Causes of Hair Loss: Medicines and Medical Treatments - Topic Overview
Medicines and medical treatments can cause
hair loss. Medicines
Many medicines that can cause hair loss
Medicines used to treat cancer ( chemotherapy). Birth control pills.
Women who lose hair while taking birth
control pills usually have an inherited tendency toward hair thinning. If hair
thinning occurs, a woman can consult her doctor about switching to another
birth control pill or another contraceptive method. When a woman
stops using oral contraceptives, her hair may begin shedding 2 or 3 months
later. This may continue for 6 months and then it usually stops. Blood thinners ( anticoagulants), such as heparin or
warfarin. Arthritis medicines, such as indomethacin. Seizures medicines, such
as valproic acid, carbamazepine, and trimethadione. Gout medicines,
such as allopurinol and colchicine. Bipolar disorder medicines, such as lithium. High doses of vitamin
A. Vaccinations, especially for
hepatitis B. Amphetamines,
such as dextroamphetamine (for example, Dexedrine) or methamphetamine. Beta-blockers such as propranolol (for example, Inderal) or
metoprolol (for example, Lopressor or Toprol XL).
If you think a medicine may be causing your scalp problem,
contact your doctor to discuss your symptoms. Your doctor may adjust your
dosage or change or discontinue your medicine.
Medical treatments that can cause
hair loss include:
High-dose X-rays used to kill cancer cells and
shrink tumors ( radiation therapy). Major surgery.
Increased hair shedding often occurs within 1 to 3 months after surgery. The
condition generally reverses itself within a few months.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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Causes of Hair Loss: Medicines and Medical Treatments Topics