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Can Drugs Cause Hair Loss

Chemo More Likely To Cause Hair Loss

What medications cause hair loss? – Dr. K Prapanna Arya

Chemotherapy medications with the highest risk of causing hair loss in many people include:

  • Alkylating agents:Cytoxan or Neosar , Ifex , Myleran or Busulfex , Thioplex .
  • Antitumor antibiotics: Cosmegen , Adriamycin or Doxil , Idamycin
  • Topoisomerase inhibitors: VePesid , Camptosar
  • Antimicrotubule agents: Taxol , Taxotere , Ellence , Ixempra , Ellence , Marqibo or Vincasar , Alocrest or Navelbine
  • Antimetabolites:Efudex , Gemzar

Why Chemo Causes Hair Loss

Hair loss is very common during chemotherapy for breast cancer as well as other cancers, though some drugs and methods of administration are more likely than others to disrupt hair follicles.

Chemotherapy drugs work systemically by interfering with the division and growth of rapidly growing cells.

While these drugs can be effective in eliminating cancer cells, they also damage normal cells that divide rapidly. This includes hair follicles , cells in the digestive tract , and cells in bone marrow .

The keratinocytes in the hair follicle divide faster than many malignant cells, and they have a good blood supply that delivers chemotherapy agents to them efficiently. Their fast metabolism also puts them under oxidative stress, which a chemotherapy drug can enhance to the point that the cell dies.

Whether or not you develop hair loss, and the degree to which you do if so, depends on a number of factors including:

  • The dose of chemotherapy: Higher doses generally have a greater risk for hair loss.
  • How often the chemotherapy is given: More frequent doses carry more risk.
  • The route of administration: Intravenous drugs are more likely to cause hair loss than oral drugs.
  • The drugs or combination of drugs you receive: Some are more likely to cause hair loss than others, and receiving a combination of drugs increases the risk.
  • Your individual makeup: Some people are more likely to lose hair than others, even with the same doses of the same drugs.

Adhd Medications That May Cause Hair Loss

Doctors usually prescribe Adderall for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Adderall is a combination of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine.

Hair loss is a potential side effect of taking Adderall. Patients who take Adderall report that they experience hair loss but note that their hair regrew after stopping the drug.

One of the most common side effects of using this drug is a decreased appetite. Loss of appetite can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which are often a causative factor in hair loss. Other ADHD and Narcolepsy medications that may cause hair loss include Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine and Lisdexamfetamine.

There are ADHD medications that may not cause hair loss, so if you experience severe hair loss or hair thinning, you should talk to your doctor.

ADHDMedications could affect hair growth

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Medications And Supplements That Cause Hair Loss In Women

Everybody knows that chemotherapy can cause hair loss. However, there are many medications, including supplements, that can trigger alopecia. Today we’re focusing our attention on drugs that negatively impact hair growth and regeneration in women. Discover below all the medications and supplements that cause hair loss in women. Do you take them?

How To Prevent Hair Loss From Drug Use

Drugs That Can Cause Hair Loss

The first and most important step would obviously be to stop your drug use. This will have benefits on the hair as well as your physical and mental health and well-being as a whole. If drug use is extensive then seek advice from a physician as going cold turkey may need to be medically guided.

If you have already noticed thinner hair or hair loss, then it may be possible to restore lost hair using a tailored hair loss treatment programme. Initially it needs to be determined whether the hair loss is a progressive, permanent condition or a temporary one in order to decide which treatments, if any, are necessary.

Also Check: What To Do With Hair Thinning

Effect Of Other Cancer Therapies

The newer targeted therapies for cancer don’t usually cause total hair loss like chemotherapy drugs but can result in changes such as thinning of the hair and dryness, as well as changes in texture similar to chemo curls. Some targeted therapies may also affect the pigmentation of hair, often causing the hair to become darker.

