Minoxidil is commonly used world-wide a an inexpensive solution to hair loss and it seems to work for men and women. Minoxidil was originally used for the treatment of high blood pressure but it was not a reliable drug for this purpose.
When used for the treatment of hair loss, it can reverse the hair loss even in genetic balding, especially when the balding is early in the process. In the United States it would have to be prescribed by a physician as an ‘off-label’ drug as it is not approved for use in hair loss by the FDA. It is, nevertheless, a reasonable option for men who can not tolerate finasteride if they experience sexual side effects. For women, the appearance of hair elsewhere in the body and face can be a problem and other side effect, rare or otherwise include:
Abnormal ECG (60%)
Pericardial Effusion (3% more common in women than men)
Chest pain from Angina
Cardiac Tamponade (rare)
Fluid and sodium retention
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (rare)