Hair Loss

Get Email Updates

Hair Loss Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Medications that Can Cause Hair Loss

By Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter
 
Rate This
Medications that Can Cause Hair Loss 0 5
some medications can cause hair loss
B-D-S/PhotoSpin

Taking medicine is no fun. Hair loss that may be caused by medication can be additionally distressing. Typically hair will re-grow once the medication is stopped but understanding why medications can cause hair loss may help relieve some concern.

Hair normally grows in three phases.

The first phase is anagen (growth). Hair grows for approximately three to four years.

Then the catagen (cessation) phases follows. This is a transitional stage that last three to four weeks.

Finally, the telogen (resting) phase occurs which lasts about three months. At this time older hairs first rest, then are shed and replaced by new hair.

Medication can affect the hair cycle in one of two phases. Drugs such as chemotherapy medications affect the hair during the anagen phase, while the hair is actively growing.

The hair cell division is interrupted so the hair is lost a few days to a few weeks after receiving the medication. Hair loss in this phase is called anagen effluvium.

The most common type of medication-induced hair loss occurs during the telogen phase. The medication causes the hair to go into the resting stage too early so the hair is lost too early.

Usually hair loss occurs two to four months after taking the medication. Hair loss in this phase is called telogen effluvium.

The amount of hair loss may depend on the dose of, or your sensitivity to, the medicine. There are numerous medications that may cause hair loss.

The American Hair Loss Association lists main categories and names of those medications. Refer to their website to see the original list.

Examples of some of the medications are listed below:

- Acne medications or those that contain vitamin A

- Blood thinners

- Cholesterol medications

- Anti-seizure drugs

- Antidepressants

- Antifungals

- Beta-blockers, which are used to treat the heart and high blood pressure

- Drugs that affect hormones such as steroids or birth control pills

- Anti-inflammatories

- Parkinson’s disease medications

- Thyroid medications

- Ulcer medications

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

There are few good herbal based treatments for hair loss. If used along with some hair care regimes will give best results.

January 29, 2015 - 12:56pm
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

2904 Health

Changed

1696 Lives

Saved

1589 Lives
10 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Have you joined the IUD trend? What kind of birth control do you use? :
View Results