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You probably have heard a lot about the use of oral minoxidil for hair loss as it is one of the most sought-after ingredients for hair growth due to its many advantages and minimal side effects. But, can you get minoxidil over the counter (OTC) or does it require a prescription from a healthcare provider?
In this article, we will explore the availability of oral minoxidil for hair loss, including whether or not it can be purchased without a prescription, and where and how you can get it.
Understanding about this and other medications (such as finasteride and dutasteride) for the treatment of hair loss can help you and your virtual dermatologist make a better decision about your treatment options.
Can you get minoxidil over the counter (OTC)?
Topical minoxidil (also known as Rogaine) can be purchased over the counter (OTC). However, oral minoxidil cannot be purchased over the counter (OTC).
Learn the differences between oral vs topical minoxidil for hair loss.
So, do you need a prescription to get minoxidil tablets?
Yes. In order to get minoxidil pills and tablets you need to have a consultation with a healthcare professional and get a minoxidil prescription in order to purchase it.
How to get a minoxidil prescription?
To get a prescription for oral minoxidil, you can have a virtual, photo-based consultation with a healthcare provider via the Miiskin app, and if they deem it adequate, you can pick up your minoxidil tablets at the pharmacy of your choice or you can have your medication sent by mail via a compounding pharmacy.
Request a prescription for oral minoxidil!
What is the price of oral minoxidil (Loniten)?
The price for generic oral minoxidil 2.5 mg (typical dose use for hair loss) varies from $30 to $40*.
*The price range listed here is just an estimation. Medication prices may vary depending on the state and the pharmacy selected. Miiskin is not responsible and cannot influence the price of the medication as it is independent from these entities.
How long will it take to get my prescription?
A photo-based consultation usually takes 1-2 working days to be evaluated.
Want to know more about minoxidil for hair loss?
What is minoxidil used for?
Originally, the FDA approved minoxidil for the treatment of high blood pressure. However, when clinical studies revealed that it caused excessive hair growth in 60 to 80% of patients taking the medication, healthcare providers started to use it for hair loss at a low dose1.
Using minoxidil for hair loss has become quite popular since it is possible to obtain hair growth by taking a low dose, which minimizes side effects.
How does it work?
Minoxidil expands blood vessels in the scalp, enhancing blood supply to hair follicles. This could also boost the availability of essential nutrients, promoting hair regrowth.
Minoxidil also decreases the telogen (rest) phase of the hair growth cycle and increases the anagen (growth) phase. As a result, hair stays in a growing phase longer, leading to increased length, thickness, and scalp coverage.
Advantages of using minoxidil pills for hair loss include:
- Appropriate for individuals who have not experienced positive results with alternative treatments.
- Demonstrates a notable level of efficacy
- Suitable for both males and females
- Promotes the stimulation of hair regrowth
- Delays the progression of hair loss
- Compatible for concurrent use with other medications for hair loss
Adverse effects associated with minoxidil tablets encompass:
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Accumulation of bodily fluids, leading to water retention
- Occurrence of headaches and sensations of dizziness
- Palpitations and chest discomfort
- Swelling observed around the eyes, as well as in the feet or lower legs
- Development of hypertrichosis, characterized by excessive hair growth
- Potential disruption of normal sleep patterns, resulting in insomnia
Warning and precautions when using oral minoxidil
Individuals with heart disease should avoid the use of oral minoxidil. In some cases, it may be recommended alongside a diuretic to mitigate water retention or a beta blocker (a medication that eases the heart’s workload) to prevent reflex tachycardia. Additionally, there is a potential risk of developing pericardial effusion, which could advance to cardiac tamponade and worsen angina pectoris when using oral minoxidil..
While undergoing this treatment, it is recommended that you monitor both your heart rate and blood pressure. If you observe any alterations, it is advisable to consult your online dermatologist for guidance. Furthermore, it is advisable to periodically check your body weight while using the medication, and should you experience a weight gain exceeding 5 pounds or detect any swelling in your feet or legs, promptly inform your healthcare provider..
Avoid combining oral minoxidil with other medications used for appetite suppression, asthma, colds, coughs, hay fever, or sinus issues, as they have the potential to raise your blood pressure.
Furthermore, remember that if the minoxidil has been open for a long time, or if it is expired you should not take it. Read more about it in this article “Does minoxidil have an expiration date?“
Request a minoxidil prescription!