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Oral Minoxidil (Loniten) and Hair Growth

Important: please do not self medicate. The following is compiled based on info we gather from our forums and the internet and may not be accurate. Consult your doctor and anything you do for hair loss must be under the guidance and supervision of your doctor.

Loniten (pronounced Lon-ah-tin) is intended for patients with high blood pressure. Incidentally, it was also discovered that a very commonly reported side effects of Loniten is hair growth. Rogaine or topical minoxidil is a spinoff from Loniten and turned out to be a multi-million dollar success for Upjohn as a hair loss treatment. Recently, some have been experimenting with Loniten (oral minoxidil) to treat androgenetic alopecia.

Upjohn listed "undesirable hair growth" as one of the side effects associated with Loniten. Specifically, 8 out of every 10 patients reported that body hair grew longer and darker while on Loniten. The hair growth usually starts within 3 - 6 weeks after beginning treatment. It is commonly reported that the hair growth tends to start on the forehead, temples, cheeks, and between the eyebrows. Subsequently, hair growth may be noticed on arms, legs and scalp. Some of HairSite readers also reported denser eyebrows and hair on the back while on treatment. Upjohn further added that the hair growth is not permanent. It will stop within 1 - 6 months after discontinuing the treatment.

Publications from Upjohn explicitly stated that a diuretic "must be" taken in conjunction with Loniten in most cases. The rationale is that while Loniten lowers blood pressure, your body's defense mechanism will automatically return your blood pressure to the original elevated level. Your body accomplishes that by retaining water and salt so that there will be more fluid to pump throughout the body. So in order for Loniten to be safe to consume, it is necessary to use a diuretic medication to remove excess water and salt from your body. Spironolactone is a natural choice for most hair loss sufferers since not only is Spironolactone a diuretic, it is also a potent anti-androgen. Click spironolatcone and hair loss for more details.

⇒ Brand Name: Loniten.

⇒ Side effects: Loniten comes with many undesirable side effects and it is important that you consult your doctor before using this medication.

Among some of the side effects are:

1) Salt and water retention - It is important to monitor your body weight closely while on Loniten. If Loniten is used without a diuretic, rapid weight gain by means of water and salt retention can happen within a few days, leading to increased plasma and interstitial fluid volume and local or generalized edema. Diuretic treatment alone or in conjunction with restricted salt intake will usually reduce the likelihood of water retention. You should consult your doctor immediately if you quickly gain weight of five or more pounds or if there is any swelling or puffiness in teh face, hands, ankles or stomach area. These are signs that you are retaining water.

2) Rapid heart rate - Loniten increases heart rate and it is not uncommon that your doctor would suggest taking another medication to reduce heart rate. To test if you have increased heart rate, you should count your pulse rate while you are resting. If you notice an increase of 20 beats or more over your normal pulse rate, contact your doctor immediately.

3) Interaction with Guanethidine - Administering Loniten to patients already taking Guanethidine can result in serious orthostatic effects. If possible, discontinue guanethidine well before using Loniten.

4) Other side effects include increased difficulty in breathing, new or aggravating pain the the chest, shoulder or arm, severe indigestion, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, breast tenderness, nausea and vomiting.

Oral dosage: Loniten comes in 2.5mg, 5mg and 10 mg. Some of our forum members commented that for Loniten to be effective, people have to ask their doctors to put them on 10 mg daily dose.