In the past few weeks, I have received a few emails from people reporting major shortages of generic oral Minoxidil (and brand name Loniten). This is not surprising, since low-dose oral Minoxidil (LDOM) has become all the rage in treating hair loss ever since the famous NY Times article was published in August 2022.
Quote from a May 2023 JAMA study:
“The weekly rate of first-time low-dose oral minoxidil prescriptions per 10,000 outpatients was “significantly higher 8 weeks after vs. 8 weeks before article publication,” at 0.9 prescriptions per 10,000, compared with 0.5 per 10,000.”
Moreover, a barrage of positive news stories in relation to LDOM and hair growth keep coming out regularly. You can check out all the latest updates in my main post on oral Minoxidil for hair loss.
Generic Oral Minoxidil Shortages
Well known hair loss and hair transplant advisor Spexhair first notified me about oral Minoxidil shortages in the UK around a month ago. Thereafter, a reader e-mailed me and said that his pharmacy in the US also ran out.
Lo and behold, when I went to get my third set of 90 oral Minoxidil pills a month ago, the pharmacist told me that they changed the generic supplier. From Sun Pharma (which worked great for me for 6 months) to Par Pharmaceutical. I seem to be shedding a bit more ever since I started with this new refill :-(
Readers who are taking oral Minoxidil, please post your manufacturer/brand name in the comments if possible. And your hair growth results and side effects too.
This whole scenario reminds of my travails with generic dutasteride brands that kept changing at my pharmacy. As a result, in 2019 I wrote a lengthy post about my thoughts on generic hair loss drugs.
Moreover, one of the manufacturers of a generic dutasteride I took even sent me an interesting and re-assuring reply. Apparently, that Indian company’s dutasteride was made in the US.
Loniten No Longer Being Produced?
A couple of weeks ago, someone from Australia e-mailed me that there was a shortage of oral Minoxidil in Australia. A bit surprising, since this is the country that is most responsible for the surge in the popularity of this drug. Courtesy of research at Dr. Rodney Sinclair’s clinic in Melbourne. I am assuming that there is no problem in the supply of their affiliated “The Hairy Pill“.
In any event, this person was more interested in Loniten, which is the brand name of the original oral Minoxidil. He used to take that brand and really wanted to avoid generics. Loniten tablets are made by Pfizer (US) and still listed on their website. Including in their patient information section.
However, when I went to GoodRx and did a search for brand name oral Minoxidil (aka Loniten), I got the following warning:
They also state the following “Loniten (brand no longer available)” on their main Minoxidil page.
I also remember someone else mentioning this months ago, either on a hair loss forum or on our hair loss chat. In any case, if you are someone who only trusts the original brand name, you are out of luck when it comes to oral Minoxidil.
Perhaps a Temporary Shortage
It is also possible that this cessation in supply is temporary. On Canada’s drug shortages website, it says that there is a disruption in the manufacture of Loniten as of the last update in November 2022. However, it also gives an “anticipated start date” of August 18, 2023. This perhaps indicates a potential resumption in production by Pfizer.