Hair loss due to medication

Hair loss due to medication

On a daily basis, millions of people around the world depend on medications that may have adverse effects on the body, including their hair. While men and women with pattern baldness may not be able to reverse the effects of their hair loss, others may be dealing with a temporary situation.

Temporary hair loss can occur in: women who suddenly stop taking birth control pills; pregnant women at the end of their pregnancies; chemotherapy patients; and patients on certain medications.

Pregnancy and the Cause of Temporary Hair Loss:

At the end of a woman’s pregnancy estrogen levels can drop drastically. As a result, the body may shed an excessive amount of hair. Fortunately, this hair loss is almost always temporary. Your hair should start re-growing within a matter of a few weeks.


It’s very well known that chemotherapy can cause hair loss in patients. Most people are willing to tolerate baldness in the case of life-threatening disease, such as cancer.

Patients taking medications should consult their doctors on possible side effects that the drug may cause. If you’re currently taking a medication and experiencing hair loss, you should consult with your physician immediately. Your hair loss can very likely be related to your medication if you are taking one of the following drugs:

Cholesterol-lowering Medication: clofibrate (Atromis-S) and gemfibrozil (Lopid)

Parkinson Medications: levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa)

Ulcer Medications: cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac) and famotidine (Pepcid)

Anticoagulents: Coumarin and Heparin

Treatment for Gout: Allopurinol (Loporin, Zyloprim)

Antiarthritics: penicillamine, auranofin (Ridaura), indomethacin (i\Indocin), naproxen (Naprosyn), sulindac
(ClinorilÒ), and methotrexate (FolexÒ)

Medications derived from vitamin-A: isotretinoin (Accutane) and etretinate (Tegison)

Anticonvulsants for Epilepsy: trimethadione (Tridione)

Antidepressants: tricyclics, amphetamines

Beta blocker drugs for high blood pressure: atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal) and timolol (Blocadren)

Antithyroid agents: carbimazole, Iodine, thiocyanate, thiouracil

In addition to this list of drugs, many blood thinners and male hormones can cause hair loss as well. If the medication you are taking is linked to temporary hair loss, a different medication may be prescribed. Remember, temporary means reversible. Your hair will almost always grow back.

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