Both men and women can experience hair loss, which is commonly referred to as alopecia. Causes of hair loss can be due to a combination of health-related conditions, genetic variables, and the use of medications.
Focusing in on medications, Americans take more pills today than any other time in recent history. From 1997 to 2016, although the total U.S. population increased by just 21 percent, the total number of prescriptions filled increased by 85 percent.
If you’re currently taking medication and are experiencing hair loss, here is what you need to know.
The Link Between Medication and Hair Loss
If you are currently taking medications, it is important to understand that hair loss may be a common side effect. Although this type of hair loss is generally temporary, it can be a frightening experience to lose your hair. However, you may experience one of two kinds of hair loss.
Telogen effluvium — In this case, you will experience short-term hair loss. The medication you take disrupts the “resting” phase of your hair follicle. Hair loss occurs but new growth continues.
Anagen effluvium — This type of long-term hair loss impacts your hair’s new growth phase. In turn, you experience thinning hair and hair loss.
More often than not, medications are toxic to hair follicles. Once these follicles become damaged, the normal hair growth cycle is disrupted.
Medications That Cause Hair Loss
The following list is not inclusive. This means that if you are taking medication(s) not listed below and have experienced hair loss or any other symptom for that matter, it is critical that you speak with your doctor.
Antibiotics — Impacting your vitamin B and hemoglobin levels, this will directly impact healthy hair growth.
Anticoagulants — If you take medication to prevent blood clots, such as warfarin and heparin, hair loss may occur for approximately three months.
Weight loss drugs — Medications such as phentermine have been shown to cause hair loss (even though this side effect is not typically listed). When combined with a nutrient-deficient diet, poor hair health generally results. Here is a list of vitamins you SHOULD be eating to boost hair growth.
Chemotherapy drugs — These types of drugs tend to cause anagen effluvium. In addition to the hair on your head, you may also lose your body hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes.
Some other medications include:
- High doses of vitamin A
- Acne medications
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs
- Immunosuppressants (i.e., methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, etc.)
- Medications for gout
- Medications associated with hormone therapies, including birth control pills.
Solutions for Hair Loss & Thinning Hair
At Transitions International, our members know first-hand how hair loss can affect not only your appearance, but also your self-confidence and self-esteem in family, social and professional interactions.
Whether you live in Miami and South Florida, Burlington, Vermont or anywhere in between, if you are experiencing the devastating effects of hair loss and would like to learn more about non-surgical hair replacement options available to you, we invite you to consider scheduling a free private, confidential consultation with an experienced hair loss professional near you.
Get Answers Today
Please fill in the info below to schedule a free in-person or virtual consultation with a Transitions member hair loss center near you. You may also call (800) 280-4247.