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Can Statin Drugs Cause Hair Loss

What Happens If You Dye Your Hair Too Much

Statin Side Effects | Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin, Simvastatin Side Effects & Why They Occur

Over-dying your hair can be really damaging, especially if youre going lighter because of the impact of bleach. The dye exposes your hairs cortex leaving it open to split ends and hair breaks. This also makes your locks more prone to damage from other factors like harsh brushing and hair straightening.

Ask The Doctor: Do Statins Cause Hair Loss

Q. My hair’s been thinning. Could it be due to simvastatin, which I started taking several months ago?

A. Hair loss, or alopecia, is a very rare side effect of all statin drugs. Widely prescribed in the treatment of high cholesterol, statins work by blocking the action of an enzyme the liver uses to make cholesterol. About 1% of people taking statins report hair loss. This figure hasn’t changed since 1987, when statins were introduced. We don’t know exactly why statins might cause hair loss. But we do know that cholesterol is an important building block for steroid hormones, which play a role in hair growth.

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What Medications Can Cause Hair Loss 46 Known Drugs

May 26, 2021

Losing your hair or dealing with baldness can be incredibly frustrating.

As you age, it’s also not altogether unexpected: a majority of men will deal with hair loss sometime in their life due to natural causes, but it can be delayed — and hair restored — with proper hair loss treatment.

But medications for other conditions can also cause hair loss, and certain drugs can contribute not only to hair loss but excessive hair growth and changes in color and texture as well.

There’s good news though, as these changes in your hair are typically reversible once you stop taking the drug thats causing them. Here’s what you should know about medications and hair loss.

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Its Pointless Taking Supplements Your Body Doesnt Need

Unless you are deficient in a certain nutrient, its pointless taking a supplement, Lambert said because, the body will only take what it needs.

Many people opt for multivitamin tablets, which can be counterproductive because the vitamins and minerals compete and its too much for the body to use in one go, Lambert said.

It can really disrupt your digestive system, she said.

Lambert said she often sees clients who are struggling with stomach cramps and think they have IBS, but once they stopping taking their multivitamin, the problem goes away.

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Statin Hair Loss

Medically Reviewed by

Some medications cause only temporary hair loss. However, some medications and forms of treatment can lead to male or female pattern baldness and permanent hair loss. Yikes!

It can be helpful to understand what medications cause hair loss. Weâre all unique: not all medications with the potential to cause hair loss will affect everyone equally. The severity of the effects of drugs that cause hair loss can depend on the drug itself, the dosage youâre taking and your bodyâs sensitivity to the drug or treatment.

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Never Stop Meds Suddenlyespecially Not Beta Blockers

Of course, no one should ever stop taking a medication without checking with the prescriber. Sometimes a side effect cannot be avoided because the medicine is essential for survival. That is certainly the case with anticancer drugs.

Even though hair loss may not seem like an important reaction to a health care professional, it could make a big difference in how a patient feels from day to day. Thats why doctors and pharmacists should always inform patients about the potential for this side effect. There may be an alternate medication that does not cause alopecia.

If you would like to learn more about drugs that cause hair loss, we have listed many others in our free Guide to Hair and Nail Care. You will find it under the Health eGuides tab. Share your own experience with drug-induced hair loss in the comment section below.

How Can You Treat Drug Induced 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.

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Medications That Cause Hair Loss In Females

Hormone therapies can trigger hormone imbalances in women, causing hair loss and potentially causing permanent female pattern baldness.

Birth control pills used for contraception and hormone replacement therapies , like progesterone and estrogen, are examples. Women who have undergone a full hysterectomy, for example, require ongoing HRT after surgery.

Cholesterol Function In Keratinocyte Cell Biology Provides Links To Hf Signalling Pathways

HAIR LOSS: Medicines that can Cause Hair Loss?

The HF is a regenerating, hair shaft producing mini-organ that undergoes cyclical periods of growth , regression and relative quiescence . The direct impact of cholesterol metabolism on distinct HF cell populations is unclear, yet it is likely to play an important role. Although differentiation of matrix keratinocyte in the hair bulb is distinct from that of epidermal keratinocytes, the roles for cholesterol in epidermal physiology can nevertheless provide pointers to the control of keratinocyte behaviour in the HF. This is further discussed below.

Figure 2

The full complement of cholesterol transporting proteins present in the HF is yet to be defined, although we know that the activity of at least one cholesterol transporter has important biological consequences in the HF, as discussed later in this review. As such, understanding routes for cholesterol movement will provide key insights into how the HF regulates levels of this important lipid.

