What Medications Can Cause Hair Loss 46 Known Drugs
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.
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.
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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Why Is My Hair Falling Out 7 Causes Of Male Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Its a common situation: after taking a shower or brushing your hair, you notice a bit more of your hair falls out more than normal and collects around the drain or is stuck to your brush. You may even start to wonder how much hair loss is normal.
While everyone sheds a certain amount of hair daily , losing more hair than normal could be a sign that youre beginning to lose your hair as a result of a health condition like male pattern baldness.
Hair loss due to male pattern baldness occurs when DHT, a male androgen hormone, starts to affect the integrity of your hair follicles and disrupts your hair growth cycle.
myths about hair lossIts also possible to lose hair for a variety of other reasons, from stress to nutritional deficiencies.
What Is Traction Alopecia
This is a small or localized hair loss area caused by repetitive or persistent pulling or traction on hair roots.
- Tight braids and ponytails can pull hard enough on hairs to make them fall out. If this happens, it’s best to choose hairstyles that put less tension on the hair.
- Doing this sooner helps to avoid permanent damage.
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How Shapiro Md Can Help
At Shapiro MD, we help you find the right solution for your situation.
Looking for natural solutions? We have that. Ready for powerful prescriptions? We have that too.
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Treatment Options Include Medication And Surgery
If shedding is caused by illness, hair often grows back once the underlying problem is resolved. For male-pattern hair loss, there are two FDA-approved medications for female-pattern hair loss, theres only one. The most effectiveand only permanenttreatment, however, is a hair transplant: a dermatologist harvests healthy follicles from areas of dense growth and implants them where theyre needed. NYU Langones Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery offers an approach that is less invasive, extracting follicles with air pressure and suction rather than incisions. Says Dr. Shapiro: The results can be dramatic.
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Prescription And Otc Medication
The Food and Drug Administration has approved two medications to treat male pattern baldness:
- Minoxidil .Rogaine is available over the counter as a liquid or foam. Apply it to the scalp twice a day to encourage hair growth and prevent hair loss.
- Finasteride .Finasteride is a pill that you take daily. Its only available with a prescription from your doctor.
For both minoxidil and finasteride, it may take up to a year to see results, and youll need to keep taking them to maintain the benefits.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Stop My Hair From Falling Out Naturally
Everyone loses hair naturally and it is normal for hair to thin somewhat when you get older. But the truth is that male pattern hair loss is a genetic condition that cannot be stopped entirely.
There is a condition called Traction Alopecia, which is caused by constant pulling or tension of your hairs over a long period. You dont have to be dragged around the floor by your head to suffer from this either if you often wear tight braids, particularly cornrows, or tight ponytails, you are more likely to get Traction Alopecia. So try not to pull your hair tight excessively. Some experts also recommend exercise as a good way to maintain a healthy head of hair.
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Epclusa And Other Medications
Below is a list of medications that can interact with Epclusa. This list doesnt contain all drugs that may interact with Epclusa.
Before taking Epclusa, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Taking Epclusa with amiodarone can cause bradycardia, which is a dangerously slow heart rate. This condition has also occurred with other medications that contain sofosbuvir, one of the components of Epclusa.
Some people who have taken amiodarone and sofosbuvir-containing medications have required a pacemaker in order to maintain a regular heart rate.
Taking amiodarone and Epclusa together isnt recommended. If you have to take amiodarone while you receive Epclusa treatment, your doctor will closely monitor your heart function.
Taking Epclusa with digoxin can increase the amount of digoxin in your body. Increased digoxin levels can put you at risk of dangerous side effects.
If you need to take Epclusa and digoxin together, your doctor will closely monitor the amount of digoxin in your body. You may need a different digoxin dosage.
Certain cholesterol medications
Examples of seizure medications to avoid if youre taking Epclusa include:
Physical And Emotional Stresses Can Play A Role
Alopecia causes 95 percent of cases of hair loss in men, and about 40 percent in women. But hair loss can have many other causes. Some people suffer from an autoimmune disorder that causes scattered bald patches. Shedding can also be triggered by unusual stress. I call it the three Bs: bereavement, bankruptcy, or a breakup, says Dr. Shapiro. Other culprits include chemotherapy, pregnancy, menopause, anabolic steroids, cigarette smoking, high doses of vitamin A, and some prescription medications. Compulsive hair pulling or tight ponytails can do it, too. See a doctor if you notice abundant hair where you wouldnt normally see much, such as on your pillow, Dr. Shapiro advises.
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Hormones And Androgenetic Alopecia
The role of androgen in male pattern hair loss is well established. American anatomist James Hamilton observed that castrated males did not develop MAA unless they were supplemented with testosterone .
Measurements of serum androgens, testosterone, dihydroepiandrosterone sulphate , and free testosterone levels have failed to demonstrate a reproducible difference between cases and controls . A study that assessed different hormonal levels in MAA and age-matched controls measured elevated levels of cortisol and androstenedione in those experiencing MAA . This study further suggests a broad range of hormones may influence androgenetic alopecia. Even though scalp hair loss and hirsutism are essential features of hyperandrogenism in women, several investigations failed to demonstrate raised androgen levels in women . Therefore it is suggested that normal levels of androgens are sufficient to cause hair loss in genetically susceptible individuals.
