If you have been experiencing hair loss, it could be your medication that’s causing this side effect.
Types of Medications That Can Cause Hair Loss
The reason that some medications cause you to lose your hair is that they are toxic to the hair follicles — the cells responsible for hair growth. When hair follicles become damaged, the normal cycle of hair growth is disrupted, which eventually leads to hair loss.
During the anagen phase, which lasts for two to six years, the hair grows. During the telogen phase, which lasts about three months, the hair rests. At the end of the telogen phase, the hair falls out and is replaced by new hair.
Medications can lead to two types of hair loss: telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is the most common form of drug-induced hair loss. It usually appears within 2 to 4 months after taking the drug. This condition causes the hair follicles to go into their resting phase (telogen) and fall out too early. People with telogen effluvium usually shed between 30% to 70% more than the normal 100 and 150 hairs a day.
Anagen effluvium is hair loss that occurs during the anagen phase of the hair cycle when the hairs are actively growing. It prevents the matrix cells, which produce new hairs, from dividing normally. This type of hair loss usually occurs within a few days to weeks after taking the medication. It’s most common in people who are taking chemotherapy drugs for cancer and is often severe, causing people to lose most or all of the hair on their head, as well as their eyebrows, eyelashes, and other body hairs.
The severity of drug-induced hair loss depends on the type of drug and dosage, as well as your sensitivity to that drug.
Many different types of drugs are thought to cause hair loss, including:
Acne medications containing vitamin A (retinoids)
Antibiotics and antifungal drugs
Birth control pills
Drugs that suppress the immune system
Drugs that treat breast cancer and other cancers
Epilepsy drugs (anticonvulsants)
High blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensives), such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics
Hormone replacement therapy
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Parkinson’s disease drugs
Weight loss drugs
The medications listed below most commonly cause hair loss:
Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
Anticoagulant medications, which can help stave off blood clots and prevent complications in people with certain conditions, including heart disease, can also cause hair loss. The type of hair loss caused by anticoagulants is known as telogen effluvium, which is hair loss that can affect the entire scalp, rather than just a specific area. Hair loss typically begins after about 12 weeks of taking a medication. Anticoagulants that can lead to hair loss include warfarin sodium (Panwarfarin, Sofarin, Coumadin) and heparin injections.
Chemotherapy drugs often lead to the anagen effluvium type of hair loss. As these drugs kill cancer cells throughout the body, they also can damage healthy cells, including hair matrix cells. The hair typically starts to fall out within two weeks of starting chemotherapy and progresses more rapidly after one to two months, according to the American Cancer Society. Hair loss is more common and severe in patients taking combinations of chemotherapy drugs than in those who take just one drug.
Chemotherapy drugs that tend to cause hair loss include:
Allopurinol, a medication used to treat a form of arthritis known as gout, can also lead to telogen effluvium. Brand names include Lopurin and Zyloprim.Beta blockers. Beta blockers are medications that reduce the workload of your heart and help to lower blood pressure. Beta blockers are known to cause telogen effluvium, and include:
Propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, are another type of blood pressure medication.
ACE inhibitors, such as those listed below, can lead to telogen effluvium as well:
Lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil)
It can take two to three months after stopping a medication for the hair loss to end.
The list provided is not complete. Check with your doctor or read the leaflets that accompany your medication for a list of side effects. They have it listed!
Detoxing your body can you rid your body of toxins stored due to the synthetic properties of medications.
Acti-Labs Strip Tea is an amazing tea combining many natural ingredients for well being as well as helping to flush stored toxins out of the body.
Using products that can feed your follicles to regrow your hair is also recommended. Most balding that have occurred for several years may not necessarily mean the follicle is dead. If there’s even a bit of follicle left, it can be regrown.
Acti-Labs hair care products that are great for hair growth as well as helping reduce effects of hair loss. All products contain vital nutrients to feed follicles.
✧ Capill Hair Shampoo and Mask doesn’t contain Sulfate, the ingredient that causes shampoos to create suds. Sulfate has been known to cause follicle death.
✧ FoliVate Serum is a very potent and concentrated topical application to improve follicle health. Recommended for those who are taking medication.
✧ Follicle Food is a liquid vitamin created specifically to feed hair follicles on your head nowhere else 🙂 but not recommended if taking medication.
✧ Capill Hair Lotion has been formulated to help with thinning hair
✧ Leave It Conditioning Styling Lotion with collagen is similar to Capill Hair Lotion but can protect your hair from the use of heat styling tools
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