Some of the targeted therapies that have been linked with hair changes or hair loss include:

  • Cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitors such as Ibrance , Kisqali , and Verzenio
  • VEGF inhibitors such as Nexavar
  • BRAF inhibitors such as Zelboraf and Tafinlar
  • Bcr/Abl inhibitors such as Tasigna and Gleevec

Some of the hormonal therapies commonly used for breast cancer have been associated with thinning of the hair for some people. Unlike chemotherapy, people may be using the drug for many months or even years before they notice the changes in their hair. Hormonal therapies more often linked to hair loss include:

  • Tamoxifen
  • Aromatase inhibitors: Hair loss appears to be more common with Arimidex and Femara than with Aromasin .
  • Faslodex

Immunotherapy drugs for cancer, at least checkpoint inhibitors, do not usually cause hair loss, though oftentimes these drugs are used along with chemotherapy. Researchers are looking at ways of harnessing the gene involved in autoimmune alopecia to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

Here Are Some Medications That May Cause Hair Loss:

– Blood pressure medications

– Drugs that suppress the immune system

– Epilepsy drugs

– Chemotherapy medications

– Parkinson’s disease drugs

Note that there are other medications that may cause hair loss, which are not presented in the list above.

Heres a list of medications that could cause hair loss or hair thinning

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How To Diagnose Drug Induced Hair Loss

If you think that you may be experiencing hair loss as a result of a medication, you should speak with a healthcare professional, particularly the doctor that prescribed the suspect medication. Some of the early signs of excessive hair loss include an increased amount of hair on your pillow, more hair on your brush, and more hair in the shower drain.

Whenever a doctor is attempting to diagnose drug induced alopecia, they will take a complete medical history in order to account for the new medications, changes to doses, and family history of hair loss.

Medications And Hair Loss: The Basics

Levothyroxine & Hair Loss – 3 CAUSES HOW TO STOP IT
  • A variety of medications can contribute to hair loss. Most of the time, hair loss caused by medication is temporary. However, some medications may cause permanent hair loss.

  • Common medications that can cause temporary hair loss include anticoagulants , anticonvulsants and antihypertensive medications such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors.

  • Hair loss is a common, expected side effect of many chemotherapy medications used to treat many forms of cancer.

  • Medications that increase testosterone, such as anabolic steroids, can cause permanent hair loss due to male pattern baldness.

  • Although its uncommon, hair loss is a reported side effect of some medications used to treat depression and anxiety.

  • If youre prescribed medication and notice your hair thinning, its important to talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes.

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Treatments To Help Regrow Your Hair

  • Platelet rich plasma treatment PRP treatment is a widely popular treatment to treat hair loss caused due to multiple reasons, including hair loss due to drugs. Once your primary physician has given you the permission, you can consult a dermatologist to see if PRP is a suitable option for your hair loss concerns.The procedure is fairly simple and involves extraction of a tiny amount of your blood. The platelets are separated from this, activated, and injected into your scalp. This ensures direct delivery of important and essential growth factors to the hair matrix cells. Hair growth rate and hair thickness increases after just a few sessions. This treatment possesses no side effects and has absolutely no downtime associated with it.# Watch This Video To Know About PRP Hair Loss Treatment:
  • Minoxidil & Finasteride In some cases, when the hair growth has not been restored even after discontinuing the medication for two to three months, a dermatologist may recommend you to use either minoxidil or finasteride on the affected areas on the scalp. The usage of these topical medications reduces hair fall and improves hair growth. Finasteride can only be used by men, whereas minoxidil can be used by both men and women.

Hair Loss In Men And Women

Many of these drugs cause hair loss in both men and women. It may be temporary or permanent. The medications may also trigger the onset of male- or female-pattern baldness. Male-pattern hair loss occurs on the top and front of the head. By contrast, female-pattern hair loss is seen on the top of the head.

Certain hormonal drugs, including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, may cause hair loss in women. Testosterone replacement therapy may bring on hair loss in men.

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True & Dorin Medical Group

At TRUE & DORIN Medical Group headquartered in Manhattan, NYC, New York, Drs. Robert J. Dorin and Robert H. True help men and women reverse the effects of hair loss through various surgical and non-surgical treatments, including Follicular Unit Transplantation and Follicular Unit Extraction. We have offices in Manhattan, New Jersey, Long Island, and Boston. Our doctors are affiliated with:

  • The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery
  • The American Board of Restoration Surgery
  • The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
  • The American Osteopathic Association

Medications That Cause Hair Loss

Drugs cause hair loss

Hair loss could be a side effect of medications that you are taking for an existing health condition. These medications interrupt the normal hair follicle cycle. Medications cause hair loss in two phases anagen and telogen .

Hair loss due to medication in the anagen phase is called anagen effluvium, while that in the telogen phase is called telogen effluvium. This form of hair loss is more common during the telogen phase .

