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Can Taking Statins Cause Hair Loss

Hair Loss And Statin Drugs

Medications that can cause hair loss

Yes, statin drugs contribute to human hair loss. Most of the drug companies have even admitted this when questioned by statin users noticing that hair loss is accelerating since they started taking statins, but their disclaimers do not emphasize this fact simply because most people consider hair loss as very important, so hair loss becomes a threat to marketing.Although I am unable to propose a definite mechanism by which statin drugs contribute to hair loss, there are several possibilities.First of all cholesterol is one of the major structural components of human hair. The relationship of cholesterol in human hair is so precise with a correlation coefficient of 0.86 that some advise it be substituted for blood cholesterol screening.

Any drug such as a statin, which can cause up to 50% lowering of blood cholesterol, has to have an impact on hair growth and maintenance simply on the basis of less cholesterol to go around. The fewer building blocks the less stable the resulting structure, which in this case is hair.

My best approach to sharing this information is simply to list some of the reports I have received. In most of these cases the hair loss has been associated with a variety of other symptoms and signs.

1) I have experienced significant hair loss and weight gain since I started taking statins a couple of years ago. Have you heard of such a thing, I haven’t been able to find anything in my research.


Duane Graveline MD MPH

What You Can Do

If youve recently begun taking a new medication and have noticed hair thinning or loss, talk to your doctor about switching to another medication. They may be able to choose a medicine that doesnt cause the same side effect. Your doctor may also recommend that you stop taking the medication for a few months.

If youre experiencing pattern baldness as a result of medication, some treatments like Rogaine , Propecia , and dutasteride may be right for you.

You may have to use these medications for a certain period of time before you see results. For example, it may take six months or more to see results from Rogaine treatment. Learn how to get the best results out of Rogaine.

Hair transplant surgery or laser therapy may also be right for you if youre experiencing pattern baldness.

Home and lifestyle remedies include wearing a wig or hairpiece and covering your hair with a scarf or hat.

Many people who undergo chemotherapy choose to proudly display their new look. Remember that if youre going through a tough health situation, you have every right to be proud of how youre fighting it. Its entirely up to you to decide the look youre most comfortable with.

Can Statin Cause Hair Loss

Many people, both men and women, who use statins for a period of time experience either thinning of their hair or actual hair loss . If you type statins and hair loss or statins and baldness in the Google search box, youll find many informative articles on the subject. Heres a short article by Dwane Graveline, M.D.

The prescribing information the small print in the patient insert for cholesterol-lowering drugs lists alopecia as a possible side effect but says it is a rare side effect. It might not be all that rare if one can believe the many people who report it. An observation I wonder how many people who read the small print in the patient insert know the meaning of alopecia. If they knew it meant hair loss, they might be reluctant to use Zocor, Lipitor, Mevacor, Livalo, and similar drugs.

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What Happens If You Dye Your Hair Too Much

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.

Dosage Preparation And Safety

Lipitor and Hair Loss

The FDA has not established a recommended dietary allowance for biotin. According to the National Institutes of Health, 30 micrograms is the adequate daily intake for adults 19 years of age and older. People can usually get this amount through their diet.

Still, people who support its use often recommend taking 2 to 5 milligrams of biotin in supplement form daily in order to strengthen hair and achieve results.

Although biotin is a water-soluble vitamin , the safety of using any amount of biotin in supplement form is unknown.

As with many other supplements, biotin hasnt been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications.

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What Might Cause A Biotin Deficiency

Some people may develop a biotin deficiency for a variety of reasons, including pregnancy, smoking, taking medications to treat epilepsy, consuming excessive raw egg whites, intense physical activity, metabolic disorders, and gastrointestinal difficulties. While the symptoms of biotin deficiency include tiredness, confusion, numbness in fingers and toes, rashes, and depression, the most commonly recognized sign is hair loss.

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Serious Side Effects Of Statins

Statins are linked to a few rare but potentially serious side effects, including:

  • Myositis, which is inflammation of the muscles. The risk of muscle injury increases when certain other medications are taken with statins. For example, if you take a combination of a statin and a fibrate — another cholesterol-reducing drug — the risk of muscle damage increases greatly compared to someone who takes a statin alone.
  • Elevated levels of CPK, or creatine kinase, a muscle enzyme that when elevated, can cause muscle pain, mild inflammation, and muscle weakness. This condition, though uncommon, can take a long time to resolve.
  • Rhabdomyolysis, extreme muscle inflammation and damage. With this condition, muscles all over the body become painful and weak. The severely damaged muscles release proteins into the blood that collect in the kidneys. The kidneys can become damaged trying to eliminate a large amount of muscle breakdown caused by statin use. This can ultimately lead to kidney failure or even death. Fortunately, rhabdomyolysis is extremely rare. It happens in less than one in 10,000 people taking statins.

If you have any unexplained joint or muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness while taking statins, you should call your doctor immediately.

Some studies link statin use with birth defects. Doctors advise pregnant women not to use these drugs.

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Hormones Including The Pill

In women, estrogen or progesterone hormone replacement therapy , also known as menopausal hormone therapy or treatment for menopause, is associated with the onset of telogen effluvium.

