Lustrous and strong hair is a sign of a healthy person. It is no wonder that sudden hair loss is a cause for alarm and concern. Alopecia, or hair loss, can happen to men or women, and is often caused by poor nutrition and diet, illness, sudden weight loss, hormonal imbalances caused by childbirth, recent surgeries, stress, genetics, drugs and overuse of supplements. Medicine sometimes interrupts the normal scalp hair growth cycle and damage the hair follicles. Hair growth has four phases including the anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen phases spanning the growth of hair, resting period and hair fall leading to new hair growth.
Types of Hair Loss
Hair loss is the side effect of various types of medicine and is dependent on each individual’s metabolism and sensitivities. Drug users who ingest high doses of medication are more likely to experience the symptoms. Anagen effluvium is long-term scalp hair loss during the ‘new growth’ phase and mainly the side effect of chemotherapy. It includes the thinning of eyebrows, eyelashes and other body hair. Telogen effluvium is temporary hair loss occurring during the ‘resting’ phase and is a side effect of common prescriptions. New hair continues growing and stopping usage or altering the dosage of the drug can remedy the hair loss.
Medications That Can Cause Hair Loss
Some of the drugs causing hair loss are listed below:
- Anticoagulants which prevent blood clots like Warfarin
Antifungal medications like Voriconazole
Antibiotics can lower your Vitamin B and haemoglobin levels, thereby causing anemia and hair loss
Anticonvulsants like Tridione which prevent seizures
Antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac where long-term usage lowers the haemoglobin level
Immunosuppressants like Leflunomide used in conditions like Lupus
High intake of vitamin A and its derived medication including Accutane and Retin-A.
Blood pressure drugs like Tenormin
Cholesterol reducing drugs like Lipitor
Chemotherapy drugs kill all fast-growing cells including hair cells
Gout medication like Lopurin
- Weight loss drugs like Phentermine
- Hormone therapies including birth control pills can even cause permanent pattern baldness in women. Women who have had a full hysterectomy or are post-menopausal may require hormone replacement therapy. Testosterone replacement therapy can cause permanent pattern baldness in men.
Remedies to Combat Hair Loss
The GP or trichologist may advise a scalp analysis or blood test to determine hormonal imbalances. Laser therapy and hair transplant options are also available. If you’re experiencing hair loss do contact a Transitions member hair loss center by clicking here. A healthy lifestyle with good nutrition, minimal stress and regular hair care can help regrow your precious mane and confidence.