Medications That Cause Alopecia


Alopecia, or hair loss, seems to be an annoying condition but can be a symptom of underlying health concerns or the use of medications. You should speak with a qualified health care practitioner before seeking remedies for your Alopecia.

What is Alopecia?

Alopecia is hair loss. Conditions such as heredity, aging, disease, or lifestyle can cause Alopecia. Gradual hair loss is hereditary and a natural event of aging. Aging hair loss type is Androgenetic Alopecia, a natural symptom of getting older.

Different Types of Alopecia

Non-Aging Alopecia

Alopecia that does not result from aging has many causes and can signal an underlying disease, reaction to medications, or stress. Hair loss is sudden and drastic when not evolving from natural aging.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease, a disease from when the immune system causes hair to fall out in patches. You are more likely to get Alopecia Areata if a family member has it, you have asthma or seasonal allergies, or Pernicious anemia. People with Down syndrome, thyroid disease, or vitiligo have risk factors for Alopecia Areata.

Cicatricial Alopecia

Cicatricial alopecias are primary or secondary. Primary Cicatricial Alopecia results from an inflammatory process in the body, resulting in scar tissue. Secondary Cicatricial Alopecia occurs from an external injury such as burns or tumors.

Symptoms of Alopecia

Alopecia symptoms include thinning and loss of hair. Men and women have different hair loss patterns. Women usually lose hair over the front and top of the scalp. Men, however, lose hair on their hairlines, or at the top of the scalp.

Alopecia from Medications

If you have sudden and drastic hair loss, you should see your health care provider. While Alopecia is the result of natural aging, disease, and inflammation, medications can also cause Alopecia. Common medications that cause hair loss include:

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are synthetic male sex hormone testosterone. The full term for this medication is anabolic-androgenic steroids. Doctors prescribe anabolic steroids for hormonal issues, muscle loss associated with diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Bodybuilders and athletes misuse these medications to boost performance or to enhance themselves physically.

Anticancer Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs work throughout the body to interfere with the division and growth of rapidly growing cells. Often, chemotherapy medications do not distinguish between body cells and cancer cells. The lack of distinction between cells causes hair loss.


Antidepressants can cause hair loss called telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium occurs when your body experiences stress from various triggers, such as medication. The antidepressants cause your hair to enter a resting stage (telogen phase) prematurely and fall out.

Heart Medication

Antihypertensives (blood pressure medications), anticonvulsant medicines, cholesterol-lowering drugs, anticoagulants can cause hair loss.

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills, like antidepressants, can cause hair loss by keeping hair in its telogen effluvium resting phase. The pills can also hasten female genetic pattern hair loss.

High-dose Vitamin A

High doses of vitamin A are dangerous. One of the side effects is that excessive vitamin A causes hair to grow too quickly, giving hair a shorter life cycle.

If you are taking medications, discuss the side effects with your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medication without consulting with your health care provider. If you’re suffering from hair loss due to medications you’re taking, Custom Hair Tampa Bay today by clicking here.

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