Minoxidil is a direct-acting peripheral vasodilator that lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure without much affect on the CNS. It also has the advantage of not interfering with vasomotor reflexes and therefore does not induce orthostatic hypotension.
Minoxidil, in tablet form, is usually reserved for the treatment of severe or refractory hypertension, and reported toxicity has been rare. A common side effect of minoxidil is hirsuitism. In 1988, a 2% topical solution of minoxidil was approved for the treatment of baldness. At least one case report exists involving ingestion of the topical solution. Regardless of the preparation, the most common symptoms of toxicity include hypotension and tachycardia. In patients with renal failure, fluid retention and pericardial effusion have been reported. Treatment is supportive and includes intravenous fluids. If the hypotension is persistent, dopamine or phenylephrine should be considered. Vasopressors with b-adrenergic activity, such as epinephrine, should be avoided because of the potential for excessive cardiac stimulation. b blockers can be used for symptomatic tachycardia.
Was this article helpful?
Do You Suffer From High Blood Pressure? Do You Feel Like This Silent Killer Might Be Stalking You? Have you been diagnosed or pre-hypertension and hypertension? Then JOIN THE CROWD Nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States suffer from High Blood Pressure and only 1 in 3 adults are actually aware that they have it.