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Why Do Doctors Push Statins

Statins are the go-to treatment option for lowering cholesterol levels and risk of cardiovascular complications, like heart attack and stroke. Statins work by slowing down the production of cholesterol in the body and allowing it to be removed from the bloodstream. However, statins dont work for everyone.

Mutations In Cholesterol Synthesis Cause Autosomal

A number of studies have also identified mutations in genes linked with cholesterol homeostasis and hair phenotypes, as shown in Table . Indeed, a recent publication employing whole-exome sequencing identified mutations in lanosterol synthase , linked to autosomal-recessive hypotrichosis simplex. LSS is involved in the production of lanosterol during cholesterol biosynthesis . Patients present with sparse hair on the scalp and in some cases eyebrows and eyelashes. The authors identified 5 LSS mutations, leading to either loss of protein or mislocalisation from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cytoplasm.


The resulting dysfunction is suggested to lead to accumulation of cholesterol precursors, resulting in inflammation and disruption of Wnt/BMP signalling. As the authors did not specifically investigate intrafollicular sterol levels in these patients, a role for the accumulation of potential toxic cholesterol precursors remains to be conclusively shown.

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Can Statins Impact On Hair Loss

Statins, a class of drug used to lower serum cholesterol levels through inhibition of HMGCR, have come under close scrutiny for the treatment of certain alopecias, as well as reports that they may in themselves cause hair loss.

The evidence linking statin use and hair loss is, however, far from conclusive. A case study published by Segal reported hair loss in a 38-year-old woman with no unusual medical history, taking daily atorvastatin alongside other medications. Hair loss was reversed upon discontinuation of the statin and returned 2 weeks after re-introduction of the medication. The authors therefore suggest a causal link between the alopecia and atorvastatin treatment. The timeframe of reported hair loss in this instance could indicate stimulation of anagen effluvium, rather than the more commonly observed drug-induced telogen effluvium, given the rapid pace of onset.

Similar case studies have been reported, particularly for atorvastatin use, with alopecia reported in the parietal and vertex regions of a female patients scalp. As with the previous study, atorvastatin was not the only medication administered.

In addition, JAK/STAT inhibitors have proven useful in restoring hair growth in AA patients, by attenuating production of inflammatory cytokines by cytotoxic T lymphocytes., , It is likely that, as seen with JAK/STAT inhibitors, statin-mediated inhibition of inflammatory cytokine signalling is a mechanism by which statins can help treat acute episodes of AA.

When Are Statins Prescribed

Statin Hair Loss

Statins are prescribed to those individuals who have cardiovascular diseases or a family history of it. Your genetics can put you at risk of them.

The reason why people need statins is that the accumulation of low-density lipoprotein in the blood can cause its build-up along the walls of the blood vessels, forming plaque. This narrows the passage of the blood vessels and reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, causing cardiovascular diseases.

This can even be life-threatening. If the blood vessel carrying blood to the heart is blocked, it can cause a heart attack. And if the blood flow is reduced, it can cause chest pain, also known as angina pectoris.

Statins are commonly taken by people aged 45-70. This helps them balance their blood cholesterol levels.

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Accumulation Of Cholesterol Precursors Causes Abnormal Hair Growth In Mice

Insulin-induced gene 1 modulates cholesterol synthesis through proteolytic degradation of HMGCR, as well as binding to SREBP cleavage-activating protein and preventing SREBP-mediated transcription of cholesterol synthesis genes. Epidermal specific double knockout of Insig prevented normal HF morphogenesis. Histologically, hair kinking, keratin plugging and dissociation of the DP from the hair bulbs were observed. Evers, et al hypothesised that the significant increase in sterol precursors identified in the epi-Insig-DKO mice was a causative factor. Supporting this, inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis with simvastatin significantly reduced levels of sterol precursors in these animals and reversed the morphological HF defects. Although the mechanism by which accumulation of sterol precursors impacted on hair morphogenesis was not described, the authors suggest impaired Shh signalling, given similarities to the hair phenotype displayed by Shhâ/â mice. This ties in well with the known role for cholesterol in modulating the Shh pathways, as previously described.

Common Medications That Cause Hair Loss

  • Cholesterol-lowering medications

    Statins are a class of cholesterol treatments that have a reported side effect of hair loss. This includes drugs such as Lipitor/atorvastatin and Zocor/simvastatin. The statin Crestor/rosuvastatin does not produce this side effect.

  • Anticoagulants

    Warfarin, also known as Coumadin, is the anticoagulant most commonly associated with hair loss.

  • Blood Pressure Medications

    Known as ACE inhibitors, medications like captopril and lisinopril treat high blood pressure and have been known to cause hair loss. Fortunately, its only been in about one percent of its users.

