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What is Rogaine®?

Rogaine® slows hair loss in some people.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Rogaine® is the patented name for a generic medication called minoxidil, and was initially developed as a drug to reduce high blood pressure. During the testing phase of Rogaine® as a blood pressure medication, many people taking the drug experienced some regrowth of hair. This information was exciting, since it posed the possibility that Rogaine® might reduce the effects of baldness or hair loss in men. To this end Rogaine® was reformulated into a topical solution as a means of reducing male pattern baldness.

Initially you could only get Rogaine® by prescription. It is now widely available over the counter sold as both the brand name Rogaine® and in many generic forms. For some people, consistent use of the topical treatment can slow baldness and may occasionally stimulate defunct hair follicles. This can result in thicker hair and less hair loss. Initially Rogaine® was extremely expensive, but now you can find the topical treatment in generic forms for about 5-10 US dollars (USD) for a month’s supply.

Usually Rogaine® comes in two strengths. Regular strength contains a 2% solution of minoxidil and extra strength contains a 5% solution. While men can use either solution, and the stronger solution may be more effective, women should only use the 2% solution. Rogaine® can create an unwanted side effect of promoting hair growth on the face and in other places where it is not applied, and this can be quite annoying for women.

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It should be noted that Rogaine® does not change a person’s predilection toward hair loss. If you have male or female pattern baldness, the most Rogaine® can do is delay hair loss. It works best when it is used consistently, and any advantage gained from using the product can be quickly lost if you discontinue use. In most cases, Rogaine® does not affect follicles that have stopped producing hair, and will only work to keep other hair follicles from dying. A few people will see new hair growth but this constitutes a small percentage of minoxidil users.

Some people may note side effects to using Rogaine®. These include:

When doses exceed the level recommended by the manufacturers, a few people will get dizzy or notice a rapid heartbeat. This is usually only noted with people who use more than the recommended amount. Patients with very high blood pressure may also be cautioned against using Rogaine®.

In most cases, side effects are mild and infrequent. Itchy scalp and dandruff respond well to dandruff shampoos. There is some speculation about how long Rogaine® remains effective. Since the medication has only been available since the 1980s, there isn’t much long term testing. Doctors believe some people using minoxidil gradually develop a tolerance to it, causing the medication to stop working. There are stronger solutions of minoxidil, normally available by prescription only. However, stronger solutions do tend to come with a higher risk of side effects.

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Discuss this Article

rachelsjulia
Post 3

@Clgt99: Really? I thought rogaine worked for hair loss. I heard a lot about rogaine and have good feedback. Maybe Reloxe will work for you.

clgt99
Post 2

I had a bad experience with rogaine. It comes with a lot of side effects.

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