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Medications and Hair

Updated: Aug 23, 2019

By: Rha-Kera Barney-Sutton




There are some medications that can cause hair to become dry and brittle. Some can even cause hair to thin and shed excessively. If you notice your hair thinning and, are on any of the medications that we list, please check with your health care provider, read the side effects and pay attention to signs of changing hair when you're starting a new medication.


*Note: Even if you're on a medication and you don't know the side effects, read them, especially if your medication dosage has changed recently.


According to the American Hair Loss Association, the below is a list of medications that can possibly cause hair issues (There are a few medications at the end that I have had some experiences with that cause hair issues): *Note: The drugs are listed by category, according to the conditions they treat, then by brand name first, followed by the drug's generic name in parentheses.


Acne

All drugs derived from vitamin A as treatments for acne or other conditions, including:

  • Accutane (isotretinoin)

Blood

Anticoagulants (blood thinners), including:

  • Panwarfin (warfarin sodium)

  • Sofarin (warfarin sodium)

  • Coumadin (warfarin sodium)

  • Heparin injections

Cholesterol

Cholesterol-lowering drugs, including:

  • Atronid-S (clofibrate)

  • Lopid (gemfibrozil)

Convulsions/ Epilepsy

  • Anticonvulsants, including: Tridone (trimethadione)

Depression

Antidepression drugs, including:

  • Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride)

  • Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride)

  • Paxil (paroxetine); Anafranil (clomipramine)

  • Janimine (imipramine)

  • Tofranil (imipramine)

  • Tofranil PM (imipramine)

  • Adapin (doxepin)

  • Sinequan (doxepin)

  • Surmontil (trimipramine)

  • Pamelor (nortriptyline)

  • Ventyl (nortriptyline)

  • Elavin (amitriptyline)

  • Endep (amitriptyline)

  • Norpramin (desipramine)

  • Pertofrane (desipramine)

  • Vivactil (protriptyline hydrochloride)

  • Asendin (amoxapine)

  • Haldol ( haloperidol)

Diet

  • Amphetamines

Fungus

  • Antifungals

Glaucoma

The beta-blocker drugs, including:

  • Timoptic Eye Drops (timolol)

  • Timoptic Ocudose (timolol)

  • Timoptic XC (timolol)

Gout

  • Lopurin (allopurinol)

  • Zyloprim (allopurinol)

Heart

Many drugs prescribed for the heart, including those known as the beta blockers, which are also used to treat high blood pressure, and include:

  • Tenormin (atenolol)

  • Lopressor (metoprolol)

  • Corgard (nadolol)

  • Inderal and Inderal LA (propanolol)

  • Blocadren (timolol)

High Blood Pressure

  • See Above list of beta blockers under "Heart"

Hormonal Conditions

All hormone-containing drugs and drugs prescribed for hormone-related, reproductive, male-specific, and female-specific conditions and situations have the potential to cause hair loss, including:

  • Birth Control Pills

  • Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) for women (estrogen or progesterone)

  • Male androgenic hormones and all forms of testosterone

  • Anabolic steroids

  • Prednisone

  • And other steroids

Inflammation

Many anti-inflammatory drugs, including those prescribed for localized pain, swelling and injury.

  • Arthritis drugs

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs including: Naprosyn (naproxen); Anaprox (naproxen); Anaprox DS (naproxen); Indocin (indomethacin); Indocin SR (indomethacin); Clinoril (sulindac)

  • An anti-inflammatory that is also used as a chemotherapy drug: Methotrexate (MTX); Rheumatex (methotrexate); Folex (methotrexate)

Parkinson's Disease

  • Levadopa / L-dopa (dopar, larodopa)

Thyroid Disorders

  • Many of the drugs used to treat the thyroid

Ulcer

Many of the drugs used to treat indigestion, stomach difficulties, and ulcers, including over-the-counter dosages and prescription dosages.

  • Tagamet (cimetidine)Zantac (ranitidine)Pepcid (famotidine)

(These are from my experience with clients and research over the years)

  • Some antibiotics

  • ADHD medication (Adderall or Ritalin)

  • Some Psoriasis medication




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