Has Anyone Experienced Noticeable Hair Loss On Spironolactone?

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A little more than a year ago I was prescribed Spironolactone for cystic acne. I had it very deep around my chin and mouth. Before, I of course had very oily skin. It was basically uncontrollable. I had tried a few things for it, but my derm basically jumped straight to the Spiro. A couple months before, I was also put on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo. I had a good year with this combo. I literally don't have any acne left, but there is a huge problem, my hair is literally just falling out. I have never ever in my life had this problem. I am a 21 year old female with zero family history of hair loss. I saw my derm back in July and she denied that Spiro could cause this. Back at that time, the hair loss was noticeable to me, just because i know my body and when something is right and wrong. Well, I was forced to sort of put it behind me because she said that it wasn't possible. Obviously I was frustrated, but there wasn't much i could do, as my potassium, iron, and thyroid were all checked and all fine.

Anyways, here I am in October with HORRIBLE shedding! I mean, when I comb my hair after a shower, clumps are falling out. I take vitamins and stay as healthy as possible. Even during the day my hair is falling into my lap and all over my arms. It is quite irritating and also mortifying. I am trying not to stress about it, as i know that will make it worse, but its a bit hard to stay positive about this.

So i just saw my derm and she did a pull test. It wasn't good... a few pieces came straight out with the plugs on the end. On top of hairloss, my scalp is TERRIBLY itchy, but there is NOTHING. No dandruff, no rashes, nothing. She told me to stop taking the Spiro, so i did. She said she's never met a person who had hair loss caused by a medication that is prescribed FOR IT, but that I might be the exception. I guess the ultimate question is, has ANYONE been on Spiro this long and experienced this? i would really appreciate it if maybe someone could shed some light on this situation.

I stopped the Spiro and I know it's too soon for the hair loss to stop as that was just 4 or 5 days ago.

Any thoughts?

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Hi, I have been taking spiro for about a year now, with great success. I started taking spiro after an accutane course. I started to get random acne here and there and I freaked and didn't want to go back on accutane so I decided on trying spiro. Right after I finished my accutane course my hair started falling out like crazy, I swear I must have lost 25% of my hair. It thinned out like crazy and I was losing huge amounts in the shower.

I started spiro and I was concerned about hair loss with this medication as well. If you read about spiro you see that it has helped people with excess , dark hair. Spiro mutes out your testosterone levels so that excess dark hair growth stops. I wasn't sure how that would affect my hair on my head. My obgyn said it does not affect head hair and side effects do not include hair loss. Once I started spiro my hair actually stopped shedding.

If you can't link your hair loss with anything else, besides starting the spiro, I would assume your reacting to the medication differently than the majority. If spiro is indeed the cause and you find that your acne returns, you could ask your dermatologist about topical spiro. That way the medication is just in your skin rather than running through your system.


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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That is interesting, I have never heard of topical Spiro. Unfortunately I know that my acne has a huge chance of returning, so I'll definitely ask about that!

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The topical spiro is pretty new to the market.


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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I had the same experience with spiro and also with yaz and yasmin. My hair got so thin on spiro, and continued to fall out until a few months after I stopped taking it. Thankfully it grew back! We're not alone; I've seen a lot of other people complaining of the same problem.

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I had the same experience with spiro and also with yaz and yasmin. My hair got so thin on spiro, and continued to fall out until a few months after I stopped taking it. Thankfully it grew back! We're not alone; I've seen a lot of other people complaining of the same problem.

Thanks for that! I don't feel so alone now! I'm glad to hear that your hair grew back. :) Hopefully I will have the same outcome.

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The hormonal changes initiated by spironolactone can cause a telogen effluvium. Usually this state of hairloss is TEMPORARY and the hair will grow back over time. In some people who already had scalp hair loss, the hair will actually grow back thicker than it was before.

Because of testosterone affects hair follicles differently depending on where they are in the body, antiandrogens typically INCREASE scalp hair and REDUCE body hair and facial hair.

A very small minority do not fare well on spironolactone and the hair loss does not stop until you come off the drug. If you think this is you, please have your vitamin D tested by a doctor. Vitamin D levels have documented crucial roles in the hair shedding cycle. If spironolactone is able to plunge you into a never-ending hair shedding cycle, you probably have some other problems going on already.

Edited by Green Gables
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The hormonal changes initiated by spironolactone can cause a telogen effluvium. Usually this state of hairloss is TEMPORARY and the hair will grow back over time. In some people who already had scalp hair loss, the hair will actually grow back thicker than it was before.

Because of testosterone affects hair follicles differently depending on where they are in the body, antiandrogens typically INCREASE scalp hair and REDUCE body hair and facial hair.

A very small minority do not fare well on spironolactone and the hair loss does not stop until you come off the drug. If you think this is you, please have your vitamin D tested by a doctor. Vitamin D levels have documented crucial roles in the hair shedding cycle. If spironolactone is able to plunge you into a never-ending hair shedding cycle, you probably have some other problems going on already.

