Medications That Cause Hair Loss: Complete List 2022

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There are many reasons behind hair loss in men and women. Genes, hormonal changes, and aging are some of the most common ones. But there is another reason that’s slowly making a bigger impact on hair health worldwide. We are talking about medications. Yes, you read it right! Medications used for treating specific conditions could trigger mild or aggressive hair loss as a side effect. 

In this blog, Lordhair will share a list of medications that cause hair loss in men and women. We will also share recommendations to recover from drug-induced hair fall. Since some of you might be in a hurry to learn about the different medications that cause hair loss, here’s a FAQ version of the blog! 

 

What are medications that cause hair loss? 

The following medications are infamous for triggering hair loss and thinning:

  • Amphetamine

  • Antidepressants 

  • Cimetidine

  • Minoxidil 

  • Birth control pills 

  • Antibiotics

  • Weight loss drugs

  • Finasteride

  • Chemotherapy drugs

 

How to prevent hair loss from medications? 

In order to prevent hair loss caused by medications, you can:

  • Ask trichologist about an alternate solution

  • Go for hair strengthening diet and routine

  • Wear a hair replacement system if hair loss is aggressive 

 

Is it possible to recover from hair loss caused by medications?

Yes, it's possible to recover from medication triggered hair loss 

Now that we are done with the TL;DR version, let’s dig deeper into different types of medications that cause hair loss. 

 

Which Medications Cause Hair Loss?

Here’s the list of medications that cause hair loss: 

Amphetamine 

Amphetamine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is often prescribed as performance enhancement and works by speeding up the messages traveling between the brain and body. Amphetamine comes in multiple forms - powder, tablets, and capsules. 

Doctors also prescribe this psychostimulant drug for treating conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy (a chronic sleep disorder pertaining to extreme daytime laziness and sudden attacks of sleep). Acne, blurred vision, seizures, and heart problems are some of the popular side effects of using Amphetamine. Hair loss though is a lesser-known side effect.

Although not everyone is affected, people around the world have reported hair shedding after getting on this medication. According to medical experts, hair loss triggered by this medication can occur all over the scalp rather than being limited to a particular area.  

medications that cause hair loss

 

Antidepressants 

Antidepressants are used for treating clinical depression in adults. They help with mood swings, improve sleep quality, and boost appetite. Antidepressants balance chemicals in your brain (better known as neurotransmitters) that affect mood and emotions. While doing all that, this medication can cause hair loss in men and women as well. 

People who are on antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Sertraline typically become victims of a hair loss condition called telogen effluvium. Some cases of anagen effluvium have also been reported amongst users. 

Cimetidine

For those who don’t know, cimetidine is a medication used to treat ulcers - a sore on mucous membranes such as the lining of your stomach and intestines. Taken orally, cimetidine also helps in treating certain stomach and throat problems caused by stomach acids or a backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus.

Cimetidine can also be used to seize DHT receptors on the follicles. This helps in holding back the hair follicles from miniaturizing. However, overusing this medication can also make your hair loss condition worse. A lot of people have reported sudden hair loss after a few weeks of using Cimetidine.  

medications that cause hair fall

 

Minoxidil 

We simply can’t negate the popularity of minoxidil as a hair recovery option. It is a topical medication used to stimulate hair growth in men and women suffering from hair loss problems. Available in both liquid and foam, minoxidil increases blood flow to the hair by dilating the blood vessels in the scalp. But do you know the same medication can also make hair loss worse? 

Yes, aggravated hair loss is one of the highly touted side effects of minoxidil. What’s more, it can also trigger acne at the site of application and cause inflammation at the root of the hair.  

 

Learn about all the side effects of minoxidil

 

Birth control pills 

Most common medications have their share of side effects and birth control pills are no different. This medication can cause hair loss in women who are sensitive to the hormones in the pill - estrogen, and progesterone (man-made forms of the female hormones) or those who have a family history of androgenic alopecia.  

The hair growth cycle has three phases - anagen (growing phase), catagen (regressing phase), and telogen (resting phase). Birth control pills could shift your hair strands from the growing phase to the resting phase too early. The result? Women start noticing large amounts of broken strands while combing their hair or taking a bath.