Minoxidil-associated anorexia in an infant with refractory hypertension

Zachary A. Vesoulis, Stephanie J. Attarian, Brandy Zeller, Francis Sessions Cole

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7 Scopus citations


Minoxidil is a potent antihypertensive used as an adjunctive agent in refractory hypertension. It exerts an antihypertensive effect through two mechanisms: selective arterial vasodilation by activation of potassium channels in the vascular smooth muscle and stimulation of carotid and aortic baroreceptors, leading to downstream release of renin and norepinephrine. Although frequently cited in reviews of antihypertensive agents, limited data about the use of minoxidil in neonates are available. We describe an infant girl, born at 35 weeks of gestation, who was diagnosed with idiopathic hypertension after extensive diagnostic evaluation. Adequate blood pressure control was not achieved with captopril, amlodipine, and clonidine. Oliguria secondary to captopril and rapid-onset congestive heart failure due to persistent hypertension led to the introduction of intravenous agents labetalol and nitroprusside. Although adequate blood pressure control was achieved, attempts to transition back to oral agents were unsuccessful, prompting the use of minoxidil as an alternative agent. Although good blood pressure control was achieved, the infant's oral intake plummeted from 210 to 63 ml/kg/day. The anorexia quickly resolved after stopping minoxidil, and she was discharged home at 5 months of age receiving propranolol, amlodipine, and doxazosin. Use of the Naranjo adverse drug reaction probability scale indicated a definite relationship (score of 10) between the patient's development of anorexia and minoxidil therapy. To our knowledge, there have been no previous reports of minoxidil-associated anorexia in preterm or term infants. Clinicians should be aware that anorexia is a possible adverse effect of minoxidil in this patient population when initiating the drug in similar patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e341-e344
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • adverse effect
  • anorexia
  • antihypertensive
  • idiopathic hypertension
  • minoxidil
  • neonatal
  • oliguria

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