Hair loss treatment: Topical application of Minoxidil may cause hypotension

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Adults hoping to regain a bouncing bouffant must apply 1ml of Minoxidil, twice daily, to the scalp. Improvements should be seen within the year of application, but also pay attention if it’s causing hypotension. Hypotension is the medical term to describe low blood pressure – a blood pressure reading less than 90/60mmHg. Minoxidil is also a drug used to treat severe hypertension (i.e. high blood pressure).

Symptoms of hypotension can include:

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Feeling sick
  • Blurred vision
  • Generally feeling weak
  • Confusion
  • Fainting

If you keep suffering from symptoms of low blood pressure, do speak with your GP.

In the meantime, while the cause is being investigated, the NHS has some lifestyle tips to help ease the disconcerting symptoms.

Firstly, “get up slowly from sitting to standing”; secondly, “take care when getting out of bed – move slowly from lying to sitting to standing”.

It may also help to “eat small, frequent meals”, and it might help to lie down or sit still for a while after eating.

In addition, increase your water intake, as dehydration can make matters worse.

There are various causes of hypotension – the use of Minoxidil being one of them.

Other causes can include diabetes, being pregnant, or having a vitamin deficiency.

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The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute said: “Many systems of the body, including organs, hormones, and nerves, regulate blood pressure.”

Issues with the autonomic nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease, can also cause low blood pressure.

As there can be various underlying health conditions triggering low blood pressure, it’s best to get it checked out if you have symptoms.

When hypotension causes dizziness, or fainting, accidents can occur, causing injury to the affected person.

Other signs of hypertension can include:

  • Light-headedness
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Neck or back pain
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations

“If blood pressure drops too low, the body’s vital organs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients,” warned the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

This can lead to a medical emergency, known as shock, which may cause:

  • Cold and sweaty skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Blue skin tone
  • Weak , rapid pulse

If anybody experiences the signs of shock, call 999 and request an ambulance.

Should you be advised to stop taking Minoxidil if it’s causing hypotension, there are other options for creating a full head of hair.

For example, wigs can be a good option if you want to experiment with different looks.

Other hair loss treatments can include:

  • Steroid injections
  • Steroid creams
  • Immunotherapy
  • Light treatment
  • Hair transplant

If your hair loss is causing you distress, counselling may be available on the NHS.

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