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Precautions and Warnings With Minoxidil Oral

Before taking minoxidil oral, it's important to understand that this medication can cause problems for some people, such as an increased risk for low blood pressure or a fast heart rate. Safety precautions to be aware of with minoxidil oral also include warnings of potential drug interactions and allergic reactions. Do not take this drug if you have pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor of the adrenal gland.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Minoxidil Oral?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking minoxidil oral (Loniten®) if you have:
  • Pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor of the adrenal gland
  • A rare blood disorder called cryoglobulinemia
  • Heart disease, including congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • A history of a heart attack, especially in the past month
  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • A history of hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia (a low platelet level)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Minoxidil Oral Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this blood pressure medicine include the following:
  • Minoxidil oral may cause your body to retain water and salt, which can cause edema (water weight gain and swelling) and possibly heart failure. You will likely need to take a diuretic, sometimes called a "water pill," to remove the extra water and salt from your body.
It is a good idea to weigh yourself daily to make sure the diuretic is working to prevent this side effect. If you rapidly gain five or more pounds, or notice any body swelling, contact your healthcare provider. Your medication dosages may need to be changed.
  • Minoxidil oral increases heart rate, which can lead to chest pain (angina). Your healthcare provider will likely recommend that you take a medication to help prevent this side effect (usually a beta blocker).
You will also need to regularly check your pulse rate to monitor for this side effect. If your pulse rate increases by 20 beats or more a minute, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Ask your healthcare provider if you are unsure how to take your pulse.
  • There have been reports of swelling of the tissue that surrounds the heart and excess fluid buildup around the heart with minoxidil oral use. Pressure on the heart from the excess fluid can lead to heart failure and even death. People with kidney disease may have an increased risk for this side effect. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience symptoms of these problems, which can include:
    • Difficulty breathing, especially while lying down
    • Chest pain
    • Cough
    • Dizziness
    • Fainting.
  • If you have extremely high blood pressure, you may need to start minoxidil oral while in the hospital so you can be closely monitored and your blood pressure can be lowered at a safe rate. Extremely high blood pressure is a serious problem. If the blood pressure is lowered too quickly, potentially dangerous problems may occur.
  • People with kidney failure or on dialysis should be closely monitored while taking this medication. They may need a lower minoxidil oral dosage.
  • Your healthcare provider may closely monitor your kidneys, heart, and blood electrolytes while you are taking minoxidil oral. When you first start this medication, monitoring may be more frequent, every 1 to 3 months, and become less frequent over time, every 6 to 12 months, as you become stable on the medication.
  • In rare cases, people using this drug may develop a skin rash, which may lead to life-threatening complications. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any skin rash. He or she will let you know if you need to stop taking minoxidil oral.
  • Minoxidil oral is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy (see Loniten and Pregnancy).
  • This drug passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Loniten and Breastfeeding).
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