Evolution Resources: Drugs That Cause Hair Loss

Many commonly prescribed prescription drugs can cause temporary hair loss, trigger the onset of male and female pattern baldness, and even cause permanent hair loss. Note that the drugs listed here do not include those used in chemotherapy and radiation for cancer treatment.

Your doctor may not mention hair loss as a side effect of some drugs, so don't forget to do your own research and read the drug manufacturer's complete warnings. Your pharmacist can provide you with this information even before you fill a prescription.

Many pill and medication guidebooks (sold in bookstores and pharmacies) are also excellent sources of complete information about prescription drugs. If your doctor prescribes any of the following drugs, ask if one that does not have hair loss as a possible side effect can be substituted.

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. In some categories, individual drugs are not listed. For these conditions, you will want to discuss the possibility of hair loss as a side effect of using any of the drugs that treat that particular condition, since many do contribute to hair loss.

Acne

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

 

Blood

Anticoagulants (blood thinners), including:

 

Cholesterol

Cholesterol lowering drugs, including:

 

Convulsions/Epilepsy

 

Depression

Antidepression drugs, including:

 

Diet/Weight Loss

 

Fungus

 

Glaucoma

Beta-blocker drugs, including:

 

Gout

 

Heart/High Blood Pressure

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

 

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:

 

Inflammation

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

 

Anti-inflammatories that are also used as a chemotherapy drug:

 

Parkinson's Disease

 

Thyroid disorders

 

Ulcer

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

Resources:

"WebMD Medical Reference from the American Hair Loss Association"
Reviewed by Paul J. McAndrews, MD on July 01, 2005
©2005 American Hair Loss Association. All rights reserved
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The information provided on this web site and any of our literature is intended for informational purposes only and the information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician. Information and opinions expressed on this web site may be those of the clinicians and hair loss professionals who have written them and on the base of their education and experiences and since 2002 of clinical work at Evolution Hair Centers. See full disclaimer, click here.