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What Drugs Can Cause Hair Loss

True & Dorin Medical Group

Medications that can cause hair loss

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

High Blood Pressure Medications

We usually hear a lot about metoprolol side effects including hair loss. But that is not the only blood pressure medication linked to alopecia. ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, both used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions, can cause hair fall in some patients after a few months of starting the treatment.

The most common heart and blood pressure medications that cause hair loss include:

  • Metoprolol
  • Captopril
  • Propranolol
  • Timolol

Only about 1 to 5 percent of patients report hair loss with blood pressure medication, and it is usually a temporary side effect and fully reversible.

Furosemide is a blood pressure medication that does not cause hair loss as is Hydrochlorothiazide. Discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of these drugs and the ones you are taking.

Do not interrupt or change the dose of your current medication without first consulting with a health professional.

The World Of Naturopathy

It is worth mentioning that for virtually every single medication that may cause hair loss, there is a naturopathic alternative that has nowhere near the same side effects. Often, it can feel easier, and even cheaper, to trust in allopathic medications to treat your illness. This sad truth is because naturopathy means more work and greater attention to your total lifestyle. For example, you may need to try this or that vitamin, take this or that supplement, experiment with this or that food and exercise plan, and see how it works for you. The world of pharmaceuticals would have us convinced that a single pill is a one size fits all treatment for all bodies. The reality, however, is that some people experience serious side effects that can be even worse than the original ailment being treated. Hair loss is only one side effect among them.

Of course, this is not to say not to take the medication prescribed by your doctor, especially for acute pain or lifesaving measures. It is to say that your health, ultimately, is in your hands, and it is worth exploring all of your options.

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How To Cope With Hair Loss

Keep your hair healthy and as thick as possible while being treated with these tips:

Practice good hair care. Use conditioner and dont rub your scalp too hard when shampooing or towel-drying. Avoid styling products and heat, and dont pull your hair back in tight pony tails.

Use a thickening hair growth shampoo. I found this stuff called Nutri-Ox, a shampoo, conditioner, and scalp spray, and using it my hair has started to regrow, Sharon C. told us.

With your doctors OK, consider medical hair loss treatments. I committed six months to a hair growth treatment program thankfully it worked, Deb S. told us. I also changed medication. My hair is back in full force, no more wig and Im still using the growth program.

Keep a positive outlook. Methotrexate improved my RA and I am able to walk, so considering the alternative of not taking it and having my hair back, I have learned to live with the thinning, Mariann V. told us. I wish it was not so, but so many others have far worse things to deal with!

Even if hair loss happens, some patients put it in perspective this way: My hair is still thin but would not stop my meds due to it, Mary J. told us on Facebook. Rather have less pain and no hair. No-brainer!

You Don’t Have To Settle For Yhair Loss Contact Us Today To Start Your New Life

What Medications Can Cause Hair Loss?

If you are unhappy with the state of your hair, you are not alone. Most men and many women experience some degree of hair loss as they age. Thanks to modern hair transplant technology, hair loss does not have to be permanent.

We invite anyone curious about hair transplants to schedule a consultation with our medical team today. With several offices in the Greater New York City area and one in Boston, we are always ready to welcome new patients and provide information on the variety of hair restoration treatments we provide.

You can schedule a consultation with The Hair Loss Doctors at TRUE & DORINby filling out our online form or calling:

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Hair Loss From Mental Health

Lastly, drug use causes stress on your body and your mental health. Long-term exposure to stress can cause extreme hair shedding which is also a contributor to telogen effluvium. When you are not taking care of your body, exposing yourself to stress, and increasingly being exposed to trauma, hair loss is the outcome.

Achieve Long-Term Sobriety at The Hope House

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.

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What Happens To Neglected Hair

When hair is not properly taken care of, it affects the scalp as well as the hair itself. Regularly washing hair clears away dead skin and brushing hair removes any strands that are ready to fall out naturally. Not washing the hair can cause dermatological issues on the scalp such as seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly referred to as dandruff. The result of this can cause an increase in itching and picking at the scalp, which in severe cases, damages the hair follicle and leads to permanent hair loss.

However, the relationship between drug addiction and hair loss is far more complicated than simply skipping a few showers. In fact, people suffering from substance use disorder also experience drastic chemical and hormonal changes internally that have negative consequences on hair growth another reason why drug abuse causes hair loss.

Medications And Hair Loss

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

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.

