(minoxidil) Tablets, USP
LONITEN Tablets contain
minoxidil, a medicine for the treatment of high blood pressure in the patient
who has not been controlled or is experiencing unacceptable side effects with
other medications. It must usually be taken with other medicines.
Be absolutely sure to take all
of your medicines for high blood pressure according to your doctor's
instructions. Do not stop taking LONITEN unless your doctor tells you to. Do
not give any of your medicine to other people.
It is important that you look
for the warning signals of certain undesired effects of LONITEN. Call your
doctor if they occur. Your doctor will need to see you regularly while you are
taking LONITEN. Be sure to keep all your appointments or to arrange for new
ones if you must miss one.
Do not hesitate to call your
doctor if any discomforts or problems occur.
The information here is
intended to help you take LONITEN properly. It does not tell you all there is
to know about LONITEN. There is a more technical leaflet that you may request
from the pharmacist; you may need your doctor's help in understanding parts of
What is LONITEN?
LONITEN Tablets contain
minoxidil which is a drug for lowering the blood pressure. It works by relaxing
and enlarging certain small blood vessels so that blood flows through them more
Why lower blood pressure?
Your doctor has prescribed
LONITEN to lower your blood pressure and protect vital parts of your body.
Uncontrolled blood pressure can cause stroke, heart failure, blindness, kidney
failure, and heart attacks.
Most people with high blood
pressure need to take medicines to treat it for their whole lives.
Who should take LONITEN?
There are many people with high
blood pressure, but most of them do not need LONITEN. LONITEN is used ONLY when
your doctor decides that:
- your high blood pressure is
- your high blood pressure is
causing symptoms or damage to vital organs; and
- other medicines did not work
well enough or had very disturbing side effects.
LONITEN should be taken only
when a doctor prescribes it. Never give any of your LONITEN Tablets, or any
other high blood pressure medicine, to a friend or relative.
Pregnancy:In some cases doctors may
prescribe LONITEN for women who are pregnant or who are planning to have
children. However, its safe use in pregnancy has not been established.
Laboratory animals had a reduced ability to become pregnant and a reduced
survival of offspring while taking LONITEN. If you are pregnant or are planning
to become pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor.
How to take LONITEN.
Usually, your doctor will
prescribe two other medicines along with LONITEN. These will help lower blood
pressure and will help prevent undesired effects of LONITEN.
Often, when a medicine like
LONITEN lowers blood pressure, your body tries to return the blood pressure to
the original higher level. It does this by holding on to water and salt (so
there will be more fluid to pump) and by making your heart beat faster. To
prevent this, your doctor will usually prescribe a water tablet to remove the
extra salt and water from your body ( a diuretic: dye-u-RET-tic) and another
medicine to slow your heart beat.
You must follow your
doctor's instructions exactly, taking all the prescribed medicines, in the
right amounts, each day. These medicines will help keep your blood pressure down.
The water tablet and heart beat medicine will help prevent the undesired
effects of LONITEN.
LONITEN Tablets come in two
strengths (2½ milligrams and 10 milligrams) that are marked on each tablet. Pay
close attention to the tablet markings to be sure you are taking the correct
strength. Your doctor may prescribe half a tablet; the tablets are scored
(partly cut on one side) so that you can easily break them.
When you first start taking
LONITEN, your doctor may need to see you often in order to adjust your dosage.
Take all your medicine according to the schedule prescribed by your doctor. Do
not skip any doses. If you should forget a dose of LONITEN, wait until it is
time for your next dose, then continue with your regular schedule. Remember: do
not stop taking LONITEN, or any of your other high blood pressure medicines,
without checking with your doctor. Make sure that any doctor treating or
examining you knows that you are taking high blood pressure medicines,
Even if you take all your
medicines correctly, LONITEN Tablets may cause undesired effects. Some of these
are serious and you should be on the lookout for them. If any of the
following warning signals occur, you must call your doctor immediately:
Increase in heart rate—You should measure
your heart rate by counting your pulse rate while you are resting. If
you have an increase of 20 beats or more a minute over your normal pulse,
contact your doctor immediately. If you do not know how to take your pulse
rate, ask your doctor. Also ask your doctor how often to check your pulse.
2. Rapid weight gain of more
than 5 pounds—You should weigh yourself daily. If you quickly gain five
or more pounds, or if there is any swelling or puffiness in the face, hands,
ankles, or stomach area, this could be a sign that you are retaining body
fluids. Your doctor may have to change your drugs or change the dose of your
drugs. You may also need to reduce the amount of salt you eat. A smaller weight
gain (2 to 3 pounds) often occurs when treatment is started. You may
lose this extra weight with continued treatment.
3. Increased difficulty in
breathing, especially when lying down.
This too may be due to an increase of body fluids. I t can also happen because
your high blood pressure is getting worse. In either case, you might require
treatment with other medicines.
4. New or worsening of pain
in the chest, arm, or shoulder or signs of severe indigestion—These could be signs
of serious heart problems.
lightheadedness or fainting—These can be signs of high blood pressure or they may be
side effects from one of the medicines. Your doctor may need to change or
adjust the dosage of the medicines you are taking.
OTHER UNDESIRED EFFECTS
LONITEN Tablets can cause other
undesired effects such as nausea and/or vomiting that are annoying but not
dangerous. Do not stop taking the drug because of these other undesired effects
without talking to your doctor.
Hair growth:About 8 out of every 10
patients who have taken LONITEN noticed that fine body hair grew darker or
longer on certain parts of the body. This happened about 3 to 6 weeks after
beginning treatment. The hair may first be noticed on the forehead and temples,
between the eyebrows, or on the upper part of the cheeks. Later, hair may grow
on the back, arms, legs, or scalp. Although hair growth may not be noticeable
to some patients, it often is bothersome in women and children. Unwanted
hair can be controlled with a hair remover or by shaving. The extra hair is
not permanent, it disappears within 1 to 6 months of stopping LONITEN. Nevertheless,
you should not stop taking LONITEN without first talking to your doctor.
A few patients have developed a
rash or breast tenderness while taking LONITEN Tablets, but this is unusual.