Drug Induced Hair Loss

A word on this topic: I am not a doctor, I can only comment on what I see with my clients in the salon and from the data that I collect. Most women have genetic female hair loss, but there are a lot of women who suffer from drug-induced hair loss.

If you are already predisposed to genetic hair loss and find yourself on medication, your hair loss situation can intensify, regardless of your age. This list is a simple round-up of drugs and types of hair loss and I have seen almost all of these situations at my salon. This is a primer. Please always discuss your hair loss with your doctor when you are prescribed a new drug.

Below is an excerpt from The American Hair Loss Association.

Many commonly prescribed prescription drugs can cause temporary hair loss, trigger the onset of male and female pattern baldness, and even cause permanent hair loss. Note that the drugs listed here do not include those used in chemotherapy and radiation for cancer treatment.

Your doctor may not mention hair loss as a side effect of some drugs, so don’t forget to do your own research and read the drug manufacturer’s complete warnings. Your pharmacist can provide you with this information even before you fill a prescription.

Many pill and medication guidebooks (sold in bookstores and pharmacies) are also excellent sources of complete information about prescription drugs. If your doctor prescribes any of the following drugs, ask about alternatives that do not cause hair loss as a side effect.

The drugs are listed by category, according to the conditions they treat, then by brand name first, followed by the drug’s generic name in parentheses. In some categories, individual drugs are not listed. For these conditions, you will want to discuss the possibility of hair loss as a side effect of using any of the drugs that treat that particular condition, since many do contribute to hair loss.

Acne
All drugs derived from vitamin A as treatments for acne or other conditions, including:

  • Accutane (isotretinoin)

Blood
Anticoagulants (blood thinners), including:

  • Panwarfin (warfarin sodium)
  • ofarin (warfarin sodium)
  • Coumadin (warfarin sodium)
  • Heparin injections

Cholesterol
Cholesterol-lowering drugs, including:

  • Atronid-S (clofibrate)
  • Lopid (gemfibrozil)

Convulsions/ Epilepsy

  • Anticonvulsants, including Tridone (trimethadione)

Depression
Anti-depression drugs, including:

  • Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride)
  • Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Anafranil (clomipramine)
  • Janimine (imipramine)
  • Tofranil (imipramine)
  • Tofranil PM (imipramine)
  • Adapin (doxepin)
  • Sinequan (doxepin)
  • Surmontil (trimipramine)
  • Pamelor (nortriptyline)
  • Ventyl (nortriptyline)
  • Elavin (amitriptyline)
  • Endep (amitriptyline)
  • Norpramin (desipramine)
  • Pertofrane (desipramine)
  • Vivactil (protriptyline hydrochloride)
  • Asendin (amoxapine)
  • Haldol ( haloperidol)

Diet

  • Amphetamines

Fungus

  • Anti-fungals

Glaucoma
The beta-blocker drugs, including:

  • Timoptic Eye Drops (timolol)
  • Timoptic Ocudose (timolol)
  • Timoptic XC (timolol)

Gout

  • Lopurin (allopurinol)
  • Zyloprim (allopurinol)

Heart
Many drugs prescribed for the heart, including those known as the beta blockers, which are also used to treat high blood pressure, and include:

  • Tenormin (atenolol)
  • Lopressor (metoprolol)
  • Corgard (nadolol)
  • Inderal and Inderal LA (propanolol)
  • Blocadren (timolol)

High Blood Pressure
See Above list of beta blockers under “Heart.”

Hormonal Conditions
All hormone-containing drugs and drugs prescribed for hormone-related, reproductive, male-specific, and female-specific conditions and situations have the potential to cause hair loss, including:

  • Birth Control Pills
  • Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) for women (estrogen or progesterone)
  • Male androgenic hormones and all forms of testosterone
  • Anabolic steriods
  • Prednisone and other steroids

Inflammation
Many anti-inflammatory drugs, including those prescribed for localized pain, swelling and injury.

  • Arthritis drugs
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs including:
  • Naprosyn (naproxen)
  • Anaprox (naproxen)
  • Anaprox DS (naproxen)
  • Indocin (indomethacin)
  • Indocin SR (indomethacin)
  • Clinoril (sulindac)

An anti-inflammatory that is also used as a chemotherapy drug:

  • Methotrexate (MTX)
  • Rheumatex (methotrexate)
  • Folex (methotrexate)Is conditioner going to weigh my hair down?