Medications that Can Cause Hair Loss in Black Women

medications that cause hair loss in black women

Most people don’t realize that the medications we take on a daily basis could be causing us to experience more hair loss, rather than growth. Even some of the over-the-counter medicines that are deemed as “safe” have negative side effects.  In this article, we will list some of the most common medications that can cause hair loss.

Medications that can Cause Hair Loss

Do you use some of these medications below:

1. Acne Medicine

All drugs derived from vitamin A as treatments for acne or other conditions have reported causing hair loss. A popular acne treatment drug that may cause this includes:

  • Accutane

2. Depression and Mood Stabilization Medication

Some people who take medications for depression and mood stabilization may experience hair loss.  Depression drugs that may cause this include:

  • Prozac
  • Zoloft
  • Haldol

3. Digestive Medication

Many of the drugs used to treat indigestion, stomach difficulties, and ulcers have been reported to cause hair loss. A few drugs that may cause this include:

  • Tagamet
  • Zantac
  • Pepcid

4. Psoriasis Medication

Drugs used for the treatment of psoriasis have well-known adverse effects. A drug that may cause this includes:

  • Acitretin

5. Testosterone/Progesterone (Hormonal) Medication 

Hair loss is reported in people taking the hormones testosterone and/or progesterone. Drugs that may cause this includes:

  • Depo-Provera
  • Provera
  • Prometrium

6. Hormone Therapies

Hormone therapies can trigger hormone imbalances in women and potentially causing permanent female pattern baldness, examples are:

  • Birth control pills
  • hormone replacement therapies (HRT)

7. Chemotherapy Medications

Chemotherapy drugs used to treat different types of cancer and autoimmune illness can cause anagen effluvium (the shedding of hair during its growth cycle). This loss of hair including eyelashes, eyebrows, and body hair. Because chemotherapy drugs are designed to destroy the fast-growing cancer cells in your body they also attack and destroy other cells that grow quickly, such as the roots of your hair. In most cases, regrowth will begin once the chemotherapy ends.

Below are some chemotherapy medications that cause significant thinning or hair loss:

  • Adriamycin (doxorubicin)
  • Cytoxan or Neosar (cyclophosphamide)
  • Taxol (paclitaxel)
  • Taxotere (docetaxel)
  • Cerubine (daunorubicin)
  • Ellence (epirubicin)
  • VePesid (etoposide)
  • Hexalen (altretamine)
  • Idamycin (idarubicin)
  • Ifex (ifosfamide)
  • Ixempra (exabepilone)
  • Camptosar (irinotecan)
  • Hycamtin (topotecan)
  • Navelbine (vinorelbine)
  • Ixempra (Ixabepilone)
  • Vincristine (vinorelbine)

Medications that Can Cause Hair Loss

What You Can Do About Hair Loss & Medications
If you are taking a new medication and begin noticing hair thinning or loss, talk to your doctor about switching to another medication. There is a chance that they are able to provide options for medications that do not cause the same side effects.  Consequently, your doctor may also recommend that you stop taking the medication for a few months.

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 able to assist you in correct the loss of hair. It is best that you use the medications for a certain period of time to determine results. For example, it may take six months or more to see results from Rogaine treatment.  However, the biggest concern with medications like Rogaine are the potential side effects on your body.   However, overuse of this drug can cause blurred vision, chest pains, rapid weight gain and numbness.

Although we can’t always control the side effects of the medicine that we are required to take, we can choose products that help with the side effects. A product that is perfect for restoring growth from the root is the VoiceOfHair PureFix Hair Elixir. This 6-in-1 hair and scalp treatment work together to support longer, stronger and help fight the side effects you may be facing due to medication.


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Brandelyn Green is the Founder of VoiceOfHair, a platform to help women of color find the best hair care products, regimens and hairstyles! Since starting VoiceOfHair in 2014 she has grown the social media platform to over 1MM+ on Instagram and Facebook. As a natural who is also a salon goer, she wanted to create a platform where people could find the best products, hairstylists, advice and trends.
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