Scientific advances means that there are many more medications for ailments than ever before. However, all drugs carry some side effects, and the degree of severity and length of time a patient suffers these side effects varies patient to patient.
Hair loss can be temporarily caused by a large number of commonly prescribed medications. Patients are often unaware that taking a drug can not only trigger the onset of male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss but also lead to permanent baldness.
Doctors sometimes do not mention hair loss as a side effect because some deem it ‘cosmetic’ so it is always sensible read the small print in the drug manufacturer’s warnings. If in doubt, you should ask your pharmacist to explain things fully to you.
Below is a list of common conditions that patients are prescribed medications for which may have hair loss as a side effect (excluding drugs for cancer treatment). If you are suffering from any of these issues and are taking medication or considering taking medications, it is advisable to ask you doctor about the subsequent shedding. It may be possible to substitute drugs for a type with less or no risk of hair fall, or it may be possible to supplement the medications with proven hair loss treatments.
Acne (All drugs derived from vitamin A as treatments for acne or other conditions)
Blood Disorders (for which patients are prescribed blood thinners)
Cholesterol (eg Statins)
Depression (anti-depression drugs including commonly prescribed Prozac, Zoloft)
Diet (eg Amphetamines)
Fungus (eg Antifungals)
Glaucoma (eg Beta-blockers)
Heart (including Beta-Blockers)
High Blood Pressure (including Beta-Blockers)
Hormonal Conditions (eg Birth Control Pills, Hormone-replacement Therapy (HRT) for women, Male androgenic hormones and all forms of testosterone, anabolic steroids)
Inflammation (eg many anti-inflammatory drugs including those prescribed for localized pain, swelling and injury)
Ulcer (eg drugs for indigestion, stomach disorders, and ulcers, including over-the-counter dosages and prescription dosages)
While hair loss can be distressing, obviously it goes without saying that you should not stop taking a drug that may improve your state of health just because it causes hair loss. However, it is worth researching as thoroughly as you can and seeing what options are available to you.
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 Consultation 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 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.