Drug-induced hair loss

Prescrire Int. 2016 May;25(171):127-9.


Hair loss can have major psychological consequences. It can be due to a wide variety of causes, including hormonal disorders, dietary factors, infections, inflammation, trauma, emotional factors, and cancer. Drugs can also induce hair loss, by interacting with the hair growth cycle. Drug-induced hair loss may be immediate or delayed, sudden or gradual, and diffuse or localised. It is usually reversible after drug discontinuation. The drugs most often implicated in hair loss are anticancer agents, interferon, azole antifungals, lithium, immunosuppressants, and many other drugs belonging to a variety of pharmacological classes.

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / chemically induced*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hair / drug effects
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Lithium / adverse effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Lithium