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Treatments For Neurologic Conditions Can Change Hairs Texture Color And Volume These Experts Explain Why And How To Handle The Changes

Kelly Baker was 13 when she was diagnosed with and prescribed divalproex sodium . The drug controlled her seizures but caused her hair to fall out, which was terrifying. “When it first started, I had no idea what was going on,” says Baker, who is now 42 and lives in Los Angeles, where she’s a family therapist. When her doctor adjusted the dose, the problem resolved. But a strange thing happened when her hair started to grow back. Her previously straight hair came in curly”not a little bit curly but the curliest hair you’ve ever seen.” Baker didn’t know how to tame it or style it or which products to buy. And she didn’t love being asked repeatedly by classmates and friends, “What happened to your hair?”

Hair Stories

Baker’s change in hair texture is not uncommon after hair loss, says Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Different factors like hormones, nutrition, and genetics can change hair color or texture,” she says.

Baker endured her curls for two years and then found a stylist who could relax it with chemicals. “I didn’t want to look different,” explains Baker, who still takes divalproex sodium. “But I hated the process. It’s so bad for your hair, and the chemicals get into your system, and it never lasts. I’d get it done, and then my hair would grow an inch and I’d be back where I started.”

Hair Stories

How Hair Grows

Losing It

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.

Also Check: How To Tell If Your Hair Is Thinning Male

Preventing Vitamin B Deficiency

Maintaining a well-rounded diet including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables should be sufficient for most people to prevent deficiency. However, many women experience hair loss during menopause and pregnancy due to a decrease in B12 and other nutrients. Groups with restricted diets such as vegans, those who have recently lost a substantial amount of weight, or patients with hyperthyroidism can often suffer from vitamin B deficiency and hair loss. For these types of patients, their primary physician can often provide sufficient nutritional counseling.

Hair Loss From Antidepressants And Blood Thinners Overview

11 Prescription Medications That Can Cause Hair Loss

At TRUE & DORIN Medical Group, we commonly see patients who have suffered hair loss due to antidepressants and blood thinners, as well as other medications. The type of hair loss experienced when taking these types of medications is called telogen effluvium. It causes hair follicles to enter the resting stage, which is also called the telogen phase. In this stage, more hair is shed, leading to widespread hair loss that typically affects the entire scalp.

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Hair Loss And Vitamin B Overview

Hair growth is a delicate bodily function that can be affected by many factors, including our diets. For this reason, a vitamin B deficiency and hair loss are often interrelated. While you may be able to improve thinning hair by integrating these vitamins into your diet more regularly, some patients will require professional hair restoration treatment. Temporary hair loss caused by vitamin B deficiency can trigger a genetic hair loss condition that can often be permanent.

What Are The Clinical Features Of Drug

Hair loss due to medications is usually diffuse and nonscarring. The hair loss may be patterned as seen in male-pattern or androgenetic alopecia or female-pattern alopecia. The scalp is the most common site affected, but all body hair including eyebrows and eyelashes may be lost with chemotherapy.

Anagen effluvium hair loss may become obvious within days to weeks of starting chemotherapy, whereas with telogen effluvium the hair loss usually becomes evident after 24 months.

In a study of women having chemotherapy for breast cancer, the average time between starting chemotherapy and hair loss was 45 weeks but occurred in some as early as two weeks. The hair loss was maximal in the second cycle with more than 1000 hairs/day being lost in severe cases. Even with chemotherapy, the degree of hair loss can vary between no noticeable effect through to severe rapid, extensive loss, even on the same drugs and regimes.

Alopecia from drugs

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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.

How Substance Abuse Affects Hair Health

Can Medications Cause Hair Loss? | Natural Hair Growth Options

There are many reasons why drug abuse may lead to hair loss. Furthermore, strange changes in the physical appearance of those with substance use disorder is a very common side effect of drug and alcohol abuse. In fact, unhealthy hair is one of the most common warning signs that someone is suffering from addiction.

One of the most common side effects of substance abuse is anxiety. Anxiety leads to nervous habits that include picking at the skin and actively pulling at the hair. When the hair is pulled out by force, the hair follicle becomes damaged and traumatized. The hair follicle is where the hair grows out of and anchors the hair to the scalp. When it is damaged, it puts the person at high risk of permanently losing the hair. Some drugs that are more likely to cause nervous hair pulling include stimulants, such as:

People who are actively misusing drugs and alcohol may also neglect their physical appearance. They are so consumed by their addiction that they spend the majority of their time getting and using drugs. As a result, they skip out on basic personal hygiene activities, including taking care of their hair and skin. Hair washing and brushing might wind up very low on someones list of priorities when they are suffering from substance use disorder, leading to further damage to the hair and scalp.

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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.

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