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All about: Loniten

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Generic Name: minoxidil (mih NOCK sih dill)
Brand Names: Loniten

What is Loniten (minoxidil)?

Minoxidil is a vasodilator. It relaxes veins and arteries, which makes it easier for your heart to pump.

Minoxidil is used to lower blood pressure.

Minoxidil may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Loniten (minoxidil)?

Do not stop taking minoxidil suddenly. Stopping suddenly could cause your blood pressure to become dangerously high and could make you feel anxious or uncomfortable. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Minoxidil may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities. Avoid alcohol or use it cautiously while taking minoxidil. Alcohol may dangerously increase dizziness caused by minoxidil.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Loniten (minoxidil)?

Do not take minoxidil if you
  • have pheochromocytoma,

  • have an aortic (heart) aneurysm, or

  • have had a heart attack or stroke within the last month.

Minoxidil may be dangerous if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Before taking minoxidil, tell your doctor if you have

  • chest pain (angina) or

  • kidney disease.

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment with minoxidil.

Minoxidil is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether minoxidil will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Minoxidil passes into breast milk, and its effects on a nursing infant are not known. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Loniten (minoxidil)?

Take minoxidil exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

If you are taking minoxidil with other medicines to treat high blood pressure, it is important to take each medicine at the correct, designated time as prescribed by your doctor.

Ask your doctor to teach you how to monitor your heart rate and at what heart rate you should notify them of a change.

You may not experience symptoms of hypertension while taking minoxidil, however, it is important to continue taking the medicine for as long as your doctor prescribes.

Do not stop taking minoxidil suddenly. Stopping suddenly could cause your blood pressure to become dangerously high and could make you feel anxious or uncomfortable.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a minoxidil overdose include very low blood pressure (fainting, dizziness, confusion); an irregular heartbeat; headache; and flushing (redness, warmth).

What should I avoid while taking Loniten (minoxidil)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Minoxidil may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.

Use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position, especially first thing in the morning. You may become dizzy while taking minoxidil, and you may fall and injure yourself if you get up quickly.

Avoid alcohol or use it cautiously while taking minoxidil. Alcohol may increase the dizziness caused by minoxidil, which could become dangerous.

Loniten (minoxidil) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking minoxidil and seek emergency medical attention or notify your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of your arms, legs, or face;

  • increased difficulty in breathing;

  • irregular or very fast heartbeats;

  • new or worsening chest pain;

  • persistent or severe dizziness or lightheadedness; or

  • fainting.

Continue to take minoxidil and talk to your doctor when it is convenient if you experience

  • a headache;

  • mild dizziness or lightheadedness;

  • water retention or weight gain--swelling of your face, stomach area, hands, feet, or ankles (call your doctor if you suddenly gain 5 or more pounds);

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a decreased appetite;

  • a rash;

  • fatigue;

  • increased hair growth; or

  • breast tenderness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Loniten (minoxidil)?

The combination of guanethidine (Ismelin) and minoxidil may cause severely low blood pressure. Usually these drugs should not be taken together. If you are taking guanethidine (Ismelin), tell your doctor before starting minoxidil therapy.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with minoxidil or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about minoxidil written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Minoxidil is available with a prescription under the brand name Loniten. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.07. Revision Date: 8/30/04 4:08:59 PM.

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