Hair Loss on Accutane

Accutane Hair Loss Facts:

Hair loss occurs due to several factors. Some of them are age, hormonal changes, medications, genetics and environmental exposure.

These factors are all interrelated and they interact with each other to produce different types of hair loss. Hormonal changes include those caused by pregnancy or birth control pills such as estrogen and progesterone. Other causes of hair loss include aging, radiation therapy, chemotherapy treatments and certain drugs.

The most common type of hair loss is called alopecia areata (also known as male pattern baldness). Alopecia areata occurs when there is no new growth in the scalp.

The condition usually begins at puberty and continues into adulthood. Although it may affect men and women equally, its onset tends to occur earlier among girls than boys. There are many possible reasons for the onset of alopecia areata, but it generally involves one or more of the following:

A genetic predisposition to developing alopecia areata.

Exposure to chemicals during fetal development. For example, pesticides used during farming.

Certain medical conditions such as cancer and leukemia.

Stress or trauma.

Accutane is a prescription medication used to treat severe acne and other skin conditions. It is also known as vitamin A acid.

The drug works by decreasing the size and severity of pimples and diminishing blackheads and whiteheads. In more serious cases, it can help prevent cysts and nodules from developing. The medication is only available from your physician and can only be taken under direct medical supervision.

Acne medication does not work for everyone. The U.S.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Accutane for individuals who are 15 years old and older. While it may help treat mild acne, its most common use is in the treatment of severe cases of inflammatory acne, which does not respond to other treatment methods.

Acne medication can have several side effects. Many of the more common side effects are minor such as headaches, muscle pain and an upset stomach.

It is also possible to experience changes in your appetite or develop an aversion to certain foods while on the drug. Rare but serious side effects include inflammation of the liver, bowel movements turning black (melena), and depression. It may also cause bone thinning, so you may require additional calcium and Vitamin D in your diet.

Alopecia, or hair loss, is another possible side effect of taking Accutane. In most cases a person will experience mild to moderate hair loss during the first three months of treatment.

This type of hair loss is temporary and grows back after you have stopped taking the medication. However, in some cases the condition can be permanent when the hair loss is severe. If you have experienced severe hair loss after taking the drug, it may take anywhere from several months to a year for your hair to begin growing again.

If you experience any of the following severe side effects while taking Accutane, you should contact your physician immediately: depression, psychosis, irregular bowel movements (including bloody urine), jaundice and severe muscle or joint pain.

Alopecia is a possible side effect of taking Accutane.

Accutane is a prescription medication used to treat severe acne.

Alopecia can cause temporary to permanent hair loss, though this side effect is only likely in a small number of people who take the drug.

In some cases hair loss can be severe or even permanent requiring a person to take Accutane to experience complete hair regrowth.

Still interested in taking Accutane?

If you have decided that the possible side effects of taking this drug are a price worth paying to clear up your acne, speak with your physician and ask him or her to recommend a course of action. In addition to the possible side effects already mentioned, your doctor will also be able to discuss any other potential health risks you might experience while on the drug.

Accutane Comparison

Accutane is not the only medication available to treat acne.

Sources & references used in this article:

Accutane (isotretinoin) and psychiatric adverse effects by E Wooltorton – Cmaj, 2003 – Can Med Assoc

Overview of existing research and information linking isotretinoin (accutane), depression, psychosis, and suicide by J O’Donnell – American journal of therapeutics, 2003 –

Hair loss: common congenital and acquired causes by JH Phillips III, SL Smith, JS Storer – Postgraduate medicine, 1986 – Taylor & Francis

Accutane: uses, risks, side-effects, and alternatives by M Bohl –

Medications That Cause Hair Loss by S Haynes –