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 is 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 hair loss.
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 which may have hair loss as a side effect (excluding drugs for cancer treatment). If you are suffering from any of these and taking medications or considering taking medications, it is advisable to ask you doctor about hair loss. It may be possible to substitute drugs for a type with less or no risk of hair loss, 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.
Here at the Belgravia Centre we have a team of hair specialists who have been offering expert advice for over thirty years. To book a free consultation, please call on 0207 730 6666 or message the clinic. Alternatively, you can fill in an online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will be in touch with you shortly.
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