Could Your Medicine Cause Hair Loss?
Drug unwanted side effects will be actually scary. Watch a couple of TV commercials and you’ll hear the announcer describe adversarial reactions reminiscent of blood clots, pancreatitis, coronary heart assaults, strokes and most cancers. However there’s a drug facet impact that’s not life threatening that physicians and pharmacists choose to not point out to sufferers. Its official identify is alopecia. Hair thinning or baldness is one other solution to describe this adversarial response. A shocking variety of medicines could cause hair loss.
Hair and a Sense of Self Value:
Having hair fall out could appear to be such a minor complication that it barely deserves point out. In comparison with most cancers or strokes, drug-induced alopecia appears insignificant. On the opposite, many individuals inform us that this adversarial response impacts their well-being and may all the time be revealed upfront.
It’s not simply males who’re affected by medicine that trigger hair loss. An incredible many ladies have contacted us to share their anguish as properly.
Among the most generally prescribed medicines could cause hair loss. We’re not speaking about chemotherapy for most cancers sufferers. That’s well known as a tradeoff price accepting should you can remedy a malignancy.
Generally Prescribed Medicines That Trigger Hair Loss:
The medicine we’re referring to incorporate non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine generally known as NSAIDs, beta blocker blood strain medicines, statin-type cholesterol-lowering medicines, zits therapies, antidepressants, anticoagulants and anticonvulsants incessantly prescribed for the remedy of ache.
Listed here are a number of the messages we now have obtained from readers of this newspaper column.
Beta Blockers Can Trigger Hair Loss:
“I’ve been taking metoprolol for 14 years. The unwanted side effects have been hair loss, weight achieve, rashes, shortness of breath, fatigue, and extra. I’m now lowering the dose with my physician’s supervision. The withdrawal has been completely horrid (e.g. complications, muscle aches, spaciness and hives).”
Metoprolol is a beta blocker prescribed for coronary heart issues and hypertension. Like many beta blockers, it could actually trigger hair thinning. Nobody ought to EVER cease this drug out of the blue, because it might result in severe issues.
Margaret was additionally taking metoprolol:
“I’ve been taking metoprolol for a few yr and I’m shedding my hair at a speedy tempo. I did recommend that to my physician, however she stated it was not a drug facet impact.”
“I’m now motivated to make life fashion adjustments like train, shed some pounds, cut back salt, caffeine, and sugar. If I can management my blood strain with out a beta blocker and get my hair again, I can be so completely satisfied.”
One other beta blocker is used for glaucoma. Ruth reported:
“I used to be placed on eyedrops for extreme glaucoma, Cosopt. They include timolol, a beta blocker. After a number of weeks, my hair started falling out–brushfuls with each stroke. My hairdresser stated that blood-pressure medicine (i.e., the beta blocker, although this one was in eyedrop type) are well-known for inflicting hair loss.”
Meloxicam and Methotrexate Can Trigger Hair Loss:
“I’ve psoriatic arthritis and was prescribed meloxicam and methotrexate. My hair fell out and my blood strain went too excessive.”
Each the NSAID meloxicam and the anti-inflammatory methotrexate can result in alopecia.
Can Statins Trigger Hair Loss?
Kathy took atorvastatin (Lipitor) to decrease her ldl cholesterol:
“I began shedding hair at a quick charge. I used to be informed that may be a facet impact. Nonetheless, they stated it had solely been reported by a small variety of sufferers. An individual working at my pharmacy stated she can also be taking atorvastatin and is having hair loss as properly.”
This isn’t a facet impact talked about within the official Lipitor prescribing info. However we did discover this within the American Journal of Medicine (Aug. 1, 2002):
“Though alopecia is listed as a possible adversarial impact on package deal inserts, revealed stories documenting this adversarial impact are scarce. We current a case of reversible alopecia attributed to atorvastatin.”
The physician reported that hair development restarted after the statin was discontinued.
Mary was taking a distinct statin:
“I’ve all the time had a terrific head of hair. I began taking lovastatin about 5 months in the past and I can’t consider how skinny my hair has gotten.”
Dee was additionally prescribed lovastatin:
“I’m taking lovastatin and seen that my hair has thinned over 50% since taking it. I can now see my scalp. I’m solely 48 years previous and discover this hair loss affecting my potential to be ok with my seems. I informed my docs that I assumed it was the lovastatin they usually informed me that it couldn’t be. Signed, pissed off.”
If physicians bothered to go to the official prescribing info for lovastatin they’d discover “alopecia” listed as a facet impact underneath the class Pores and skin.
The “Cat Woman” provides this:
“I’m taking lovastatin as properly. I truly discovered the Folks’s Pharmacy web site making an attempt to analysis to see if it was the lovastatin making my hair come out. I’ve been on lovastatin for a couple of years now and my hair sheds like a cat (no lie).
“I have no idea how I nonetheless have any hair…it’s not thick to start out with. Each single time I contact my hair it sheds in strands of about 10 for every time I run my hand by way of a bit of my hair. Every time I’ve a handful by the point I’m finished.
“I’m scared to the touch it, however preserve touching it to see if it sheds… and it does. This actually sucks.”
And this from MS about two medicine that may trigger hair loss:
“For greater than a yr I’ve expressed my concern about my thinning hair to my internist, two dermatologists and at last an endocrinologist. All attributed my hair loss to the ‘growing old course of’ and will supply no assist besides ‘get some Rogaine.’
“I’ve tried numerous shampoos & conditioners, stopped processing my hair, modified my vitamin regime and so on. and so on. Thanks for figuring out two meds which might be prescribed for me, atenolol and lovastatin; each or both may very well be the trigger for my dilemma.”
By no means Cease Meds Instantly…Particularly NOT Beta Blockers!
In fact, nobody ought to ever cease taking a drugs with out checking with the prescriber. Typically a facet impact can’t be averted as a result of the medication is important for survival. That’s definitely the case with anticancer medicine.
Regardless that hair loss could not appear to be an vital response to a well being care skilled, it might make an enormous distinction in how a affected person feels from everyday. That’s why docs and pharmacists ought to all the time inform sufferers in regards to the potential for this facet impact. There could also be an alternate medicine that doesn’t trigger alopecia.
If you need to study extra about medicine that trigger hair loss, we now have listed many others in our free Guide to Hair and Nail Care. You will see it underneath the Health eGuides tab. Share your personal expertise with drug-induced hair loss within the remark part under.