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Medication and Hair Loss

Medications That Can Cause Hair Loss

Ever wonder what could be causing your hair loss? Looking for answers as to why your hair is falling out? It could be the medicine you’re taking. I’ve compiled a listing of medications that are either known to cause hair loss OR attribute to the immature (anagen or telogen) loss of hair… the list is EXTENSIVE so I’ve created a simple .pdf file for easier reading/printing. I was (once again) surprised by some of the additions.

Click here for the full listing

Hope this helps!!

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

How common is PCOS?

It is currently believed that approximately 5 to 10% of women have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It is the most common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive years and the leading cause in women for infertility. Since many women can have PCOS without exhibiting any symptoms, the actual number of women affected could be as much as 10% more of the population.

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What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Photo of a polycystic ovary courtesy of http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com

Photo of a polycystic ovary courtesy of http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Amenorrhea (no menstrual period), infrequent menses, and/or oligomenorrhea (irregular bleeding) Menstrual cycles can often be scant, irregular and infrequent or may also exhibit in the form of spotting throughout the month.
  • Oligo or anovulation (infrequent or absent ovulation) Women with PCOS generally produce an egg but they don’t fully mature. Instead, these immature egg sacs can create ovarian cysts.
  • Hyperandrogenism Women who have PCOS generally also have an increase in serum levels of male hormones such as testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS).
  • Infertility
  • Cystic ovaries Classic PCOS ovaries have a “string of pearls” or “pearl necklace” appearance with many cysts.
  • Enlarged ovaries Polycystic ovaries are usually 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal.
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Obesity or weight gain Most commonly referred to as an “apple figure”. PCOS women will generally gain weight primarily in the abdomen and waistline.
  • Insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and diabetes Insulin resistance is a condition where the body’s use of insulin is inefficient.
  • Hirsutism (excess hair) Excess hair growth such as on the face, chest, abdomen, thumbs, or toes.
  • Alopecia (female-pattern baldness or thinning hair) The thinning most commonly occurs on the top of the head.
  • Acne/Oily Skin/Seborrhea
  • Acrochordons (skin tags)

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What causes PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, there are studies that may lead us to believe that there may be a genetic link. Just as one may have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, one might also have a disposition to PCOS.

Cipro Interacts with Thyroid Medication

Popular Antibiotic Interacts with Thyroid Medication

The British Medical Journal has reported on a several cases of unexplained hypothyroidism in thyroid patients (on levothyroxine) who were taking the popular antibiotic ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin is the generic name for the fluoroquinolone antibiotic sold under the brand names Cipro, Ciproxin and Ciprobay, Cirpoxine, and Ciflox. The drug is primarily used to treat urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and sexually transmitted diseases. Ciprofloxacin was also in the news during the anthrax scare, given its use in treatment for anthrax exposure.
What the researchers found in these cases were evidence that oral ciprofloxacin interacts with levothyroxine (i.e., Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid) if taken together. It’s thought that the ciprofloxacin may somehow decrease the absorption of the levothyroxine.

In one case, a woman taking 125 mcg a day of levothyroxine took ciprofloxacin (750 mg twice a day) and her TSH level rose to 44 after four weeks. Even when her dosage was raised to 200 mcg a day, her TSH didn’t respond. Only when the ciprofloxacin was stopped did the TSH return to normal. In another case, a woman who was stabilized on 150 mcg a day of levothyroxine saw her TSH go from 1.6 to 19 after 3 weeks of treatment with ciprofloxacin at 500 mg twice a day.

What Can You Do?

If you’re a thyroid patient who is taking ciprofloxacin, what should you do?

The research suggested that thyroid tests were normalized if patients took the levothyroxine and ciprofloxacin at least six hours apart.

So, if you are on levothyroxine, it makes sense to allow at least six hours apart from taking your ciprofloxacin. And if you have to take the antibiotic for a lengthy period, you should discuss the potential impact on your thyroid with your doctor, and possibly request period thyroid testing to ensure that your thyroid treatment is not affected.

Source: Cooper, John, “Ciprofloxacin interacts with thyroid replacement therapy,” British Medical Journal, 2005

Lists of Medication That Cause, Can Exacerbate, or Can Possibly Cause Hair Loss in Women

I’ve compiled a new listing of medications that are either known to cause hair loss OR attribute to the immature (anagen or telogen) loss of hair… the list is EXTENSIVE so I made it into a .pdf file for easier reading/printing. I was (once again) surprised by a few of the new additions.

I did NOT include BCPs or HRT on this listing because I’m actively working on a separate listing for these. I’m also planning on putting together another listing of ADs that are hair or “non”hair friendly since that comes up often as well…

Hope this helps!!
melanie

 

Click the image to view the full PDF file.

Click the image to view the full PDF file.

Birth Control / Contraceptives and Hair Loss

BCPs contain a combination of estrogen and progestin. All BCPs now have one main source of estrogen — ethinyl estradiol. Ethinyl estradiol is a constant in the BCP equation but the part that changes is the progestin level. There are a number of different types of progestin and some of them are higher in androgenic value than others. I’ve compiled data from a number of different sources and come up with a handy chart that helps you identify which BCPs are high in androgens and which ones are lower. Remember that the higher the androgens, the more likely it will cause excessive hair loss, acne and hirsutism.

Click the image to view the full PDF file.

Click the image to view the full PDF file.