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What Medications Cause Hair Loss In Females

Why Does Hair Fall From Ceratin Drugs Or Supplements

Are Your Prescription Medications Causing Hair Loss?| Hair Loss Treatment for Men & Women

Before we tackle what medication causes hair loss, we need to know why. The reason some treatments cause hair loss is that they are toxic to the hair follicles. The follicles, or the roots, are the bulbs of the hair. The follicles are responsible for sustaining the hair and for providing nourishment so that the shaft remains strong. When the follicle is damaged due to harsh chemicals, the normal cycle of hair growth and hair rejuvenation is disrupted. This can cause brittleness, dryness, hair fragility, a shaft that is prone to breakage, and vulnerability to falling out. It, of course, depends on each bodys response to the medication, but there are some drugs and supplements that are known to cause hair loss in most women.

If You Lost Your Hair Due To Medication Will You Get It Back

Many women want to know whether their locks will be growing back after losing them due to prescription drugs or even over-the-counter medications or supplements. The answer is “yes.” After you cease to take your medication, your tresses will regenerate in about six months. After about one year, your hair will go back to normal. Still, make sure to talk to your physician and, in the meanwhile, do not stop your treatment plan, unless otherwise advised by your doctor.

What If I Need To Stay On My Medication

If you need to remain on your medication there are a couple of options that may help.

  • One is to reduce your dose, which may be enough to allow your hair to regrow.
  • Another option is to switch to a different brand or the generic version of your medication, as it may be an inactive ingredient, rather than the drug itself, that is causing your hair loss.

If neither of these options helps, and you feel that you really can’t live with your hair loss, you will need to discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of switching to a different antidepressant.

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Hair Loss: Medications & Treatment Options

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on April 9, 2021.

Hair loss refers to a loss of hair from the scalp or body. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. There are many different causes of alopecia, some permanent, others temporary. Hair loss is more common in men, affecting 60% of men and up to 40% of women.

Hair is composed of a protein called keratin. Hair grows everywhere on our skin, except for on our palms and the soles of our feet. The average adult head grows about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs, and 80 to 100 are normally shed each day. At any one point in time, around 90% of the hair on the scalp is growing. This is known as the anagen phase. There are three main phases of hair growth.

  • The anagen phase. On average, hair grows approximately 0.3-0.4 mm a day on average or around 12-15cm per year, and this is genetically predetermined. As people age, their rate of hair growth slows. The hair root looks long, white, and tapered during this phase.
  • The catagen phase. Hair growth stops during this phase and the hair root starts to shrink and become rounded. This phase may last from two to three weeks.
  • The telogen phase. This is also called the resting stage. The hair root is now fully rounded, and awaiting the growth of a new anagen hair to push it out of the scalp so it can be shed. This phase lasts around three to four months for scalp hair, but can be as long as nine months for hair on other parts of the body, such as the eyebrows.

What Happens If A Woman Takes Finasteride

Female loss of hair can be frightening. Right here are one ...

Another FDA-approved hair loss treatment in men is finasteride, an oral medication, also known by the brand name Propecia. However, it is contraindicated in pregnant women and those who are planning to get pregnant due to the potential cause of congenital abnormalities of male fetuses genitals.

How does it work?

Finasteride works by inhibiting an enzyme that is needed for the production of dihydrotestosterone . DHT is a hormone that causes the hair follicles to shrink, making it difficult for healthy hair to grow.

Can women use finasteride?

Finasteride can be used off-label in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Studies show that it is well-tolerated and results in significant hair regrowth. It is, therefore, an option for female pattern baldness in women who do not plan to get pregnant. This medication can be especially useful for women who have not responded to topical minoxidil .

Also Check: How To Cure Pcos Hair Loss

Treating A Hair Loss Condition Triggered By Vitamin B Deficiency

If your hair loss does not improve after increasing your vitamin B consumption, it may be the result of another condition. For some patients, the reduction in hair follicles in the growth cycle may activate a genetic predisposition, leading to prolonged hair loss.

Dr. True and Dr. Dorin have helped many patients suffering from hair loss caused by a vitamin B deficiency by applying an individualized approach to every treatment.

What Is Androgenetic Alopecia

Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.

As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it’s important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.

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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 taking 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.

Vitamin A And Hair Loss

Hair Loss in Women – Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments

When your body is deficient in vitamin A, it can produce an energy-conserving response. When this occurs, hair growth is typically one of the first processes to be halted. This may lead to a decrease in hair cell regeneration and growth, causing the follicles to remain in the telogen, or resting phase, for a longer period than normal.