  • Psoriasis Treatments

    The psoriasis pill acitretin, also known as soriatane, is well known for hair loss as a side effect.

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Drugs

    Amiodarone, also known as Cordarone or Pacerone, has a well reported, but uncommon, hair loss side effect.

  • Anticonvulsants

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What Medications Cause Hair Loss

Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

As a man, its far from uncommon to experience some hair loss as you enter your 20s, 30s and forties. In fact, research shows that more than 40 percent of men aged from 18 to 49 already have moderate to extensive hair loss.

Although most hair loss in men is genetic male pattern baldness, some hair loss can develop as a result of using certain medications.

Medications can cause hair loss in several different ways. Some medications disrupt your hairs growth cycle, causing it to shed before it reaches its full length. Other medications may increase your production of hormones that cause male pattern baldness, such as DHT.

If youve recently noticed more hair shedding than normal, its possible that a medication youre prescribed could be to blame.

Below, weve explained the basics of how and why hair loss happens, as well as how common medications can contribute to the process.

Weve also explained the options that are available for treating, preventing and reversing medication-induced hair loss.

Anticoagulants Antihypertensives And Statins

Medications that can cause hair loss

Certain medications used to treat hypertension, heart disease and other cardiovascular health issues may cause hair loss.

For example, telogen effluvium hair loss is a well-known side effect of anticoagulants, or blood thinners, used to prevent blood clots.

Anticoagulants linked to hair loss include:

Some antihypertensive medications, including beta-blockers, are also linked to telogen effluvium hair loss.

Commonly prescribed beta-blockers include propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol, timolol, nadolol and others.

Commonly prescribed ACE inhibitors include benazepril, captopril, lisinopril, moexipril, ramipril, trandolapril and enalapril/enalaprilat.

Finally, although its uncommon, some statins used to lower cholesterol levels may cause hair loss. According to Harvard Medical School, approximately one percent of people prescribed a statin report some level of hair loss during treatment.

Commonly prescribed statins include atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and others.

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Ensuring The Proper Balance

Itâs important toensure proper balance when taking medications. Getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet is crucial for maintaining healthy hair and to prevent excessive hair shedding. While many drugs may not be widely associated with hair loss, almost every drug impacts nutrient deficiency, which can contribute to hair health. One helpful resource is MyTavin.com, where you can check drugs for nutrient depletion.

If an adverse effect of your medication is hair loss, you might consider taking a comprehensive supplement for hair to support a strong, healthy environment in which hair can flourish.

For example, if you are taking an antibiotic or antifungal that causes hair loss as a side effect, it would be smart to incorporate a B-Complex Vitamin dietary supplement and/or iron supplement to replenish any Vitamin B and iron deficiencies. Conversely, if you are taking too much Vitamin A, you might consider decreasing the dosage. The key is getting the right dosage your body needs to do its job.

One way you can maintain proper amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet is to take a hair health supplement. A good hair health supplement provides nutrition to hair andwill include all of the necessary vitamins and minerals your hair needs for healthy growth in the appropriate amounts.


Is 40 Mg Of Atorvastatin A Lot

AdultsAt first, 10 or 20 milligrams once a day. Some patients may need to start at 40 mg per day. The daily dose is usually not more than 80. AdolescentsThe recommended dose for children and adolescents is 100 mg once or twice a week.

The dose may be increased to 200 mg or 300 mg if your child or adolescent has a serious medical condition, such as an enlarged prostate or a blood clot in his or her leg. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, talk to your doctor about the best way to take this medication. Do not use this medicine in children younger than 12 years of age or in pregnant women.

It may harm your unborn baby. Talk to the doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting. This is not a complete list of all possible effects. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist for more information.

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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 starting 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.

The Role Of Cholesterol Biosynthesis In The Formation Of Vitamin D3 And Associated Hair Loss

Do Statins Cause Hair Loss

Within epidermal keratinocytes, exposure to UV light stimulates the synthesis of vitamin D3 from the cholesterol precursor 7-DHC. As such, the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway may also be important in relation to the supply of vitamin D3 to the HF. Indeed, vitamin D receptors are expressed in the HF,- and alopecia totalis has been observed in patients with VDR mutations. What is more, VDR knockout in mice prevents initiation of new hair cycles following morphogenesis. Evidence also suggests vitamin D deficiency is associated with female hair loss disorders and AA.- Hair growth was shown to increase with the presence of synthetic vitamin D3 analogues in alopecia totalis, AA and in chemotherapy-induced alopecia mouse models. It could be suggested that dysfunction in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway, which would alter levels of 7-DHC, might play a role in hair loss related to vitamin D3 deficiency.

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