. Goldstein, and Michael Scott Orser (December 2004). "Suspected toxicosis after topical administration of minoxidil in 2 cats". Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 14 (4): 287–292. doi:10.1111/j.1476-4431.2004.04014.x. Retrieved on 2007-01-18.
  3. ^ Minoxidil Warning. Retrieved on 2007-01-18. “Very small amounts of Minoxidil can result [in] serious problems or death”
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rogaine_(drug)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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