I have actually researched and now I'm starting to think it is telogen effluvium. Thanks for that information. I am actually planning to get tests run soon by my doctor to rule out other problems. I never thought about the vitamin D, that is something I really need to have checked. I had no idea that could effect hair, but then again it seems like everything does!

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My vitamin d was normal when I was taking spiro and my hair still fell out.

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My dermatologist said topical spiro didn't exist. I asked last Thursday. She even ran a search to make sure in case it was super new.

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My dermatologist said topical spiro didn't exist. I asked last Thursday. She even ran a search to make sure in case it was super new.

Study using topical spironolactone.

hanks. If anyone else reading this is curious, the topical treatment is going well. It's kind of a liquid consistancy--like a toner. I had a little breakout initially, but it's clearing up nicely and as of right now I have no active marks with no side effects. We'll see how it goes!

You can buy it over the counter for hair loss but the cream is perfectly safe to use on your face. So you don't need your derm's help on this one. If you search the boards, there's at least one person who had great success with that specific cream in the link.

Edited by Green Gables
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Hi,

I started spironolactone about 7 months ago. I noticed minor hair shedding within about a month. I got up to 100mg daily. My skin cleared up within 2 months and I stopped worrying about the shedding. However, a couple weeks ago my scalp starting feeling itchy and irritated. I then noticed how thin my hair had actually become, especially over the crown of my head!!! My hair has also become very dry and brittle.

I stopped sprio this week. My derm said that hair loss is a common side effect. I'm now MORTIFIED and hope that it will grow back in. I also hope that my skin doesn't explode again. I don't know which is the lesser of 2 evils, thin hair or acne. I am now sporting a "comb back" with my layers to hide the thinning areas. Sheesh.

Edited by karmadog

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Hi,

I started spironolactone about 7 months ago. I noticed minor hair shedding within about a month. I got up to 100mg daily. My skin cleared up within 2 months and I stopped worrying about the shedding. However, a couple weeks ago my scalp starting feeling itchy and irritated. I then noticed how thin my hair had actually become, especially over the crown of my head!!! My hair has also become very dry and brittle.

I stopped sprio this week. My derm said that hair loss is a common side effect. I'm now MORTIFIED and hope that it will grow back in. I also hope that my skin doesn't explode again. I don't know which is the lesser of 2 evils, thin hair or acne. I am now sporting a "comb back" with my layers to hide the thinning areas. Sheesh.

I'm sorry this happened to you too! You're lucky your derm actually acknowledged this side effect. Mine completely denied it. Your symptoms sound almost identical to mine. I have had a very itchy scalp and my hair doesn't feel like it used to. On top of that, my scalp has been really sore around the crown of my head. It feels like I hit it on something several times. I can't decide what is worse either. I feel your pain. I just couldn't see myself continuing this drug because I know hair loss has NEVER happened to me, and it's really embarrassing :/. At least with the acne, maybe there are other options.

I am curious to know how long it will take for the acne to return.

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Thank you ;)

My skin has become very oily already, so I'm pretty sure acne is not far behind. I will just have to be more aggressive with topicals.I'm kinda happy to get off spiro. It seems so risky to take something that alters your body so much.

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Thank you wink.png

My skin has become very oily already, so I'm pretty sure acne is not far behind. I will just have to be more aggressive with topicals.I'm kinda happy to get off spiro. It seems so risky to take something that alters your body so much.

I feel the same way. I didn't want to be on it for more than a year because I don't think its really safe to stay on drugs for a long while.

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If you are planning to get off in a year then I wouldn't even bother with it - it can take half that time or more to reach full effects. Also many studies have been done showing Spiro IS safe long-term. but it's good you got off with the hair loss issue!

Edited by michi31
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If you are planning to get off in a year then I wouldn't even bother with it - it can take half that time or more to reach full effects. Also many studies have been done showing Spiro IS safe long-term. but it's good you got off with the hair loss issue!

I have been on it for more than a year. It actually only took about 5 months to eliminate my acne, although who knows. My acne will probably come back completely. I've been off of it for 8 days as of today, so i'm expecting it any time now!

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Thank you wink.png

My skin has become very oily already, so I'm pretty sure acne is not far behind. I will just have to be more aggressive with topicals.I'm kinda happy to get off spiro. It seems so risky to take something that alters your body so much.

I feel the same way. I didn't want to be on it for more than a year because I don't think its really safe to stay on drugs for a long while.

I went to my hairdresser today. She said that she sees new hair growth over the thinning areas. She also said that the new growth hairs are very fine at the tip, so it's hard to notice them when they first come in. I am pretty relieved :) Hopefully yours is not far behind!

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Thank you wink.png

My skin has become very oily already, so I'm pretty sure acne is not far behind. I will just have to be more aggressive with topicals.I'm kinda happy to get off spiro. It seems so risky to take something that alters your body so much.

I feel the same way. I didn't want to be on it for more than a year because I don't think its really safe to stay on drugs for a long while.

