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Can Anti-Depressants Cause Hair Loss?

Prozac The Belgravia Centre Alopecia AreataThe hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium can be caused by a number of factors, from dietary deficiencies and stress to hormonal changes in women.

A little-known trigger, however, could be anti-depressant medication. Most people who take anti-depressants or mood stabilising drugs will not experience any hair loss, but a small number of people may develop temporary shedding from all over their scalp, around three months after they start taking the medication.

A team of researchers in Melbourne, Australia, found that Fluoxetine — better known as Prozac — is the most commonly reported antidepressant to cause hairloss. The team also discovered that tricyclic antidepressants, such as imipramine, amitriptyline and doxepin, can also occasionally cause Telogen Effluvium.

Other studies have estimated that about 12-19% of people who take lithium (most commonly prescribed to treat Bipolar Disorder) will experience hair loss as a side-effect.

However, Professor Shuster, who led the Melbourne study, rightly warns that patients should never stop taking their anti-depressant medication without consulting their GP: “The loss of a few hairs is trivial compared with the loss of your mental health,” he told the Daily Mail.

Anyone experiencing hair loss as a side-effect of anti-depressants can also take comfort in the fact that this kind of hair loss is reversible. The hair should regrow on its own in up to 12 months, or for those wishing to take a more proactive approach treatment for Telogen Effluvium may help to speed up this process.

Whilst Telogen Effluvium itself is temporary, for those with a genetic predisposition to hereditary hair loss, this can trigger or exacerbate existing Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss.

If you notice you are shedding more than usual and are concerned, visit a hair loss specialist who can give you a professional diagnosis of your condition – or conditions, as it is possible to have multiple hair loss conditions simultaneously. They will also be able to tailor a bespoke hair loss treatment plan to help regrow your hair and prevent further thinning.

The Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our online diagnostic form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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