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Can Enbrel Cause Hair Loss

How Can You Treat Drug Induced Hair Loss

Does Enbrel cause hair loss

There is a very likely chance that if you’re experiencing hair loss primarily as a result of a drug you’re taking, the hair will grow back on its own once you stop taking the medication. Its important to talk to your doctor before stopping, as the medication is certainly a necessary one for whatever medical condition its treating. However, if stopping the drug does not improve hair thinning, you may need to be treated with finasteride or minoxidil , medications that are known to slow hair loss and stimulate new hair growth.

Which Medication Or Drug Can Cause Hair Loss

The medications or drugs listed below can induce hair loss as a side-effect. Working of these medicines is such that they can easily trigger telogen effluvium or anagen effluvium process. Each type of medication is listed below with examples of some common brands/ drugs formulations that often report hair loss side-effect.

Antibiotics Antibiotics are designed, basically, to kill or obstruct the growth of unwanted bacteria that cause various diseases in human body. Though results produced by antibiotics are incredible but alongside, it also affects hemoglobin and deplete Vitamin B level. Therefore, taking antibiotics for a longer period of time or high doses can, eventually, trigger hair loss.

Vitamin A MedicinesExcess of everything is bad, and the same applies to Vitamin A. Undoubtedly, Vitamin A is excellent not only for hair but also for healthy vision, skin, bones, hair, and other tissues in the body. But excessive use of Vitamin A makes hair follicle to go into overdrive. This means that more and more hairs will reach in telogen phase and will fall out. Vitamin A overdose can also cause various harmful effects on the internal body organ too.

Antifungals When taken over a long period, antifungal medicines can lead to scalp & body hair loss and nail changes. Potential medicines include:

  • Ketoconazole
  • Voriconazole
  • Accutane
  • Retin A
  • Panwarfin
  • Coimadin
  • Heparin Injections
  • Simvastatin

Anti-diabetic drugs Metformin is commonly prescribed drug which can cause hair loss.

  • Atenolol

Ra Medications That Do Not Cause Hair Loss

Most people who experience medication-induced hair loss find that their hair grows back once they stop taking the drug responsible.

People who are concerned about hair loss should speak to their doctor about the possibility of lowering their current medication dosage.

Another option may be to switch to an RA medication that does not list hair loss as a potential side effect. Examples include the following DMARDs:

While these drugs do not cause hair loss, each one has other possible side effects.

People should talk to a doctor about the side effects of each drug. The doctor will be able to offer advice on the most appropriate drug or combination of drugs.

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Alcohol Use And Enbrel

It should be safe for you to drink alcohol during your Enbrel treatment. However, certain drugs that are often prescribed along with Enbrel should not be used with alcohol. This may include methotrexate or certain pain medications such as oxycodone, depending on your condition.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much may be safe for you to drink with your condition and treatment plan.

Alcohol Use With Enbrel

Arthritis Medications May Cause Hair Loss

There arent any known interactions between alcohol and Enbrel. However, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to alcoholic hepatitis. This refers to liver damage and swelling caused by alcohol consumption. People with alcoholic hepatitismay have a higher risk of death from using Enbrel.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much is safe for you to drink while taking Enbrel.

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Nsaids Can Cause Hair Loss

Hair loss from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , including Motrin , is a rare side effect and is typically secondary to what the medical community calls telogen effluvium.

This type of hair loss occurs when some stress, such as a medication, causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into a resting state, called telogen, according to rheumatologist Scott J. Zashin, MD, clinical assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Abrupt diffuse hair loss will typically be noticed after two or more months from the time the stress occurredfor example, the time the medication was started, he says.

What Drugs Interact With Enbrel

Specific drug interaction studies have not been conducted with Enbrel.


  • Most PsA patients receiving Enbrel were able to mount effective B-cell immune responses to pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, but titers in aggregate were moderately lower and fewer patients had 2-fold rises in titers compared to patients not receiving Enbrel.
  • The clinical significance of this is unknown. Patients receiving Enbrel may receive concurrent vaccinations, except for live vaccines.
  • No data are available on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving Enbrel.
  • Patients with a significant exposure to varicella virus should temporarily discontinue Enbrel therapy and be considered for prophylactic treatment with varicella zoster immune globulin.

