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Thread: Have you had any bad side effects from minoxidil, regaine etc ?

  1. #1

    Default Have you had any bad side effects from minoxidil, regaine etc ?

    2 year user of minxodil, I had what was thought to be a TIA stroke over a year ago, but no sign of problem on CAT, MRI etc.. I had numbness on right side of the head...as well as arm and dizzy spells..

    Later i realized that the minoxidl can leak into the veins, vessels if you have a dry scalp (as I do). As it works by widening blood vessels you can get lower blood pressure. I asked the chemist and they told me I could have these side effects..

    Anybody had anything like this ? Ive stopped using it now. I hope that was the problem, ill go bald willingly than have a neuro-vascular problem !

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  3. Yes, I definitely think it's possible, but I would say unlikely. But the possibility is still there, so I believe your story.

    You're right, it works by dilating blood vessels. Now, if it does "leak" into the veins, wouldn't it be systemic and you'd have effects in other parts of your body, not just your brain? hmmmmmm I'd be interested in knowing how much it actually dilates blood vessels.

    I've never had a bad reaction to minoxidil, but I believe other people have. It's good you stopped using it...it's not worth it!

    Have you tried finasteride or dutasteride? (Of course, at this point, maybe you have accepted hair loss and want to be done with the drugs)?
    Helpful rogerharris, itaos Rated helpful

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by loveaddict View Post
    Yes, I definitely think it's possible, but I would say unlikely. But the possibility is still there, so I believe your story.

    You're right, it works by dilating blood vessels. Now, if it does "leak" into the veins, wouldn't it be systemic and you'd have effects in other parts of your body, not just your brain? hmmmmmm I'd be interested in knowing how much it actually dilates blood vessels.

    I've never had a bad reaction to minoxidil, but I believe other people have. It's good you stopped using it...it's not worth it!

    Have you tried finasteride or dutasteride? (Of course, at this point, maybe you have accepted hair loss and want to be done with the drugs)?
    finasteride ! jeez, the last thing i want to do is mess with my hormones and risk being infertiel over going bald ! Kind of completely counterproductive.. I had a load of finesteride and they sat here till they went by sell by date. Well ive not had a dizzy spell since i stopped the minoxidl. Cant be sure it was that of course.
    Helpful itaos Rated helpful

  5. What you experienced certainly could have been due to minoxidil. Its unlikely that it can cause a stroke but glad you are OK.

  6. #5
    Hey I just wanted to weigh in on this, as I'm a doctor who also uses Minoxidil foam and has tried Propecia in the past.

    First off, a little history on Minoxidil; like most hair loss drugs, it was initially used for something else (in an oral pill form to treat hypertension) and it was discovered that it effected hair follicles in a way that was causing re-growth in some men. Once the company, I think it was the now defunct Upjohn, figured out what they had they immediately created a topical form of the medication. They put it through extensive clinical trials which all proved efficacy and a great safety profile (really, no related serious events at all). After a while, they found that putting it into a foam formulation better helped penetration of the scalp into the correct layer of the dermis (dermatology isn't my thing so excuse any minor mistakes w/ nomenclature). The rest is history, and with how ridiculously overly-conservative the US is with regards to OTC medication, if it's not a pain killer (Aspirin, Tylenol), you can bet that if it's OTC it's extremely safe if used properly.

    So now that that's out of the way, there is no way that Minoxidil could cause a stroke or TIA in my opinion. Let's say, for discussions sake, that you had a skin condition and some of it did penetrate your scalp and got into your blood stream. Hypothetically (I don't think you could get enough in there to effect anything) you could lower your BP a few mmHg which if anything would help you avoid a stroke/MI/TIA lol.

    All joking aside though, I can basically guarantee you that this is NOT a result of the Minoxidil. As humans, we have this primitive urge inside of us, where even if we intellectually understand something isn't a cause/effect, we still think we can always figure out why/how something happened. The truth is, most problems, especially with our bodies, are either random or were going to happen anyway.

    I have no idea what your medical history is like, but the fact that you are worrying so much about serious medical conditions despite lack of evidence, combined with the negative CT/MRI, and numb extremities/dizziness sounds like classic anxiety disorder to me. I know you'll probably disagree and you may not even realize it but I've seen it thousands of times, people just worrying about an unspecific health issue only to find out after thousands of dollars spent that it was just anxiety, which can cause some nasty physiologic manifestations.

