Safety of low-dose oral minoxidil for hair loss: A multicenter study of 1404 patients

Sergio Vañó-Galván, Rodrigo Pirmez, Angela Hermosa-Gelbard, Óscar M. Moreno-Arrones, David Saceda-Corralo, Rita Rodrigues-Barata, Juan Jimenez-Cauhe, Wei L. Koh, Janina E. Poa, Rebekka Jerjen, Lara Trindade de Carvalho, Jared Marc John, Corina I. Salas-Callo, Colombina Vincenzi, Lu Yin, Kristen Lo-Sicco, Anna Waskiel-Burnat, Michela Starace, Jose Luis Zamorano, Pedro Jaén-OlasoloBianca Maria Piraccini, Lidia Rudnicka, Jerry Shapiro, Antonella Tosti, Rodney Sinclair, Bevin Bhoyrul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: The major concern regarding the use of low-dose oral minoxidil (LDOM) for the treatment of hair loss is the potential risk of systemic adverse effects. Objective: To describe the safety of LDOM for the treatment of hair loss in a large cohort of patients. Methods: Retrospective multicenter study of patients treated with LDOM for at least 3 months for any type of alopecia. Results: A total of 1404 patients (943 women [67.2%] and 461 men [32.8%]) with a mean age of 43 years (range 8-86) were included. The dose of LDOM was titrated in 1065 patients, allowing the analysis of 2469 different cases. The most frequent adverse effect was hypertrichosis (15.1%), which led to treatment withdrawal in 14 patients (0.5%). Systemic adverse effects included lightheadedness (1.7%), fluid retention (1.3%), tachycardia (0.9%), headache (0.4%), periorbital edema (0.3%), and insomnia (0.2%), leading to drug discontinuation in 29 patients (1.2%). No life-threatening adverse effects were observed. Limitations: Retrospective design and lack of a control group. Conclusion: LDOM has a good safety profile as a treatment for hair loss. Systemic adverse effects were infrequent and only 1.7% of patients discontinued treatment owing to adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1644-1651
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • alopecia
  • androgenetic alopecia
  • arterial hypotension
  • dizziness
  • edema
  • effluvium
  • fluid retention
  • frontal fibrosing alopecia
  • hair loss
  • hypertrichosis
  • lichen planopilaris
  • lightheadedness
  • new treatments
  • periorbital edema
  • safety
  • tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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