High levels of vitamin A can also have negative effects on hair growth as vitamin A is fat-soluble, which means that it is stored in the body’s adipose tissue, so the body stores more of it than other vitamins that are water-soluble. Too much vitamin A can cause your hair follicles to reach the end of the growth phase at a much quicker pace, causing them to fall out faster than the body can replace the hair.

Additionall, vitamin A is considered an essential nutrient for healthy cell development. Among other roles in the body, vitamin A is a key component of gene transcription, skin health, and hair growth. Too much or too little vitamin A in the body can have devastating effects on a patient’s health and can lead to organ damage over time.

Our hair restoration specialists can determine the cause of your hair loss and develop a customized solution.

Patients who are taking retinoid-derived medications may be building up a toxic amount of vitamin A in their bodies without knowing it. For many patients, discontinuing use of the drug may cause hair to begin regrowing. For others, the hair loss may be permanent.

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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

Hair Loss And Acne Medications With Vitamin A Overview

Many commonly prescribed acne medications, such as Accutane®, are retinoid-derived drugs, meaning they contain high levels of vitamin A. At appropriate levels, vitamin A can be beneficial for your skin and hair growth. However, because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, the body stores excess amounts and it is relatively easy to build up a toxic amount in your system, which can result in hair loss.

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Why You Lose Your Hair

As you might suspect, hair loss is completely normal at every age when it happens within certain parameters. Children lose hair every day after all, and the same is true for normal adults.

You can shed about 100 hairs a day as an adult without falling outside normal parameters. The average human head has about 100,000 hairs, and 100 is just a small fraction compared to what growing every day.

In fact, every one of your hair follicles can be in a slightly different position on the circle that represents your hairs three life cycle phases the anagen phase, catagen phase and telogen phase.

Hair grows in the anagen phase, rests in the catagen phase and falls out in the telogen phase before the whole cycle starts again.

Up to 10 percent of your hair is typically in the telogen phase at one time, with about 90 percent of your hair growing in the anagen phase.

What we understand as hair loss is really excessive hair loss the shift from normal percentages to an imbalance of follicles that are remaining in the telogen phase and not regrowing.

Hair might end up stuck in the telogen phase for a variety of reasons autoimmune diseases, stress, trauma to the scalp or body generally.

It may also be due to genetics or hormones. Depending on the cause, hair loss will be characterized as a different condition or disorder.

How Medication Interferes With Hair Loss

Drugs That Cause Hair Loss in Women Too

Medicines can interfere with the normal hair growth cycle. If it affects the anagen phase, the hair loss can last for two to six years. After this, the growth rate should return to normalcy. On the other hand, if the drug affects the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle, hair fall could last for three to four months. They are then replaced with new hair.

The severity of drug-induced alopecia depends on the type of medicine, dosage and sensitivity to the medicine.

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Blood Pressure Medications Captopril And Lisinopril

ACE inhibitors are a class of medications used to treat high blood pressure. They include the medicines, and . Both of the drugs have been known to cause hair lossbut only in around 1% of patients taking them.

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Why Consider Prescription Hair Loss Treatments

Prescription treatments for hair loss can boost confidence, self-esteem and stimulate hair growth. Many women are reticent to take Minoxidil because of its association as a men’s solution to hair loss. However, it’s an especially effective solution for women with Female Pattern Hair Loss . Depending on your age, hair loss condition and receptiveness to other treatment options, prescription hair loss treatments have the potential to stimulate regrowth.

Read Also: Does Lack Of Estrogen Cause Hair Loss

Medications That Cause Hair Loss: Drug

Drug-induced alopecia, or hair loss that develops as a side effect of medication, often occurs within three months of starting a particular medication, but the exact timeline depends on the drug and the type of hair loss. The severity of the alopecia also depends on the dosage, as well as your sensitivity to that drug.

The Hair Growth And Loss Cycle

Causes of Hair Loss in Women

To understand the type of hair loss related to Wellbutrin, it helps to talk about the phases of the hair cycle. Our hair actually goes through four distinct phases between the “birth” of a hair and when it falls out: anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen. The first phase, anagen, determines how long hair will become and lasts from two to six years. Nearly 90% of the hairs on your head are in the anagen phase.

Catagen is a shorter transition phase in which the hair follicle loses its blood supply and stops growing. It then enters the telogen phase, where it stays for three or four months. Exogen is the final phase, in which the hair is shed. Around 10% of your hair is normally in the telogen phase, but this can be much higher if your hair is prematurely shifted to the telogen phase by a physical or emotional stressor.

The type of hair loss experienced by some people on Wellbutrin and other antidepressants is telogen effluvium. It is characterized by widespread thinning of the hair. Often, more hair loss occurs near the front of the head, above the forehead.

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