Hair loss on birth control pills is also a frequently reported side effect. Some women experience hair loss while they are taking the pill, while others see shedding only after stopping oral contraceptives or when they switch from one type of pill to another.

Hormone injections, hormone skin patches, progestin implants, and vaginal rings can also lead to hair loss.

Why does the pill, other contraceptives, and HRT cause hair loss? They trigger the telogen phase in your hair follicles, particularly if you are sensitive to the given hormone or if you are already predisposed to hormone-related hair loss . Its the same mechanism seen in alopecia during and right after pregnancy.

So, birth control pills and hair loss: Is it permanent? For most women hair loss related to birth control pills is not permanent. However, if you are already predisposed to Androgenic Alopecia , you might continue to see your hair fall even after stopping the pill or any other hormone-based birth control, and will continue losing hair progressively thereafter.

To help prevent or at least slow down this situation, the American Hair Loss Association recommends opting for low-androgen index oral contraceptives.

They are listed from the lowest-androgen to the highest-androgen index:

  • Desogen
  • Nabumetone
  • Sulindac

Real Stories From Real Clients

Can Lipitor Medication Cause Hair Loss?

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Get Relief From Statin Side Effects

Your doctor may be able to suggest some ways to relieve the side effects you have with statins. These changes may help, but talk to your doctor first:

  • Take a break from statins, which can help you know if the drugs are the cause of muscle aches or other side effects
  • Try a different statin drug or dose
  • Change your exercise routine gradually and skip intense workouts if youâre not used to them
  • Try another type of medication to lower your cholesterol
  • Take coenzyme Q10 supplements, which may stave off side effects in some people

The statin medications that are approved for use in the U.S. include:

  • Lipitor

Eating Foods That Contain Vitamin D

Some foods are rich in vitamin D, making them a good natural source of this vitamin. Foods that contain vitamin D include fatty fish, such as tuna, avocado, nuts, salmon or mackerel, cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms and beef liver.Fortified foods may also contain vitamin D. Certain types of milk, yogurt and other dairy products, as well as soy drinks, breakfast cereals and orange juices, may contain added vitamin D. You can often find this information on the products nutrition facts label.

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Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss

One of the most common questions. The answer: Maybe. There is no clear scientific evidence that this drug directly causes hair loss but there are some anecdotic reports that link Metformin and hair loss. There is no warning about potential hair fall as a side effect on drug labels of boxes of Metformin.

However, some people have experienced this problem after taking the drug.

A patient taking Metformin for diabetes type 2 experienced a sudden loss of eyebrow and eyelash hair about 4 months after starting his treatment with the drug. Other people have reported losing body hair after taking Metformin and hair regrowth when stoping the drug.

Studies have also shown that Metformin depletes the bodys levels of folate and vitamin B-12, both important for hair growth and health.

If you are taking Metformin and experiencing hair loss, talk to your doctor about other options or about how you can modify your diet or supplement to get enough vitamin B12 and folic acid.

What Medications Cause Hair Loss

Do Statins 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.

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Pravachol Statins And Hair Loss


I couldn’t seem to find any answers to this type of question. I recently had a consultation with Dr. Paul Rose and mentioned I take Pravachol for high cholesterol. He mentioned that statins in some cases are said to cause hair loss. Up until this time I thought my hair los was due to age or hormones as I’ve had all the bloodwork done and it is all normal. I have been taking Pravachol for 5 to 7 years now and am not sure when I started experiencing thinning hair, but I am just noticing it now because of the amount I’ve lost. Is there anyone here that has experienced this type of hair loss? If so, did you stop taking the statin and did your hair grow back?


From what I have read, statins can affect your hormones, and hormonal changes can cause hair loss.The good news is, most hormonal related hair loss is reversible if the hormonal problem is rectified. This is even true with female and male pattern baldness which is why Propecia can be effective. Successful hair regrowth will ultimately depend on how much hair loss you’ve experienced and getting your hormones back to normal.

You may consider asking your physician to prescribe you another cholesterol medication that doesn’t contain statins and see if your hair grows back.

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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Vitamin D And Hair Growth

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin made in the skin. When your skin comes into contact with the suns UV light, it becomes activated and travels to the liver and kidneys. It then undergoes further chemical reactions to produce its final active form. This nutrient helps control calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood, regulates the immune system, and exerts anti-inflammatory properties.

Hair follicle cells contain receptors for vitamin D, making it important in hair growth. People with genetic mutation of this receptor, like those with type II rickets, have very little to no hair growth on their bodies.

Evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency is linked to alopecia areata, an autoimmune form of hair loss. A meta-analysis found that the average vitamin D level in alopecia areata patients is significantly lower compared to people without this type of hair loss. Additionally, alopecia areata patients were more likely to be vitamin D deficient.

This study did not find a significant link between vitamin D levels and the severity of hair loss. However, a more recent test in 45 adults found a negative correlation between vitamin D levels and the severity of alopecia areata. Another study showed the same results in 50 individuals with androgenic alopecia , with a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of the disease in these patients, as well.


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