Chemotherapy medicines usually cause hair loss during the anagen or growing phase of the hair follicle cycle .

The following is the list of medications more likely to cause hair loss:

  • Acne Medications: Vitamin A-containing acne medications like retinol , .
  • Antifungal Drugs: Medications that cause hair thinning include antifungal drugs like voriconazole .
  • Anti-Clotting Drugs: Anticoagulants like warfarin and heparin are used for the prevention of blood clots. Such medications may cause hair loss .
  • Birth Control Pills: Medications associated with hair loss in females include hormone replacement therapy and contraceptive pills . Women experience hormonal imbalances when they undergo hormone replacement therapy, leading to hair loss . In some cases, hair loss due to HRT could be permanent.
  • Antidepressants And Mood Stabilizers: Certain antidepressants may also cause hair loss. A few such antidepressants include bupropion, sertraline, venlafaxine, and paroxetine .
  • Weight Loss Drugs: Weight loss medicines may cause hair loss .

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Antidepressants And Mood Stabilizers

Both antidepressants and mood stabilizers can cause alopecia due to TE. Lithium, a common treatment for bipolar disorder, has been shown to cause hair loss in up to 19% of patients who use it for an extended period of time. Valproic acid is an anticonvulsant prescribed as a mood stabilizer. Depending on its dose and concentration, it has caused alopecia in up to 28% of patients.

Another anticonvulsant, carbamazepine, has the same effect but only in about 6% of cases. Rarely, tricyclic antidepressants lead to alopecia, and some patients have also reported hair loss with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs.

What Else Contributes To Hair Loss

There are a number of non-cancer related medications that are associated with hair loss that might accentuate the effects of chemotherapy drugs if used in combination.

Some of these include retinoids , anti-thyroid medications, L-Dopa , amphetamines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and several antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants and Wellbutrin .

In addition to medications, illness, surgery, or dietary changes may lead to hair loss.

Thyroid disease may cause hair loss and may occur with cancer treatment .

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How Do Drugs Cause Hair Loss

Drugs cause hair loss by interfering with the normal cycle of scalp hair growth. During the anagen phase, which lasts for two to seven years, the hair grows. During the telogen phase, which lasts about three months, the hair rests. At the end of the telogen phase, the hair falls out and is replaced by new hair.

Medications can lead to two types of hair loss: telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium. Learn more about other causes of baldness.

Telogen effluvium is the most common form of drug-induced hair loss. It usually appears within 2 to 4 months after taking the drug. This condition causes the hair follicles to go into their resting phase and fall out too early. People with telogen effluvium usually shed between 30% to 70% more than the normal 100 and 150 hairs a day.

Anagen effluvium is hair loss that occurs during the anagen phase of the hair cycle, when the hairs are actively growing. It prevents the matrix cells, which produce new hairs, from dividing normally. This type of hair loss usually occurs within a few days to weeks after taking the medication. It’s most common in people who are taking chemotherapy drugs for cancer and is often severe, causing people to lose most or all of the hair on their head, as well as their eyebrows, eyelashes, and other body hairs.

The severity of drug-induced hair loss depends on the type of drug and dosage, as well as your sensitivity to that drug.

Hair Damage And Substance Abuse

Are Medications Causing Your Hair to Fall Out? | Causes of hair loss

Its highly likely that both men and women will develop some sort of hair loss in their lifetime. But, drug use can cause and exacerbate premature hair loss.

Its also known that some drug users such as those who abuse methamphetamines experience tactile hallucinations. For example, the sensation of bugs crawling under their skin. This may lead them to pick and scratch at their scalp or even pull their hair. This, in its own way, could lead to the effects of hair loss.

The effects on hair are just one manifestation of drug abuse on personal health. If you are struggling with drug abuse, Landmark Recovery can help guide you on a journey to better health. It all starts with a phone call. Reach out today to find out how we can help.

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Help For Meth Addiction

An addiction does not form overnight, and it takes time to heal. At Augustine Recovery, we provide long-term treatment for addiction to methamphetamine. Our gender-specific programming allows men and women to experience individual counseling, group therapy, and family involvement at our St. Augustine facilities.

To learn more about how to help your loved one access treatment in a positive, supportive environment, contact us today. Our admissions team will assist you in verifying insurance and developing a treatment plan for your family member.


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