Does Gabapentin Cause Hair Loss?

To know, “does gabapentin cause hair loss?”, please read more. Gabapentin is the medication which is commonly known as Neurontin and is the medication that is used for treating different neurological conditions like neuropathic pain, restless legs syndrome, epilepsy, and the hot flashes. The medication was approved to be used in the year 1993. The medication works based on the condition for which it is used. The drug works by reducing the abnormal excitement of the brain which is common in the seizure disorders like epilepsy and the restless legs syndrome. It works by changing the way the body interprets pain for treating the neuropathic pain, by blocking the calcium channels so that the pain signals do not reach the brain.

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Does it Cause Hair Loss?

Gabapentin is associated with numerous side effects which include irritability, depression, panic attacks, impulsiveness, suicide thoughts, aggression, dizziness, headache, dry mouth, and vomiting. The drug manufacturers have not stated that hair loss is a side effect of the drug but many of the people who have used the drug for different conditions like epilepsy have experienced hair loss. This drug can result in drug-induced alopecia but the mechanism associated with each case is different. Telogen Effluvium or Anagen Effluvium are found to be the real causes of the hair loss as per the researches.

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How Hair Loss Occurs?

Hair loss is the result of the interruption in the hair cycle at the beginning of anagen phase or at the end of the telogen phase. These two are among the three major phases that form part of the hair growth cycle. Catagen is the third phase which happens between Anagen and Telogen.

If the hair growth cycle is interrupted at the telogen phase, excessive hair shedding of premature hair will be the outcome. The while bulb at end of the shed hair shows that one is experiencing telogen effluvium. It is the kind of hair loss that is common among the drug-induced alopecia. It is not a very severe hair loss and the people undergoing through this condition experience hair loss between 30 to 70 percentage. This kind of hair loss can be witnessed after 2 to 3 months of the intake of gabapentin.

Anagen effluvium is hair growth interruption at anagen phase. It is the phase when most of the active hair growth happens. This condition can make the cells in follicles lose the ability to divide properly. It is a very severe form of hair loss and one can experience it within very few days after the consumption of the drug. The condition can result in body-wide hair loss.

Is it Possible to Reverse Hair Loss?

The hair loss induced by medicines are usually reversible. When the medicine intake stops, it can gradually stop hair loss as well. But in many cases, it may not be very easy to stop the medication due to the health conditions.

How to Deal with Drug-Induced Hair Loss?

If you are in a medical condition where stopping the drug may not work for you then you should think about other options. There are medications which can help in regrowth of hair and stopping hair loss but they are also tagged with side effects which you would not want to go through. The best and effective way to handle such situations is to do scalp massage and exercises.

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