Loniten (Minoxidil) Dosage and Side Effects
LONITEN is used for the treatment of severe hypertension that is difficult to control.
Proper Use of this medication
Usually, your doctor will prescribe two other medicines along with LONITEN. These will help lower blood pressure and will help prevent undesired effects of LONITEN.
Often, when a medicine like LONITEN lowers blood pressure, your body tries to return the blood pressure to the original, higher level. It does this by holding on to water and salt (so there will be more fluid to pump) and by making your heart beat faster.
To prevent this, your doctor will usually prescribe a water tablet to remove the extra salt and water from your body and another medicine to slow your heart beat.
LONITEN tablets come in two strengths (2.5 mg and 10 mg) that are marked on each tablet. Pay close attention to the tablet markings to be sure you are taking the correct strength. Your doctor may prescribe half a tablet; the tablets are scored (partly cut on one side) so that you can easily break them.
When you first start taking LONITEN, your doctor may need to see you often in order to adjust your dosage. Take all your medicine according to the schedule prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses.
Remember, do not stop taking LONITEN, or any of your other high blood pressure medicines, without checking with your doctor. Make sure that any doctor treating or examining you knows that you are taking high blood pressure medicines, including LONITEN.
Always take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to. Your doctor will prescribe a suitable dose for you. The dose prescribed will depend on how you respond to the medicine. Your doctor might change your daily dose gradually to get the best results.
There should be at least three days between each change of dose.
LONITEN may also be given to you in hospital to reduce your blood pressure very quickly. It would be given by a doctor or nurse under strictly monitored conditions at increasing doses of 5 mg every 6 hours until your blood pressure is normal.
You may take LONITEN with water or with other liquids, either with or between meals.
You must follow your doctor's instructions exactly, taking all the prescribed medicines, in the right amounts, each day. These medicines will decrease the side effects you might otherwise have and will also help keep your blood pressure down.
Taking too many tablets may make you unwell. If you take too many tablets, tell your doctor straight away.
In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.
If you should forget a dose of LONITEN, wait until it is time for your next dose, then continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
LONITEN can cause side effects and the following have been reported in patients with high blood pressure being treated with LONITEN:
hair color changes, gastrointestinal intolerance, breast tenderness, rash.
About 8 out of 10 patients who have taken LONITEN noticed that fine body hair grew darker or longer on certain parts of the body. This happened about three to six weeks after beginning treatment. The hair may first be noticed on the forehead and temples, between the eyebrows, or on the upper part of the cheeks. Later, hair may grow on the back, arms, legs, or scalp. Although hair growth may not be noticeable to some patients, it often is bothersome in women and children. Unwanted hair can be controlled with a hair remover or by shaving. The extra hair is not permanent it disappears within 1 to 6 months of stopping LONITEN. Nevertheless, you should not stop taking LONITEN without first talking to your doctor.
Warnings and Precautions
Serious Warnings and Precautions
LONITEN is not recommended during pregnancy and in women of childbearing potential not using contraception. Neonatal hypertrichosis has been reported following exposure to minoxidil during pregnancy.
Interactions with this medication
You should always tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicine including those obtained without prescription. It is particularly important you tell your doctor about any other medicine you are taking to reduce your high blood pressure. These drugs may interact with LONITEN by causing blood pressure to drop too low and/or cause a sudden drop in blood pressure when standing up. In particular, tell your doctor if you are taking guanethidine so you can be monitored while on treatment with LONITEN.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.