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Blood Pressure Pills and Hair Loss

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Q. At age 49 I still had a thick head of long wavy hair. Then I was prescribed the blood pressure drug lisinopril with HCT.

Within three weeks my hair was falling out, along with my eyelashes and eyebrows. My doctor said these meds don't cause hair loss. I saw a hormone specialist and after $400 worth of tests, he said the hair loss was due to age and stress.

One dermatologist I saw said it was stress; another said I was getting older.
I've searched blood pressure medications online and many have "alopecia" as a side effect. That means hair loss. I don't think I'm stressed and I'm not that old.

A. Many medications can cause hair loss. Blood pressure pills like atenolol, lisinopril, losartan, and valsartan may have this effect, as can cholesterol-lowering drugs like lovastatin or simvastatin. Such a side effect is often considered minor, but many people find it distressing.

We are sending you our Guides to Hair and Nail Care and Blood Pressure Treatment with a list of many drugs that may contribute to hair loss plus ways to battle baldness and control blood pressure naturally.

No one should stop taking a blood pressure medicine without medical supervision. Controlling hypertension without side effects requires good teamwork between doctors and patients.

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15 Comments

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I take Evening Primrose oil for PMS and have found that my hair has grown back at my temples. I am 52 and had thinning hair there. I also had very short, sparse eyelashes on my lower left eye. They had grown longer and seem to be thicker.

very helpful article. I just rated it 5/5

My hair is also falling out! So far the MD's have been unable to help, other than suggest I get a transplant! What do you suggest, please help, I have stopped Lisinopril.

Thank you

It is difficult for physicians to remember all the data concerning the drugs we prescribe. We remember the important things, but no one can remember all the little details which can be a problem at times, or an inconvenience in this case.

I found a solution: From www.pdr.net I have printed the concise reviews of the drugs that I most often prescribe (with some minor editing). So when I prescribe one for the first time, I go over the list briefly with the patient and give them a copy. The documentation that comes with even OTC drugs is too long and complex (due to the number of lawyers we have) so that very few patients ever read it (I think it is designed to be that way).

I noticed hair loss during my run with lisinopril/HCTZ, also. However, I had stopped taking it due to lower legs to toes cramping. After I stopped this med, my hair thickened to its pre-lisonopril/HCTZ amount. I did not know why I had the hair loss at the time, and certainly was happy it came back, but now I think it must have been the med. I take no other meds, was not having overwhelming stress, and am in good health ( other than hypertension).

I also take Simvastatin, atenolol and HCT. I have mentioned hair loss to my Dr's but got no help.

This may sound irrelevant but let it be a cautionary tale. My mother, in her later years, began to experience hair loss. Her doctor speculated that it could be attributable to her age, declining health, or medications taken. Then she heard several friends complain of hair loss. They all went to the same hair stylist. He had, until recently, worked on his own, then sold his business and went to work for a chain. That's when hair loss became an issue. The ladies switched to other stylists; their hair grew back.

Interestingly, the doctor never asked about her stylist or what products he might be using. Chains, as we know, have one objective: the bottom line.

I have taken lisinopril, HCTZ, and lovastatin for several years, and have experienced noticeable hair loss. What medications can be substituted that will not result in further hair loss?

Yes it's possible but there are many contributing factors including stress, diet, hormone change, etc. try using a sulfate free shampoo like Regenepure DR with Ketoconazole. You can see their ingredients At www.regenepure.com. Stay away from commercial products. Minoxidil spray is a good idea to use also

I've been reading all comments regarding blood pressure meds and hair loss/thinning. I am 66 yr old female and have been on lisinopril (20 mg) and since 10/11 on Pravastatin (generic for Cozaar) 100 mg. In researching this site it seems crystal clear that there are far too many drugs available and doctor's are not really familiar with most of them, more importantly, possible side effects... my doctor went from 20 mg to 100 mg???? I have noticed definite hair thinning on the top of my head and I think it is from overdosage. My BP hovers in the low 130's/over low 90's and I do exercise at the gym.. I am meeting with doctor next week and, now more educated, I have many questions... thank you for the valuable info I learned.

Has anyone successfully tried minoxdil for hair loss? I'm desperate. I'll be 50 on Friday and can't believe that I'm going bald from blood pressure medication. I had more hair on my head two weeks ago than today. I don't even want to look at pix of myself. What a bummer!

While I am on several different medications, I didn't experience any hair loss until I was put on Lisinopril.

Ok...have any of you noticed a discoloration on upper and inner thighs? It feels like a sunburn. It is somewhat purple red.

I have found this with almost all other women on these meds...
hydrochlorothiazide...toprol...losartan. Amazing how frequently these side effects are noticed but not documented much on the drug
sheets. I think most attribute these things to stress or age, but not the real thing causing the issues are the meds!!!

Thank you for this site. My doctor recently changed my prescription from 20mg Simvastatin to 40mg daily and I am also taking Losartan. Since the change in amount of Simvastatin, I have been noticing lots of hair in the shower after I have one. Could this be the cause?

I have been taking Losartan for about 2 months and have experienced a lot of hair loss. Top of my head and the temples are thinning fast. I am scheduled for another appointment with my doctor next week and will bring this to his attention but I think that its the medication that I have been prescribed.

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