What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is an anti-hypertensive peripheral vasodilator drug being primarily used for different patterns of baldness and hair loss in men & women. It belongs to the drug class of pyrimidine derivatives (Arteriolar smooth muscle). It is commonly known by the trade name as “Rogaine”outside of India and Mintop, Tugain, Regaine, etc. in India.
How Minoxidil was discovered and what were the earlier forms of Minoxidil?
Earlier, Minoxidil was used to treat the hypertension in the form of pills named as “Loniten.” But researchers noticed that it also helps in the hair growth. So, its use as medicine for hair growth was started. Since it led to hair growth all over the body, it could not be used in the same form. The researchers then opted for a new formulation in the form of lotion that could be directly applied to the scalp without affecting other body parts.
How minoxidil transformed from an anti-hypertensive drug to hair fall drug?
Minoxidil emanated from a research program which was held in 1960 by Upjohn chemists. They were evaluating the gastric acid effects of a compound named “DAM” (N, N- diallymelamine) from a chemical catalogue. On analyzing,
Further Upjohn researchers amalgamated several DAMN-O analogues including Minoxidil keeping the factors of side effects in mind and avoiding it. Along with minoxidil, several diuretics and beta blockers were added in the study to reverse the water and salt retention. Minoxidil showed reduction in blood pressure levels with minimal side effects during clinical trials. As word from people got out that minoxidil resulted in hair re-growth, Upjohn researchers in Kalamazoo headquarters, Michigan, inundated with the volunteers for hair loss trials with a topical formulation. This trial was performed on macaques (a species prone to hair thinning) and re-growth of hair was observed. After that, Upjohn launched minoxidil as “Regaine” topical solution of 2% in UK in 1988. Minoxidil was the first drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in August 1988 for the treatment of male patterned hair loss (Androgenetic alopecia).
How Does Minoxidil works and how it reduces the hair fall?
How does Minoxidil promote hair re-growth?
Minoxidil is best known for treatment in men and women with hair loss or thinning at the top of the scalp. It promotes hair growth by:
What are the different formulations of Minoxidil?
Common customized and most commonly used formulations of minoxidil are 2% and 5%. Apart from this, 10% and 15% formulations of minoxidil, with added active ingredients are also available but no scientific data is available for these formulations. The various formulations are as follows:
Minoxidil 2% helps to stop hair loss and promotes hair re-growth in 30% of men, whereas 5% solution of minoxidil gives the success rate of approximately 65%.
What are the differences between formulations of Minoxidil?
|Brand name||Company Name||Formulation||Composition||M.R.P(Range b/w)|
|Rogaine||Rogaine||Sol. 5% & Foam 5%||Minoxidil 5% ,Alcohol, 30% v/v, propylene glycol, 50% v/v||$40.39 – $606.84|
|MINTOP||Dr. Reddy’s Lab||Sol. 2% & Lotion 2%||Minoxidil 2% = 20 mg||Rs.256|
|MINTOP||Dr. Reddy’s Lab||Sol. 10% & Foam 10%||Minoxidil 10% = 100mg||Rs760- Rs.886|
|TUGAIN||Cipla||Sol. 5% , Foam 5% & Gel 5%||Minoxidil + Abs. Alcohol
5% + 30%
|Rs.598.50 – Rs. 805|
|TUGAIN||Cipla||Sol. 10% Foam 10%||Minoxidil + Abs. Alcohol
10% + 40%- 50.63%
|Rs. 841- Rs. 917.50|
|Amexidil-5||Sun Pharmaceutical||Sol. 5%||Aminexil (1.5% w/v) + Minoxidil Topical (5% w/v)||Rs. 510|
|Regaine||Jannsen Pharmaceutical||Sol. 2% , 5%||Minoxidil 2% +Propylene glycol 208 mg/ml &
|Rs. 357 – Rs. 735|
|Disclaimer: The above indicated prices are not fixed. They may vary with respect to time.|
Minoxidil is a relatively safe drug but you must tell you doctor all the drugs (and also herbal supplements, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol) which you are using as it may lead to some of the interactions as shown below.:
Medical uses of Minoxidil:
Men and women have different patterns of baldness. For women, 2% minoxidil is effective while for men, 5% minoxidil is recommended.
How to use Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is applied to the scalp to stimulate the hair growth. The patient should follow the necessary instructions before the application of minoxidil.
If you are using spray, spray evenly on the bald area. Make sure that the hair are dry before application of the medicine.
Recommended Dosage of Minoxidil for Hair loss:
Possible Side effects of Minoxidil
The most common side effects of minoxidil are:
Duration and Results of the treatment:
|White to off-white, odorless, crystalline solid||Peripheral vasodilator|
|Soluble in water to the extent of approximately 2 mg/mL||90% absorbed from the GI tract|
|Insoluble in acetone, chloroform or ethyl acetate||Average plasma half-life in man is 4.2 hours.|
|Inactive ingredients include colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, lactose anhydrous, magnesium stearate and microcrystalline cellulose.||Minoxidil does not bind to plasma proteins and does not cross the blood brain barrier|
For its determination in pharmaceutical formulations and biological samples, different methods have been proposed. Following techniques are used for the determination of dosage forms and quantitative analysis of the minoxidil with the added benefits of cost savings.
Many scientific research or clinical studies have been conducted on minoxidil and various physical or chemical data have been collected which is as follows:
Clinical & Physical Data:
*POM= Prescription only medicine, OTC= Over the counter, ATC= Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification system
Frequently Asked Questions about Minoxidil
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8. Kwack M, Kang B, Kim M, Kim J, Sung Y. Minoxidil activates β-catenin pathway in human dermal papilla cells: a possible explanation for its anagen prolongation effect. Journal of dermatological science [Internet]. 2011 [cited 10 August 2017]; 62(3):154-9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21524889
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10. Rizwana I, Prakash K. V, Mohan G. K. Simultaneous Estimation of Minoxidil and Aminexil in Bulk and Pharmaceutical Formulations by Rp-Hplc Method. Orient J Chem 2015;31(1). Available from: http://www.orientjchem.org/?p=7630
11. Sánchez-Regaña M, Llambí-Mateos F, Salleras-Redonnet M, Iglesias Sancho M, Collgros Totosaus H, Umbert-Millet P. Simultaneous Estimation of Minoxidil and Aminexil in Bulk and Pharmaceutical Formulations by Rp-Hplc Method. Actas dermo-sifiliográficas [Internet]. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]; 104(9):738-56. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22818830
12. Michelet J, Commo S, Billoni N, Mahé Y, Bernard B. Activation of cytoprotective prostaglandin synthase-1 by minoxidil as a possible explanation for its hair growth-stimulating effect. The Journal of investigative dermatology [Internet]. 1997 [cited 10 August 2017];108(2):205-9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9008235
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18. Post Hair Transplant usage of Minoxidil Increases Hair Growth [Internet]. Hair Loss Resources, Articles, Products & Forums. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: http://hairloss.org/hair-loss-products/minoxidil-treatment-for-post-hair-transplant/
19. Minoxidil [Internet]. Regaine UK HCP. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: https://www.regaineprofessional.co.uk/minoxidil
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