Some of the most popular drugs used today were originally designed with other purposes in mind. Chance discoveries found other uses for them. Thalidomide, was prescribed to reduce morning sickness but caused profound birth defaults. It has since found new use as an anti-cancer drug.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) does not have such a tragic past but shares a bit of history with another common drug. Both found unusual novel uses in the marketplace.
[See video below or build a minoxidil molecular model]
Minoxidil, like Sildenafil (Viagra), were both developed as treatments for hypertension, better known as high blood pressure. Neither met expectations for their intended use but both produced unexpected results during their drug trials that gave them new life . In the case of Minoxidil, it stimulated hair growth.
After further testing, the drug was seemed safe & was approved for use as a topical (applied to skin not ingested) treatment for restoring hair growth in balding men & to a lesser degree women. Unfortunately, it isn’t a permanent “cure”. To be effective It has to be applied twice a day, for as long as the desire for a full head of hair exists.
For the chemically minded, we have produced a video of a spinning Minoxidil molecule that can be viewed in 3D. It is actually a very simple structure when compared to important biological molecules such as ATP, cholesterol & many of the B vitamins.