The observation that eunuchoidal patients with androgen-insensitivity syndrome and 5 alpha-reductase deficiency do not go bald suggests that MAA is induced by activation of follicular androgen receptors by DHT . Patients affected by Kennedy’s disease, with a functional abnormality of the androgen receptor gene, have a reduced risk of MAA . Increased levels of DHT have been found in balding scalp compared to non-balding scalp .
Smoking And Hair Loss
If for nothing else, you need to quit smoking if you really care about your hair. This is because the carbon monoxide you inhale while smoking stops the transportation of oxygen and other vital nutrients from the blood to hair follicles. In other words, nicotine limits the blood vessels, further obstructing fresh hair growth.
The health problems connected with smoking are undeniable. Apart from the fact that it increases your chances of cancer and heart disease, there are equally various theories suggesting that the nicotine in tobacco can increase the aging process, and cause premature hair loss.
Furthermore, the carcinogens in tobacco are said to impede hair growth, thereby increasing the chances of temporary hair loss. Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, smoking can also speed up the aging process which can consequently increase the chances of sagging skin, wrinkles, and possibly early hair loss.
Similar to smoking, excessive intake of alcohol is thought to be one of the leading causes of hair loss in young males. While average drinkers can hold on to their hair, habitual consumers are at high risk. Alcohol is said to suck the body of its iron supply, thereby hampering the absorption of zinc.
Aside from that, too much intake of alcohol equally causes dehydration, preventing the body from absorbing essential nutrients. Since hair is nearly one-fourth water, excessive consumption of alcohol will undoubtedly leave it brittle.
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Tldr: Why Your Hair Is Falling Out
If your hair is falling out, there can be any number of permanent and temporary causes, from genetic conditions to hormonal imbalances to severe stress.
In fact, hair loss can occur for any of the following reasons:
Male pattern baldness. High levels of the DHT can cause damage to your hair follicles, eventually leading to your hair falling out. This condition is typically genetic.
Stress. Stress from traumatic events can cause excessive shedding, known as telogen effluvium.
Poor diet. Eating an unbalanced diet or following a crash diet fad may cause rapid weight loss, but you may also notice your hair temporarily falling out too.
Certain medications. Chemotherapy, high blood pressure medicine, blood thinners, beta blockers, oral retinoids, thyroid medications and more are all linked to hair loss.
Medical conditions. Certain medical conditions, such as lupus, thyroid conditions, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, skin infections and more, can be the cause of hair loss.
Hair care products and tight hairstyles. Repeated use of hair products and styling tools may weaken your hair, causing it to become brittle and prone to breakage.
Should You Wear A Hairpiece
Theyâve come a long way. It takes time and research to find the right one, though, because thereâs a wide range in cost and quality. And hairpieces also need regular maintenance, which can run between $60 and $300 per month. When you’re shopping for one, try to match your own hair color, thickness, and curl.
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Medications And Hair Loss
Hair loss is a common side effect of many medications. Most of the time, these drugs only cause temporary hair loss that goes away once youve adjusted to or stopped taking the medicine.
These medications damage the hair follicles themselves, disrupting growth at different stages.
Two kinds of hair loss may occur. One is telogen effluvium, or short-term, temporary hair loss. This occurs in the resting phase of the hair follicle, but new hair growth continues.
Another type of hair loss often caused by medications is anagen effluvium. This is a longer-term type and often also includes thinning or loss of other body hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. Anagen effluvium takes place in the hairs new growth phase.
Here are some of the types of medications that can cause hair loss as a side effect.
Can Liver Disease Cause Hair Loss
Hair loss is not a common symptom of liver disease. But because the liver processes androgen hormones and fat a poor functioning liver may also affect your hair follicles. What is interesting is hair loss in people with liver cirrhosis is fairly common.
Cirrhosis generally develops over months or even years by replacing the livers healthy tissue with hard scar tissue. This left untreated can cause liver failure. If cirrhosis is the cause of hair loss you would usually have other symptoms such as:
- Swelling in your legs, ankles or stomach
- Tenderness and swelling in the liver area
- Tiredness and a feeling of weakness in the body
Its more difficult to reverse liver damage once you have cirrhosis but it is also as difficult to diagnose acute liver damage as there are, in most cases, no symptoms.
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Most Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Men
Men are no strangers to hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of men in the United States experience hair loss by the age of 35. By the age of 50, approximately 85 percent of American men report noticeable hair thinning. While receding hairlines and bald spots can be attributed to genetics, there are other types of hair loss and thinning that occur as a result of diet, medical conditions, medications, stress, and more. Here, a guide to the five most common causes of hair loss in men and how to treat them.
Is Hair Loss In Women Different Than Men
Women lose hair on an inherited basis, too, but female pattern hair loss tends to be more diffuse, with less likelihood of the crown and frontal hairline being lost.
- Although some women may notice hair thinning as early as their 20s, the pace of hair loss tends to be gradual, often taking years to become obvious to others.
- There seems to be a normal physiologic thinning that comes with age and occurs in many women in their early to mid-30s.
- More women have underlying causes of hair loss than men. These include treatable conditions like anemia and thyroid disease and polycystic ovary syndrome .
- These conditions are diagnosed by blood tests along with historical and physical evidence.
While stories about hats choking off follicles or long hair pulling on the roots may be more folklore, repeat hair trauma like tightly woven hair pulled back and consistent friction can potentially worsen or cause localized hair loss in some individuals. Individuals who pull their hair tightly back in a rubber band can develop a localized hair loss at the front of the scalp.
Hair loss “myths” of special concern to women
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