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Home / Drugs / Starting with M / Minoxidil

A potent direct-acting peripheral vasodilator (vasodilator agents) that reduces peripheral resistance and produces a fall in blood pressure. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p371)
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CategoriesAntihypertensive Agents
Vasodilator Agents
ManufacturersJohnson and johnson group consumer companies
Actavis mid atlantic llc
Bausch and lomb pharmaceuticals inc
Copley pharmaceutical inc
Hi tech pharmacal co inc
Novex pharma
Perrigo co
Sight pharmaceuticals inc
Teva pharmaceuticals usa inc
Wockhardt eu operations (swiss) ag
Avacor products llc
L perrigo co
Perrigo new york inc
Harmony laboratories
Pharmacia and upjohn co
Quantum pharmics ltd
Mutual pharmaceutical co inc
Par pharmaceutical inc
Royce laboratories inc
Usl pharma inc
Watson laboratories inc
PackagersAmerisource Health Services Corp.
Atlantic Biologicals Corporation
Comprehensive Consultant Services Inc.
Dept Health Central Pharmacy
Heartland Repack Services LLC
Johnson & Johnson Healthcare
Kaiser Foundation Hospital
Major Pharmaceuticals
Medisca Inc.
Murfreesboro Pharmaceutical Nursing Supply
Mutual Pharmaceutical Co.
Nucare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Par Pharmaceuticals
Patheon Inc.
Perrigo Co.
Pharmaceutical Utilization Management Program VA Inc.
Pharmacia Inc.
Physicians Total Care Inc.
Prepak Systems Inc.
Remedy Repack
Southwood Pharmaceuticals
Vangard Labs Inc.
Watson Pharmaceuticals
SynonymsMinossidile [Italian]
Minoxidilum [INN-Latin]


For the treatment of severe hypertension and in the topical treatment (regrowth) of androgenic alopecia in males and females and stabilisation of hair loss in patients with androgenic alopecia.


Minoxidil is an orally effective direct acting peripheral vasodilator that reduces elevated systolic and diastolic blood pressure by decreasing peripheral vascular resistance. Minoxidil is also used topically to treat androgenetic alopecia. Microcirculatory blood flow in animals is enhanced or maintained in all systemic vascular beds. In man, forearm and renal vascular resistance decline; forearm blood flow increases while renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate are preserved. The predominant site of minoxidil action is arterial. Venodilation does not occur with minoxidil; thus, postural hypotension is unusual with its administration. The antihypertensive activity of minoxidil is due to its sulphate metabolite, minoxidil sulfate.

mechanism of action

Minoxidil is thought to promote the survival of human dermal papillary cells (DPCs) or hair cells by activating both extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt and by preventing cell death by increasing the ratio of BCl-2/Bax. Minoxidil may stimulate the growth of human hairs by prolonging anagen through these proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects on DPCs. Minoxidil, when used as a vasodilator, acts by opening adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channels in vascular smooth muscle cells. This vasodilation may also improve the viability of hair cells or hair follicles.


Oral LD50 in rats has ranged from 1321-3492 mg/kg; in mice, 2456-2648 mg/kg. Side effects include cardiovascular effects associated with hypotension such as sudden weight gain, rapid heart beat, faintness or dizziness.


Approximately 90% of the administered drug is metabolized, predominantly by conjugation with glucuronic acid at the N-oxide position in the pyrimidine ring, but also by conversion to more polar products. Known metabolites exert much less pharmacologic effect than minoxidil itself.


Minoxidil is at least 90% absorbed from the GI tract in experimental animals and man.

half life

4.2 hours