Immune-Modulating Biologic Products


  • The use of Enbrel in patients receiving concurrent cyclophosphamidetherapy is not recommended.


  • Patients in a clinical study who were on established therapy with sulfasalazine, to which Enbrel was added, were noted to develop a mild decrease in mean neutrophil counts in comparison to groups treated with either Enbrel or sulfasalazine alone.
  • The clinical significance of this observation is unknown.

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Will Your Hair Grow Back

Dr. Carteron says that hair can grow back after the cause of hair loss is identified and medications are adjusted as needed.

With leflunomide I lost a third of the density of my hair, and I was devastated as it fell out so fast, Sue B. told us on Facebook. As soon as I stopped it, my hair began to recover.

Some patients we heard from did say their hair didnt totally regain its former fullness. I didnt stay on methotrexate for long, but my hair just never came back, Rene Marie B. told us. Others said that their hair took a long time to regrow after stopping methotrexate as it slowly leaves the body. Some who stayed on MTX said the hair thinning eventually stopped.

Unfortunately, its hard to know exactly how your medication will affect you until you start it.

Even if your hair does thin, you might be the only one who can tell. I had extremely thick hair to start with so my hairdresser and I are the only ones who notice, Cindy B. told us. I am still on methotrexate because it works and the hair thinning has slowed down.

Medication side effects can be scary and concerning, but the risks need to be balanced with a medications benefits. Dr. Blazer says she reviews the side effects of medications, including hair loss, ahead of time with patients. This empowers patients to look for the symptom and bring it up to me during our subsequent visits, she says.

Enbrel Vs Humira: Main Differences And Similarities

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Enbrel and Humira are medications indicated to treat rheumatoid arthritis . Both medications are categorized as tumor necrosis factor blockers. They work by blocking TNF, a natural substance that is involved in inflammatory processes in the body. By blocking this substance, Enbrel and Humira work to decrease inflammation and immune responses that are responsible for RA symptoms.

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Is Hair Loss A Side Effect Of Enbrel

No. Hair loss wasnt a side effect of Enbrel during studies. However, some people with rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis use methotrexate along with Enbrel. And methotrexate could cause hair loss.

Also, hair loss can sometimes be caused by plaque psoriasis, which Enbrel is used to treat. With plaque psoriasis, itchy raised skin patches can form on the scalp. Scratching at these plaques could contribute to hair loss.

If youre concerned about hair loss during your Enbrel treatment, talk with your doctor.

Change Arthritis Drugs Or Dosages

You may be able to switch to a different type of drug with less risk of hair loss, such as a biologic or lower the dose of the offending medication while adding in another. Luckily, there are many options for treating inflammatory arthritis, so management changes can be made in patients experiencing excessive hair loss, Dr. Blazer says.

In the case of one patient experiencing hair loss, methotrexate still proved to be the most effective therapy for her RA, even after trying other DMARDs, Dr. Carteron says. Therefore, she elected to remain on methotrexate plus a TNF-blocker biologic, but we utilized the lowest possible dose of methotrexate, adjusting it to her disease activity.

Remember: Dont stop taking any arthritis medication without first talking to your doctor.

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How Are Enbrel And Humira Alike And Different

Both Enbrel and Humira are biologic medications. Biologic medications are made from living cells. Enbrel and Humira are also both injections. And they work by lowering the activity of your immune system.

These two drugs target the same part of your immune system. They both block the activity of a protein called tumor necrosis factor .

These drugs also share the same side effects. And both have for serious infections and cancer. Boxed warnings alert people to serious side effects of a drug. These are the most serious warnings about a drugs side effects.

Both Enbrel and Humira can be used to treat:

Doctors can prescribe Enbrel for adults and some children with plaque psoriasis. But Humira can only be used to treat plaque psoriasis in adults.

