Drugs and hair loss

Dermatol Clin. 2013 Jan;31(1):67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2012.08.002. Epub 2012 Sep 18.


Hair loss is a common complaint, both in men and women, and use of prescription medications is widespread. When there is a temporal association between the onset of hair loss and commencement of a medication, the medication is commonly thought to have caused the hair loss. However, hair loss and in particular telogen effluvium may occur in response to a number of triggers including fever, hemorrhage, severe illness, stress, and childbirth, and a thorough exclusion of these potential confounders is necessary before the hair loss can be blamed on the medication. Certain medications are known to cause hair loss by a variety of mechanisms including anagen arrest, telogen effluvium, or accentuation of androgenetic alopecia by androgens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / chemically induced*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Hair / drug effects
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects*
  • Hair Follicle / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Male