All medications are always designed to assist in the treatment of various ailments. However, sometimes, the drugs that we take end up having some negative impacts on us. There are some drugs that may lead to excess growth of hair, change in texture and color of hair and even hair loss. Hair loss, both natural and drug-induced has an effect on the self-esteem of the victim. Many individuals are affected by the thought that anyone who sees them and notices hair loss will judge them based on their sickness. However, the good part about drug-induced hair loss is that it is reversible once one stop taking the drug.
So how do drugs cause hair loss? Drugs often cause hair loss when they interfere with the normal scalp hair growth cycle. The hair passes through a growth cycle. There are two phases involved in the cycle; the anagen phase and telogen phase. The anagen phase stays for about three to four years, the duration when the hair grows. The anagen phase is followed by the telogen phase which lasts for about three months. This is the resting period for hair. When this stage is over, there is falling out of hair and new growth to replace the fallen-out hair.
If medications can cause hair loss there must be a solution to it. Hair restoration is procedure in which one can get solution for baldness. The surgery depends on the level of baldness. There are various procedures like FUE and FUT procedures. There are cost affordable procedures for hair transplantation. FUE hair transplant cost in Chennai is the most affordable and there are best hair doctors performing this surgery. Many online medical consultation services – Clinicspots help you find the best solutions for this surgery.
Telogen effluvium appears to be the most common form of results interruption. The hair begins falling out as a result of medication which enters the telogen earlier than they should. It takes some time for the hair loss to begin occurring after taking the drugs. The effects on the hair might be felt or seen after two or three months of medication. This is an indicator that those whose hair is affected by medication must be long-term users of some drugs.
Anagen effluvium is the second hair loss type associated with medical conditions. This type of hair loss occurs during the anagen phase, a stage characterized by growth of hair. The hair loss, in this case, results from the reaction of the medication on the matrix cells which prevent them from naturally dividing to produce new hairs. Contrary to Telogen effluvium, Anagen effluvium response to medication is rather instant because it occurs as soon as the drug is taken. It may take some few days or few weeks.
A majority of hair loss incidences are as a result of Anagen effluvium, which leads to the falling out of the body hair. The condition is common among the users of chemotherapy drugs which are in the treatment of cancer. The drugs are known to damage or destroy healthy matrix and cancer cells. Hair loss that is chemotherapy-related may be more severe if the patient has drugs combination.
Birth control pills are known to cause hair loss among those women who stop taking them, after a long period of their use. Oral contraceptives contain anti-androgens which lower the level of testosterone in the body. The low levels of testosterone cause hair loss in women. The moment the use of the contraceptive pill stops, testosterone protection is withdrawn, resulting in hair loss.
Anticoagulants, alternatively known as blood thinners, are medications that help in staving off blood clotting and prevention of complications among people with conditions such as heart disease which causes hair loss. Hair loss caused by anticoagulants affect the whole scalp and not just one area. Anticoagulants that can bring about hair loss include warfarin sodium and heparin injections.
Other medications include;
- Gout medications such as Allopurinol are used to treat gout, a type of arthritis which leads to telogen effluvium. This medication may also come in brand names such as Zyloprim and Lopurin.
- Beta blockers, medications which reduce heart workload and helps in lowering of blood pressure. They cause telogen effluvium. They come in brands such as Nadolol, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Propranolol and Timolol.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) are another blood pressure medication. They can also lead to Telogen effluvium. Inhibitors such as Lisinopril, Enalapril and Captopril could as well result in Telogen effluvium.
- Doses of vitamin A, when taken in large quantity, may lead to Telogen effluvium. It is from vitamin A that Isotretinoin, acne medication is derived.
- Female hormones; when they are taken for a long time, they trigger loss of hair. They include estrogen, progesterone and birth control pills.
- Male hormones; men taking anabolic steroids or testosterone could also go through male pattern balding. These hormones trigger loss of hair.
- Antidepressants; medications used for the treatment of anxiety and depression are a cause for Telogen effluvium. These antidepressants include Amoxapine, Amitriptyline, Clomipramine, Desipramine, Doxepin, Fluoxetine, Haloperidol, Imipramine, Nortriptyline, Paroxetine, Protriptyline, Sertraline and Trimipramine.
- Anticonvulsants, also known as anti-seizure medications, may lead to diffuse loss of hair. Medications include trimethadione and valproic acid.
As a precaution, one should see a doctor when experiencing loss of hair to confirm the cause, especially if they are under medication. In the case of severe loss, the doctor may opt to give a different prescription to avoid further loss of hair.