What Medications Can Cause Hair Loss and What Can You Do About It?

Hair loss is a condition that both men and women may encounter during their lives as a result of health-related issues, genetics, and medications.

Some forms of hair loss are temporary, while other forms, are permanent like pattern baldness.


Medications and hair loss

In some cases, the loss of body hair (including eyebrows and eyelashes), is also a symptom of alopecia from medication. In most cases, hair loss caused by medications is reversible once that medication is ceased. However, hair loss is also often caused by other factors such as sleep apnoea, hormonal changes, thyroid changes, genetics, poor nutrition, and autoimmune conditions.

Some medications can contribute to excess hair growth, changes in hair colour, texture, or hair loss. Drug-induced hair loss, like any other type of hair loss, can have a real effect on your confidence and self-esteem.

Hair loss is a common side effect of many medications. Most of the time, these medications only cause temporary hair loss that normally resolves once you’ve adjusted to or stopped taking the medicine.

Sometimes, these medications damage the hair follicles themselves, disrupting different stages of the hair growth cycle.

Two kinds of hair loss may occur. One is Telogen Effluvium, short-term or temporary hair loss. This occurs in the “resting” phase of the hair follicle, but new hair growth continues.

Another type of hair loss often caused by medications is Anagen Effluvium. This is a longer-term type and often also includes thinning or loss of other body hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. Anagen effluvium takes place in the “new growth” phase.



Here are some of the types of medications that can cause hair loss as a side effect.


Vitamin A

High doses of vitamin A and medications derived from vitamin A (isotretinoin) has the potential to cause hair loss.


Acne medications

Specific types of acne medication, Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) and Tretinoin (Retin-A, Stieva A) can cause hair loss.



Prescription antibiotics can cause temporary hair thinning. Antibiotics can deplete your vitamin B and haemoglobin, disrupting the hair growth cycle.

When haemoglobin levels are too low, you can become anaemic and lose more hair or thinning than normal. Maintaining adequate Vitamin B levels have been found to be critical to maintaining happy, healthy hair.



Antifungal medications are a common treatment used for fungal infections and have been linked to hair loss in some people. Voriconazole is one such treatment that has been associated with alopecia.


Anti-clotting drugs

Anticoagulants like Heparin and Warfarin (Coumadin, Marevan) which are commonly prescribed to thin the blood and prevent blood clots and certain health concerns in some people (like heart conditions).

Hair loss can begin three months after taking these medications.


Cholesterol-lowering drugs

Statin drugs commonly prescribed and taken like Simvastatin (Zocor) and Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Rosuvastatin (Crestor) have been reported to cause hair loss.



Some immune-suppressing drugs used to treat autoimmune conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can cause hair loss. A few of these include methotrexate (Methoblastin), leflunomide (Arava), cyclophosphamide (Cyclonex), and etanercept (Enbrel).



Medications that prevent seizures, like Sodium Valproate (Epilim) can lead to hair loss in some people.


Blood pressure medications

Beta blocker medications, including the following, can cause hair loss:

  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Betaloc)
  • Propranolol (Inderal)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin)
  • Sotalol (Sotacor)

ACE inhibitors can also lead to thinning hair. Including the following:

  • Enalapril (Renitec)
  • Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
  • Captopril (Capoten)
  • Perindopril (Coversyl)


Antidepressants and mood stabilizers

Some people who take medications for anxiety, stress and or depression may experience hair loss. This includes:

  • Paroxetine hydrochloride (Aropax)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Venlafaxine (Efexor)
  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • Amitriptyline (Endep)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)


Weight loss medications

Weight loss medications like phentermine (Duromine) can cause hair loss, but this side effect isn’t often listed. This is because dieters who lose their hair are often also nutrient-deficient or may have other underlying health conditions contributing to their hair loss.

So, while some people taking weight loss medications have reported hair loss, that loss could also be due to malnutrition.


Medications for gout

Medications used to prevent Gout like Allopurinol (Zyloprim) have been reported to cause hair loss.



Chemotherapy medications used to treat certain types of cancer and autoimmune illness can cause Anagen effluvium. This hair loss includes eyelashes, eyebrows, and body hair.

These medications are designed to destroy the fast-growing cancer cells in your body, however they also attack and destroy other cells that grow quickly, like hair follicles.


Medications that cause hair loss in females

Hormone therapies can trigger hormone imbalances in women, causing hair loss — and potentially causing female pattern baldness.

Some examples of these medications are oral contraceptive medications and hormone replacement/restoration therapies (HRT), like progesterone and estrogen.

Peri-menopausal and Post-menopausal women may require HRT.


Medications that cause hair loss in males

Like females, males who take certain hormones may experience hair loss or male pattern baldness.

Testosterone replacement therapy used to treat low testosterone (low T) can cause hair loss. The use of anabolic steroids for muscle-building can also cause hair loss and or fall.


What you can do

If you’ve recently begun taking a new medication and have noticed hair thinning or loss, talk to your doctor about switching to another medication. They may be able to choose a medicine that does not cause the same side effects.

If you’re experiencing pattern baldness as a result of medication, some treatments like Rogaine (men and women), Propecia (men), and dutasteride (men) may be right for you. Hair transplant surgery or laser therapy may also be right for you if you’re experiencing pattern baldness.


It may take six months or more to see results from Rogaine treatment.

But you don’t need to wait. The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss with HSB Labs scalp and haircare products, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible results and see hair growth return faster.

HSB labs has designed and developed a treatment plan that can be used with the above options to help grow thicker, fuller, healthier hair using a blend of natural ingredients, botanical extracts, vitamins and minerals and hair follicle boosters (hair messengers) based off scientific evidence to form a dedicated hair growth and beauty strategy. Using our HSB Labs products on a daily or as a part of your regular hair routine will help revitalise, strengthen, volumise, boost and protect your hair during your hair growth journey.

HSB Labs scalp and haircare products provides a holistic targeted approach to hair growth at every phase of the hair growth cycle providing you with thicker, fuller, healthier, stronger hair.

The possible outcome

In most cases, hair growth returns to its previous levels once you’ve stopped taking a medication that causes hair loss. Adjusting the dosage may also ease symptoms of hair loss.

Remember, never stop taking a medication without discussing it with your doctor.

Using HSB Labs haircare products will assist in returning your hair growth to a another level, giving you thicker, fuller, healthier and stronger hair.

Don’t wait, let HSB Labs be a part of your hair growth journey!

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