What is Loniten (Minoxidil)?
Loniten is an oral medication often prescribed to treat high blood pressure (clinically referred to as hypertension) and pattern hair loss (alopecia). Chronically high blood pressure puts a lot of stress on the heart, kidneys, brain, and blood vessels, and is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney issues. Loniten contains the active ingredient minoxidil, which causes vasodilation of blood vessels, permitting easier blood circulation and resulting in an overall reduction in blood pressure.
Loniten tablets are small, white, and oval, containing minoxidil. Tablets come in 10mg or 2.5mg strengths. Other ingredients in the tablet include microcrystalline cellulose, colloidal anhydrous silica, lactose, maize starch, and magnesium stearate. The dosage prescribed is dependent on the severity of your condition and how you respond to treatment. It is possible that your doctor will start you at a low dose and gradually increase it over time.
Loniten should be swallowed whole every day with a large glass of water. Be sure to follow the instructions from your doctor carefully. Consult with your doctor before you stop taking this medication.
Loniten tablets should be stored in their packaging in a cool dry place. Do not store Loniten in a bathroom or near a sink as dampness can negatively affect the medication. Keep Loniten stored at temperatures below 25°C and out of direct sunlight. Ensure that it is kept out of reach from children.
Common Side Effects
All medications come with a risk of side effects. It is important to recognize that your doctor has decided that your risk of developing side effects is outweighed by the likely benefit you will gain from the medication. Loniten use is commonly associated with the following side effects:
- Changes in body hair (color, length, thickness)
- Nausea & vomiting
- Breast tenderness or pain
Inform your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms, particularly if they become severe or they do not resolve on their own.
Severe Side Effects
On rare occasions, Loniten use can be associated with severe side effects that should be taken seriously. Seek medical help if you notice any of the following:
- Chest pain (sudden onset or worsening)
- Chest pain that spreads to your jaw or shoulder
- Fast heart rate
- Swelling in your lower body (feet, ankles, legs)
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or coughing
- Rapid weight gain
You should stop taking this medication if you observe signs of allergic reactions, including fever combined with rash, blistering, or facial swelling. If you have any unusual changes or symptoms associated with taking this medication it is important that you contact your doctor right away.
This is not an exhaustive list of side effects that could happen while taking Loniten. Inform your doctor or pharmacist right away if you notice any unusual symptoms or feel unwell while taking Loniten.
Warnings & Precautions
Loniten should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor. You should not take Loniten if you are allergic to medications containing minoxidil, or any of the ingredients contained in this medication. Be sure to discuss your allergies with your doctor prior to starting this medication.
Loniten is not recommended if you have any of the following:
- Phaeochromocytoma (a rare cancer of the adrenal gland)
- Pulmonary hypertension
- If you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding
Discuss with your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Congestive heart failure
- Recent heart attack
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Regular dialysis
- Migraine headaches
- Seizure disorder
Loniten should only be taken in the prescribed dosage. Do not change your dosage without first consulting your doctor. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose, and take the following one according to your normal schedule. Avoid taking two to catch up. Do not take Loniten if it has exceeded its expiry date, or if the packaging shows signs of tampering. Expired or unused tablets should be disposed of responsibly, following directions from your doctor or pharmacist. Do not flush them down the toilet or sink. In the event of a suspected overdose (symptoms include dizziness and fainting), seek emergency medical help immediately. Do not share this medication with anyone. You should monitor your blood pressure and heart rate regularly while taking this medication.
Interactions & Contraindications
Loniten may interact with other types of medication. It is important that you discuss your current medications with your doctor as they may want to adjust your medication schedule to accommodate Loniten.
Loniten may interact with the following:
- Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors
Dizziness is a side effect of Loniten, and this can be worsened by the use of alcohol and marijuana. Discuss with your doctor the use of alcohol and marijuana while you are taking Loniten. Avoid operating heavy machinery (including driving) until you are clear how Loniten affects you.
Frequently Asked Questions