    So I would say it's fine to use your Minoxidil again, and definitely get the foam, it has worked wonders for me. The worst you'll get is a little dry skin or a minor headache but even those are quite uncommon and usually fade away after 1-2 weeks of use.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh and one more t hing; as for Propecia, don't get me started on Propecia/the -steride's. Talk about killing a fly with a shotgun blast! They won't make you infertile (although impotence has been reported) once you're off it but the side effect profile is just not worth it and it's still pretty expensive. Might as well just save up for a hair transplant if that's your concern, they're much cheaper these days and look amazing in some cases. Propecia destroys your sex drive, effects your ability to get an erection, and can cause major anxiety/depression. It actually causes a slight depression in most who take it bc of a specific hormone derivative that it inhibits which is responsible partially for mood in the brain. I'm not 100% on the science but do a PubMed search and you'll find plenty on it.
    Helpful taralumia Rated helpful
    Likes rogerharris liked this post

  7. #6
    I went to the high street pharmacy and they said if had a dry scalp (true) the minoxidl could penetrate deeper and I could have dizzy spells from lower blood pressure. As for the TIA etc.. that was the local doctors idea to have me admitted based on numbness and dizziness. I also had high cholesterol, as I had been taking a bodybuilding diet and working out...so maybe a few things working together. High cholesterol, the minoxidl, stress. Stroke is leading killer in our family so maybe our blood vessels are a bit finer or more sensitive than regular.

    I havent had any more problem since i stopped the minoxidl. but so what.. even if i take it and the problem starts its not statistically significant. I would need to have somebody administer me placebo to find out.

    - - - Updated - - -

    the neurochemical affected by propecia might be DHT .. although in general the brain has all types of steroid hormone receptors in it. Im doing PhD in neuro.. well computational neuro-- hence stupid about the blood mechanisms. I would never take a hormone for such a frivolous use.
    Likes JasonKone6789 liked this post

  8. #7
    Hi Roger,

    No, it's not the DHT itself, in the study I read it was something that I had never heard of before, but after I researched it the theory behind it made sense. If you do some digging on PubMed I'm sure you'll be able to find out what it is since you're well versed and educated in lit searches I'm sure if you're doing a Phd.

    As for the dizziness from penetration into the scalp, sure it's theoretically possible but you would have to be using like a 1/4 bottle on your head for that, not the 1 or even 2x the recommended dose. The amount of drug that's in the foam/topical is very minimal and even when taken orally Minoxidil doesn't cause dizziness requiring hospitalization; I'm telling you honestly I really don't think this has anything to do with your symptoms. If it was in fact a TIA, I guarantee it wasn't related to the Minoxidil. In my experience (and even as a doctor I'm guilty of this with my own health) patients want to connect Action A with Health Problem B but unless it's something obvious like went in woods = poison ivy they literally almost never turn out to be related. Don't take this the wrong way though, I'm not saying you're dumb or a hypochondriac lol, I just know how easy it is when its your own health to want to play detective and start to worry.

    On a related note, this is what makes adverse event reporting in placebo controlled clinical trials so interesting. We see these signals while the studies are ongoing that look like these patients are experiencing these adverse events based on what they think the drug is doing and everyone gets worried that the drug is going to be a disaster, then it turns out the same # or more happened in placebo vs active once we un-blind, it's really fascinating how strong the human brain and the power of suggestion really are.

    All that being said though, while Minoxidil won't cause a stroke (like I said if anything it could theoretically reduce the chance of a stroke by keeping your vessels dilated, although it won't do that from topical) if it's stressing you out there's no need to continue using it. If stroke is a killer in your family though, I would make some serious changes to your lifestyle while you're still young and if your cholesterol is already high there is evidence that you should be on a -statin no matter how young you are to prevent these serious CV endpoints.
    Helpful rogerharris Rated helpful

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonKone6789 View Post
    Hi Roger,

    No, it's not the DHT itself, in the study I read it was something that I had never heard of before, but after I researched it the theory behind it made sense. If you do some digging on PubMed I'm sure you'll be able to find out what it is since you're well versed and educated in lit searches I'm sure if you're doing a Phd.