If youd like to know more about the differences and similarities of these two drugs, talk with your doctor.

Pregnancy And Breastfeeding While Taking Enbrel

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Before starting Enbrel, tell your doctor if youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Enbrel should only be used during pregnancy in certain cases and after discussing the risks with your doctor.

If youre breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before using Enbrel. This drug may pass into breast milk in very small amounts. However, there arent any reports of how this may affect a breastfed child. Talk with your doctor to learn more.

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Enter The Tnf Blockers:

In the 1990s the biologic medications became the next miracles for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. These drugs are known as TNF blockers. TNF stands for tumor necrosis factor, a natural compound made in the body. These are drugs such as adalimumab , certolizumab , etanercept , golimumab and infliximab .

These medications have a profound impact upon the immune system and are supposed to reduce or even eliminate inflammation in the joints. The result is supposed to be a slowing or a reversal of the disease process and prevention of joint deformity. Many experts see the TNF blockers as miraculous, but there can be a down side.

The FDA has issued warnings that these drugs can increase the risk of certain cancers . People who never had psoriasis may develop this skin problem when they stop the medicine. Because these drugs suppress the immune system, both bacterial and fungal infections may become life threatening. One case of aseptic meningitis has been reported as a reaction to Humira . Liver damage is another rare but very serious reaction.

Known Drugs That Can Cause Hair Loss

Drug induced alopecia, hair loss that develops due to a side effect of medication, will often occur within three months after starting the particular medication, but the exact timeline will depend on a few factors. The type of drug, type of hair loss, dosage, and your sensitivity to the drug are all important factors in how severe the side effects will be.

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Consider Other Causes Of Hair Loss

If youre experiencing hair loss and suspect it could be from arthritis medication, you should be evaluated by your doctor to figure out the root cause of your hair loss. The medication may be the one thing that you can identify as new or different, but that said, many other common things can cause hair loss, which may be misattributed to medications, Dr. Blazer says.

Thyroid problems, anemia, age-related hair loss or thinning, and hair loss associated with pregnancy can all play a role, Dr. Carteron says. I investigate other potential causes of hair loss for patients, and help manage them if indicated. Even stress itself, which not surprisingly can result from a chronic condition, can lead to hair loss.

Having other co-occurring autoimmune conditions, such as lupus and alopecia areata, can also cause hair loss.

Methotrexate helps my RA. I did stop it for a while when I was getting large bald spots, but it was determined that it wasnt caused by my meds and I was diagnosed with alopecia areata, Kris S. shared on FB.

Will I Have Side Effects At The Site Of My Enbrel Injection

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Its likely. Injection-site reactions is one of the most commonly reported side effects of Enbrel. These may include:

  • redness or discoloration
  • bleeding
  • bruising

Injection site reactions are more common in the first month of treatment. In most cases, these reactions go away about 3 to 5 days after receiving your dose.

If youre concerned about injection-site reactions during your Enbrel treatment, talk with your doctor.

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Methotrexate And Hair Loss

Methotrexate is commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and some other types of inflammatory arthritis, and even with the risk of hair loss, this remains the best medication to start with for most RA patients, Dr. Carteron says.

Although some patients associate methotrexate is associated with chemotherapy for cancer, which notoriously causes complete hair loss, its important to note that methotrexate treatment for arthritis is NOT the same as getting chemotherapy to treat cancer.

The dose and the way methotrexate is delivered for arthritis is very different from standard chemotherapy, and thus is not likely to cause the kind of hair loss that is possible or probable with chemotherapy, Dr. Carteron says.

When used as chemotherapy, MTX is given in much higher doses and intravenously, she says. In chemotherapy treatment for cancer, the goal is to kill a majority of the cancer cells, and more healthy cells can be killed during the treatment cycle, Dr. Carteron says.

In contrast, MTX as an arthritis treatment is at a much lower dose, which means much less drastic side effects. Methotrexate for RA is given once a week and most often orally with pills, and sometimes by injection. The medication exposure is intermittent, and normal cells have an opportunity to recover, which reduces the odds of experiencing hair loss.


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