Minoxidil is a relatively low-risk medication. Even so, people can be apprehensive about use of the product. This stigma may be because it was originally a treatment for hypertension. One of the questions that crop up with minoxidil use is if it causes joint pain.
Minoxidil does not cause joint pain. However, it does have an extensive list of possible but rare side-effects. Examples are numbness of the hands, feet, face, vision changes, lightheadedness, chest pain, and more. Fortunately, these side effects rarely happen.
In most cases, minoxidil works like it is supposed to. It helps with hair growth in balding men and women. The more common side effects of the medication are itching or redness in the application area.
What is Minoxidil?
Understanding what the medication is and what it does is crucial in trying to understand its side effects. Originally a treatment for hypertension, the use of minoxidil has changed a lot and has become a medicine for hair loss instead.
The discovery of minoxidil as a hair growth stimulant was an accident. It just so happened that in the studies for testing minoxidil for hypertension, the researchers noticed growth in hair as a side effect.
Minoxidil works significantly better as a hair loss treatment than as a treatment for hypertension. It has been around since the 80s, fixing hair loss problems in generations of people.
Its long history means there have been significant studies done for this medication. Minoxidil works when applied continuously (and religiously).
Effects start to show up in a few months or so. If results do not show up in 4-6 months, specialists advise stopping the medication.
Minoxidil has an excellent success rate for most people. However, there’s a percentage of men that are non-responders. For women, only about 60% will find the medication effective for them.
Regardless, minoxidil’s success speaks for itself and is one of the most effective drugs we have for hair loss. Some people have even reported that minoxidil held off their hair loss for decades! That is an amazing feat considering the ubiquity of hair loss and the challenge in treating it.
A negative side of minoxidil is that the user has to apply it continuously for it to work. If you stop using it, the effects will also wear off, and you will go back to zero in a year or less.
It is a lot of maintenance for a hair loss treatment. But the results are worth it.
Minoxidil works to slow down hair loss but cannot truly prevent it because it doesn’t tackle the root cause: hair follicle damage from androgens. Because of that, many people assume the effects of the medication are starting to wear out.
That is not the case. It is only that the hair loss has become too much for the medication to manage. Eventually, the level of hair loss will keep up with the level of growth that minoxidil provides.
Other Side Effects of Minoxidil
Effective as it may be, minoxidil still has some side effects that are worth mentioning.
But before anything else, you have to know that these side effects are usually rare and not common in most users.
If you are on the fence about using the product because of the side effects, your fears may not be a cause for concern. The side effects affect a small number of people.
Generally, most people tolerate minoxidil quite well. However, here are some side effects that arise from a topical application:
- burning in the application area
These are some of the negative effects associated with minoxidil. These usually occur due to an intolerance to the drug.
If you exhibit these signs after minoxidil use, you should stop using it immediately. It usually is not a major cause for concern, though. You may not be compatible with the product.
On the more serious side, too much minoxidil application could lead to more systemic effects. However, many people take oral minoxidil because regular minoxidil gets absorbed into your system anyway.
However, the side effects of having too much minoxidil go systemic include:
- changes in vision
- changes in sexual function
- chest pain
- low blood pressure
- speeding up of the heartbeat
- numbness of the hands, feet, or face
These are only a couple of examples, and there are more side effects of accidentally absorbing the product into your bloodstream. Keep in mind these are extremely rare. In reality, minoxidil should not cause any sexual side effects because it increases blood flow and was once tested as a solution for erectile dysfunction.
But to minimize the chance of these rare side effects occurring, you should follow the recommended dosage. Do not put any more than is recommended, and do not get stronger variants until you know you tolerate the normal dosages well.
There are two concentrations of minoxidil at 5% and 2%. Research says that the 5% variant is more effective. There are 10 and 12% variants, but if the 5% doesn’t work for you, it’s doubtful stronger concentrations will do anything either.
In case any of these rare effects manifest after you have used minoxidil, you should consult a healthcare professional. They will be able to tell you the next best course of action.
As you can see, there is a significant amount of health concerns related to minoxidil. But these are negligible. Mostly, users will be able to see results from the product with little concern.
Minoxidil does not cause joint pain, but it can potentially cause other problems. If you think these problems are too risky for you, you can try different hair loss treatment methods.
In conclusion, no. Minoxidil does not cause joint pain. But the other side effects of the medication are also worth taking a look at. You can infer if trying out the medication is worth it for you or not from the different side effects.
Minoxidil is not the only known method for helping with hair loss. There are plenty of other remedies that have varying levels of credibility. We’ll talk about them a little bit more to give you some perspective.