How Does Gabapentin Cause Hair Loss?

Did you know that Gabapentin can cause hair loss? This antiepileptic drug is not widely consumed, which may be a contributing factor to the low incidence of reported cases.

How Does Gabapentin Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss occurs when gabapentin disrupts the hair cycle, which consists of three distinct phases: the anagen phase, the catagen phase (hair in limbo), and the telogen phase (resting follicle).

Alopecia

While no one has proven that gabapentin causes hair loss, some reports have indicated that it can cause it. Researchers from the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute are currently conducting a clinical trial involving 6% gabapentin, which is an anticonvulsant. This drug is currently available under the brand name Neurontin, which is sold under the Pfizer brand name in the United Kingdom.

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Gabapentin has been available as a generic drug in the United States since 2004. It is also sold under various brand names. In 2016, gabapentin was the tenth most-prescribed medication in the country with 64 million prescriptions. Its adverse side effects include alopecia and hair loss. Therefore, users should consult with their doctor before discontinuing gabapentin.

Telogen Effluvium

Many drugs cause hair loss. Gabapentin is one such drug. It occurs when hair follicles enter a resting state and fall out too early. As a result, a person’s hair loses up to 30% of its normal growth. However, this problem is usually reversible once the patient discontinues the drug.

Although gabapentin’s potential for abuse is minimal, some people have experienced drug-induced hair loss. The drug may interfere with the normal cycle of hair growth. If this happens, it is best to consult a medical professional. Symptoms of drug-induced hair loss can be frightening, but the good news is that it is generally reversible. Luckily, hair regrowth can begin within several weeks.

In addition to hair loss, gabapentin can cause other side effects, such as drowsiness and memory loss. Some men may also experience increased appetite and weight gain. Finally, gabapentin may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. As a result, it is important to understand the possible side effects of gabapentin.

Shingles

Gabapentin is a prescription medication that is used to treat multiple conditions. It is available under many brand names, each one targeting a specific condition. Its main effect is to relieve the nerve pain caused by herpes zoster infection. The drug is also used to treat restless leg syndrome, a condition characterized by intense urges to move one’s lower limbs. This medication can cause hair loss in both men and women.

The treatment for shingles involves treating symptoms of nerve damage caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. This virus travels through the nerve tissues near the spinal cord and brain, where it remains dormant for decades. During this time, the virus can resurface and cause painful shingles. Certain cancer treatments and immunosuppressive drugs, such as prednisone, can also lead to shingles.

Allergic Reactions

Although gabapentin is considered a safe medication for most people, it does cause some side effects. Some are more serious than others, however. People with pre-existing conditions and those who suffer from allergies should consult a doctor before starting treatment. Additionally, people who have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts should be closely monitored while taking gabapentin. This is because gabapentin increases the risk of suicidal thoughts.

One such patient reported significant hair loss and a burning sensation a week after starting treatment. She later complained of patchy alopecia, but the researchers believed that they were witnessing the first documented case of alopecia in a patient taking gabapentin. Hair growth resumed within a few months, and she has since stopped experiencing hair loss. But hair loss is not an indication of permanent hair loss from gabapentin, and the risk of developing an allergic reaction depends on the individual and dosage.

How Does Gabapentin Cause Hair Loss?