Medication Induced Hair Loss

Hair Loss induced by medicationWhile many medications have hair loss listed as one of their side effects, the shedding and loss of hair induced by medication is not a very common cause of hair loss.  The following are some of the most important medications that could have hair loss as one of their adverse effects:

  • Chemotherapy Medications – Chemotherapy affects all rapidly growing cells in the body. There is no set amount of hair loss that occurs due to the medication.  The loss can be sudden or slow with varying degrees of hair loss in the scalp, eyelashes and eyebrows.
  • Allopurinol – A type of medication used to treat gout as well as other conditions associated with too much uric acid in the body.  In turn, it can cause a person to suffer from Telogen Effluvium.
  • Coumarin – A blood thinner used to keep the flow of blood running smoothly and prevent blood clots from forming.  The medicine might lead to large patches of hair falling out of the scalp.
  • Clofibrate – A cholesterol lowering drug that can cause dry brittle hair as well as hair loss itself.
  • Gemfibrozil – Much like Clofibrate listed above, Gemfibrozil is a cholesterol lowering drug that can cause hair loss in some patients.
  • Heparin – Used to prevent blood clots from forming in patients preparing to undergo a medical procedure or who have certain medical conditions.  Any hair loss caused by taking of Heparin normally reverses after the patient stops being prescribed the medication.

It is very common for patients who are on certain medications to blame them for their hair loss.  Patients should not stop taking any medications they ought to take because they fear any hair loss.  You need to discuss your hair loss with your primary doctor before deciding to change medications or stop taking them completely.

Hair loss as a result of medications is usually reversible spontaneously and no medication or procedure is needed. If you experience hair loss as a result of medications you take, it might be several months from the time you stop taking the medication before you start seeing new growth.