If you’ve suddenly begun to experience hair loss, your medication may be at fault. Several medications have hair loss as a side effect, including some over-the-counter drugs you might regularly take.
Medications That Cause Hair Loss
A variety of drugs can lead to hair loss or hair falling out, including:
Anticlotting medications, antidepressants, and antibiotics. Be aware of the side effects of acne medication containing retinoids, birth control, medicine that lowers cholesterol, and immunosuppressants. Medication prescribed to treat epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and thyroid disorders can also have a side effect of hair loss. Blood pressure medication, hormone replacement therapy, mood stabilizers, and steroids may be the culprit if you’ve noticed hair loss. Finally, be careful about weight loss medication and the group of drugs known as NSAIDs, which includes ibuprofen, which can cause hair loss. You might not think about their possible side effects because you can buy these medicines over the counter.
Other drugs may cause hair loss. Just because it’s not on this list doesn’t mean hair loss isn’t one of the side effects.
Why Do Some Medications Cause Hair Loss?
Medicines that cause you to lose hair interrupt the hair growth cycle. Most drug-induced hair loss appears between two to four months after you start taking the medication. This is known as telogen effluvium and happens when the hair follicles go into a resting state, causing your hair to fall out early. You may shed up to 70% extra hair each day.
The other type of hair loss caused by medication is known as anagen effluvium, which prevents the cells that create new hair growth from dividing as needed. This type of hair loss is noticeable within a few days or weeks of taking a medication.
What To Do If Medications Cause Hair Loss
If possible, talk to your doctor about an alternative medication, including natural treatment options. If that’s not possible, consider adjusting the dosage. You shouldn’t cease taking medication or adjust dosage without your doctor’s approval, however.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always an alternative, and you may need to continue a life-saving medication. Sometimes, a supplement that encourages hair growth may help. If you’d like to do something about your hair loss, Custom Hair can help. To schedule a free consultation click here.
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