    As for the dizziness from penetration into the scalp, sure it's theoretically possible but you would have to be using like a 1/4 bottle on your head for that, not the 1 or even 2x the recommended dose. The amount of drug that's in the foam/topical is very minimal and even when taken orally Minoxidil doesn't cause dizziness requiring hospitalization; I'm telling you honestly I really don't think this has anything to do with your symptoms. If it was in fact a TIA, I guarantee it wasn't related to the Minoxidil. In my experience (and even as a doctor I'm guilty of this with my own health) patients want to connect Action A with Health Problem B but unless it's something obvious like went in woods = poison ivy they literally almost never turn out to be related. Don't take this the wrong way though, I'm not saying you're dumb or a hypochondriac lol, I just know how easy it is when its your own health to want to play detective and start to worry.

    On a related note, this is what makes adverse event reporting in placebo controlled clinical trials so interesting. We see these signals while the studies are ongoing that look like these patients are experiencing these adverse events based on what they think the drug is doing and everyone gets worried that the drug is going to be a disaster, then it turns out the same # or more happened in placebo vs active once we un-blind, it's really fascinating how strong the human brain and the power of suggestion really are.

    All that being said though, while Minoxidil won't cause a stroke (like I said if anything it could theoretically reduce the chance of a stroke by keeping your vessels dilated, although it won't do that from topical) if it's stressing you out there's no need to continue using it. If stroke is a killer in your family though, I would make some serious changes to your lifestyle while you're still young and if your cholesterol is already high there is evidence that you should be on a -statin no matter how young you are to prevent these serious CV endpoints.
    i am a hypochondriac that makes it worse, although i lay out symptoms etc and try to generate a falsification and various differential mappings. I managed to almost half my cholesterol level in 4 weeks by switching to a healthy diet.

    I had the idea that maybe i have extra sensitive vessels, so say I taking minoxidl, and it reduces blood pressure.. then I get the dizzy sensation and numbness, so it appears like TIA. I did remember feeling slightly buzzed up after applying minoxidl (liquid)...

    Anyway I went back to sports (ice hockey) on a make myself or break myself mindset. I notice after the first 12 weeks the veins on the side of my head which would go numb were massive, like you see on body builders running all round the side of the head. I had those strange sensations again...

    But now im ok. symptom free.. so i think what i might have done with the diet and exercise basically cleared my vascular system of various crud i got from sitting studying for too long. the extra veins appearing were the system re-routing some pressure from some thinning elsewhere. I got the idea that testosterone is a vasodilator especially to the veins at the brain surface, which is where the numb sensations are..

    Some of us might just be like higher performance machines.. we dont work right unless under a lot of physical pressure...if we stop being really physical trouble sets in, even if not getting overweight etc.
    Likes JasonKone6789, taralumia liked this post

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rogerharris View Post
    i am a hypochondriac that makes it worse, although i lay out symptoms etc and try to generate a falsification and various differential mappings. I managed to almost half my cholesterol level in 4 weeks by switching to a healthy diet.

    I had the idea that maybe i have extra sensitive vessels, so say I taking minoxidl, and it reduces blood pressure.. then I get the dizzy sensation and numbness, so it appears like TIA. I did remember feeling slightly buzzed up after applying minoxidl (liquid)...

    Anyway I went back to sports (ice hockey) on a make myself or break myself mindset. I notice after the first 12 weeks the veins on the side of my head which would go numb were massive, like you see on body builders running all round the side of the head. I had those strange sensations again...

    But now im ok. symptom free.. so i think what i might have done with the diet and exercise basically cleared my vascular system of various crud i got from sitting studying for too long. the extra veins appearing were the system re-routing some pressure from some thinning elsewhere. I got the idea that testosterone is a vasodilator especially to the veins at the brain surface, which is where the numb sensations are..

    Some of us might just be like higher performance machines.. we dont work right unless under a lot of physical pressure...if we stop being really physical trouble sets in, even if not getting overweight etc.
    Hey, as long as you're feeling better that's all that counts. I was an ice hockey player in my prime as well btw, such a great way to stay active. Living in the NYC area though it's really tough to find people to play.

  11. #10
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    Was thinking of trying this product..... Anyone else have any comments about it ......... ie users that tried all ready????

  12. #11
    Minoxidil may cause significant contact dermatitis as a side effect. Usually it is due to the solvent used such as propylene glycol, not the active ingredient itself It may be possible to find a preparation that does not contain the solvent you're allergic to, but the typical stuff sold in the stores can cause a pretty bad reaction. You can google for Minoxidil without propylene glycol.

  13. Have you had any bad side effects from minoxidil, regaine etc ?

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