What are rogaine side effects and how to avoid them
When you have hair loss problems you start being very well informed about all the treatments on the market. You keep reading and asking a lot of questions while you try to find the best possible solution to your problem.
One of the drugs that can be recommended to you is Rogaine, a solution that contains the active ingredient Minoxidil (in 2% or 5% concentration), in a mixture of 80% ethanol, Propylene Glycol (PPG) and water.
Studies showed that Rogaine is effective for 30% (although that figure does seem pretty conservative). Judging by the rate of positive comments from users in forums, the success rate seems a lot higher. The success rate for women users was found to be around 80% (though pregnant women and the ones that are nursing a baby must not use it).
Use for minimum 6 months to test effectiveness
No one can tell you for sure if it will work or not in your case. You have to try it for yourself to see it. That means you have to apply the solution directly on the scalp (on the affected aria) twice a day at least 5-6 months. Couple of hours after applying you should not wash/shampoo your hair. If after 6 months you see no effects, than probably in your case is not working and you should try other treatments for your problem.
The specialist cannot tell you exactly how and why this drug has an effect on the hair growth. They suppose that the minoxidil increases the blood flow around the baldness areas and this helps the hair follicles to grow. Like many other drugs, Rogaine has its side effects:
Side effects of Rogaine/minoxidil
The most common is the scalp irritation and redness. You can't really avoid this side effect because it is a natural reaction of your body against the drug. But what you can do to diminish the effect is to stop using only Rogaine with 5% minoxidil and use it alternatively with the other Rogaine with 2% minoxidil (first one in the evening, the second one in the morning). This effect may happen because minoxidil 5% is twice stronger than the other one and has in its composition propylene glycol (not alcohol like minoxidil 2%), which can really irritate the scalp.
Flaking and Irritation
Dryness and flaking of the scalp is another usual effect, but you can avoid it if you use a good anti dandruff shampoo (Nizoral, Elsurex, etc).
An irritation of the skin may also appear if you apply more than 1ml, so pay attention to the quantity.
Minoxidil was initially created to help blood pressure problems and being the active ingredient in Rogaine it may create some side effects like: irregular or very fast heartbeats, chest pain, headaches. They appear quite rarely, but if they persist, although you've decreased the concentration from 5% to 2% and you do not use more than the recommended doze, talk to your doctor and eventually stop using the drug.
Stop using minoxidil if breathing problems occur
Fainting and difficulties in breathing can be other side effects of minoxidil (due to the change of the blood pressure). In this case don't use Rogaine anymore and seek medical advice from your GP/physician. However, it must be stressed this is extremely rare in users.
Have in mind that a simultaneous use of Retin A and Rogaine can increase the risk of side effects because the solution penetrates better the skin (although that can help also the effectiveness of the drug, the combination is not approved by the doctors).
Remember that Rogaine does not cure the baldness, but helps the hair's growth. Though if you develop some of rogaine's side effects and they are unbearable stop using it. Talk to your doctor and try other drugs for your hair loss problem.