I went to my hairdresser today. She said that she sees new hair growth over the thinning areas. She also said that the new growth hairs are very fine at the tip, so it's hard to notice them when they first come in. I am pretty relieved smile.png Hopefully yours is not far behind!

Yay I'm so happy for you! My hair loss has really calmed down A LOT. Everyday it seems to get better.

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Hey DaniJ, I'm glad to hear your hair loss is slowing down! After stopping spiro I have been able to control my hormones through diet. I eat low glycemic load and low fat and my skin is barely oily anymore, and my skin was very, very oily! My testosterone levels also dropped from 67 to 16! I've made other more detailed posts on this in the past so check them out if your interested :)

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Hey DaniJ, I'm glad to hear your hair loss is slowing down! After stopping spiro I have been able to control my hormones through diet. I eat low glycemic load and low fat and my skin is barely oily anymore, and my skin was very, very oily! My testosterone levels also dropped from 67 to 16! I've made other more detailed posts on this in the past so check them out if your interested smile.png

I am really interested in that! I'm going to take a look!

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Hey DaniJ, I'm glad to hear your hair loss is slowing down! After stopping spiro I have been able to control my hormones through diet. I eat low glycemic load and low fat and my skin is barely oily anymore, and my skin was very, very oily! My testosterone levels also dropped from 67 to 16! I've made other more detailed posts on this in the past so check them out if your interested :)

I am really interested in that! I'm going to take a look!

Ok! Feel free to send me a pm if you have any questions!

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Hi everyone, I am SO GLAD that I saw this thread. I too have hormonal, cystic acne...which started 3 years ago when I turned 25. I was put on 25mg spiro at that time, and was only on it for 7 months then got off. This past October, my new doctor put me on 50mg spiro and a new birth control for continued acne. I didn't notice anything odd except for gaining a few pounds, then in Feb my doc doubled my spiro to 100mg. WORST mistake I have EVER made with meds.

Starting end of March, my hair shedding seemed a little increased, but I didn't think much of it. I live in Texas, and it started getting hot again so i figured it was natural. Then in April it ramped up more, and I went in for blood tests. Everything came back completely normal...and my doctor said it was stress induced hairloss. He din't even mention anything about hairloss.

In May it started getting absolutely horrible - I'm talking handfuls in the shower, I don't wash it except for every 4-5 days, and then when i comb it...so much comes out. Well, I started doing research and found this thread and MANY more on the same issue. I had zero issues with hairloss, and no family history except for my Dad which didn't start until much later in life (he's almost 60).

I called the doctor, and he said there's no way it's spiro causing it - that it has to be the birth control. i've been on and off BC for 8 years, never with this issue. My pharmacist said I'm on the lowest-androgen birth control you can take, and because of this he "can't imagine it would be the cause of hair loss"...

I stopped taking spiro 16 days ago, have had increased shedding, but hope that it stops soon. As much as I hate my acne, nothing is worth losing your hair. This is one of the most frustrating things I have gone through.

Warning for anyone looking to go on spiro - stick to 25 mg (that never impacted me when I was on it 3 yrs ago) - and DON"T go to 50-100mg, it's not worth the risk.

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Hi everyone, I am SO GLAD that I saw this thread. I too have hormonal, cystic acne...which started 3 years ago when I turned 25. I was put on 25mg spiro at that time, and was only on it for 7 months then got off. This past October, my new doctor put me on 50mg spiro and a new birth control for continued acne. I didn't notice anything odd except for gaining a few pounds, then in Feb my doc doubled my spiro to 100mg. WORST mistake I have EVER made with meds.

Starting end of March, my hair shedding seemed a little increased, but I didn't think much of it. I live in Texas, and it started getting hot again so i figured it was natural. Then in April it ramped up more, and I went in for blood tests. Everything came back completely normal...and my doctor said it was stress induced hairloss. He din't even mention anything about hairloss.

In May it started getting absolutely horrible - I'm talking handfuls in the shower, I don't wash it except for every 4-5 days, and then when i comb it...so much comes out. Well, I started doing research and found this thread and MANY more on the same issue. I had zero issues with hairloss, and no family history except for my Dad which didn't start until much later in life (he's almost 60).

I called the doctor, and he said there's no way it's spiro causing it - that it has to be the birth control. i've been on and off BC for 8 years, never with this issue. My pharmacist said I'm on the lowest-androgen birth control you can take, and because of this he "can't imagine it would be the cause of hair loss"...

I stopped taking spiro 16 days ago, have had increased shedding, but hope that it stops soon. As much as I hate my acne, nothing is worth losing your hair. This is one of the most frustrating things I have gone through.

Warning for anyone looking to go on spiro - stick to 25 mg (that never impacted me when I was on it 3 yrs ago) - and DON"T go to 50-100mg, it's not worth the risk.

Sorry you're going through this. The same thing happened to me and I was only on 25mg. Don't worry if you're hair keeps shedding for awhile. After I stopped the spiro I think it took about 6 months or more for the shedding to stop.

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