What antidepressants cause hair loss

How to reverse hair loss from medication

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:

  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?

We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.

Read more about our vetting process.

In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that all forms of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine (Zantac) be removed from the U. S. market. They made this recommendation because unacceptable levels of NDMA, a probable carcinogen (or cancer-causing chemical), were present in some ranitidine products. People taking prescription ranitidine should talk with their doctor about safe alternative options before stopping the drug. People taking OTC ranitidine should stop taking the drug and talk with their healthcare provider about alternative options. Instead of taking unused ranitidine products to a drug take-back site, a person should dispose of them according to the product’s instructions or by following the FDA’s guidance.

Many prescription and some over-the-counter medications can cause hair loss as a side effect. Supplements, topical applications, and changing medications may all help resolve hair loss.

Hair loss as a result of medications is often temporary, meaning normal hair growth will resume when people stop taking the drug. In rare cases, however, people can experience permanent hair loss.

Here we look at the types of medications that can cause hair loss and the options for avoiding or reversing drug-induced hair loss.

Hair loss from medication usually ceases once people stop taking the medication. However, it is vital to speak to a doctor before stopping a drug, even if it is causing hair loss.

Once a person has ceased the medication, hair can take up to 6 months to grow back.

Some people may notice hair growth within 3–6 months, but it may take 12–18 months for the hair to return to normal.

People may be able to help reverse hair loss using home remedies and natural solutions.

Diet and supplements

Eating a balanced diet may help support healthy hair and regrowth. A diet that contains plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants, may also help.

A 2015 study looked at the effect of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidant supplementation on hair growth in 120 healthy females.

After 6 months, the researchers found that almost 90% of the participants who took the supplements saw reduced hair loss, as well as increased thickness of their hair.

If a person has a deficiency in specific nutrients, it can affect hair growth.

People can get a blood test to check for deficiencies that can contribute to hair loss, such as:

  • iron
  • biotin
  • zinc

People who have a deficiency can take a supplement to boost levels, which may help hair to grow back.

Minoxidil topical solution

People can buy minoxidil, or Rogaine, over the counter (OTC) and apply it topically to the scalp.

People using minoxidil may start to see their hair growing back within 3–6 months.

People can speak to a pharmacist about minoxidil or purchase it online.

Pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin seed oil may reduce the effects of 5-alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that contributes to hair loss.

The authors of a 2014 study looked at the effects of pumpkin seed oil in 76 males with hair loss. After 24 weeks, those who took 400 milligrams (mg) of pumpkin seed oil every day had a 40% increase in hair count, compared to 10% in those taking a placebo.

Pumpkin seed oil is available in health food stores and online.

If people are not seeing results from home and natural remedies after a few months, they can talk to their doctor to discuss other options.

Drugs that can cause hair loss include:

Blood thinners

Blood thinners, or anticoagulants, can cause hair loss. These include heparin injections and warfarin sodium, which includes the branded drugs:

  • Panwarfin
  • Coumadin
  • Sofarin


Antidepressants that can cause hair loss include:

  • Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride)
  • Tofranil (imipramine)
  • Janimine (imipramine)
  • Anafranil (clomipramine)
  • Sertraline


People may take amphetamines for managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or treating narcolepsy.

The amphetamine drug Adderall lists alopecia as one of the side effects people may experience.

Anti-gout medications

Allopurinol is a drug that doctors prescribe to lower uric acid levels in people with gout. Brand names of allopurinol include:

  • Zyloprim
  • Lopurin

Beta-blockers for glaucoma

Timolol is a beta-blocker people may use to treat glaucoma. Forms of timolol that may cause hair loss include:

  • Timoptic ocudose
  • Timoptic eye drops
  • Timoptic XC

Beta-blockers for high blood pressure

People taking beta-blockers as a treatment for high blood pressure may experience hair loss as a side effect.

These drugs include:

  • Tenormin (atenolol)
  • Corgard (nadolol)
  • Lopressor (metoprolol)
  • Blocadren (timolol)
  • Inderal or Inderal LA (propranolol)

Hormonal medications

Hormonal medications can treat many different conditions, but can also contribute to hair loss in both males and females.

These drugs include:

  • birth control pills
  • estrogen or progesterone hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • testosterone
  • androgenic hormones
  • steroids, including prednisone and anabolic steroids

Anti-inflammatory drugs

Some anti-inflammatory drugs that can cause hair loss include:

  • Naprosyn (naproxen)
  • Anaprox (naproxen)
  • Clinoril (sulindac)
  • Indocin (indomethacin)

Antirheumatic drugs

People taking medication to treat rheumatoid arthritis may experience hair loss. This is because antirheumatic drugs work to fight inflammation by stopping cell growth.

Some drugs target all cells indiscriminately, which means it can affect the cells that produce new hair.

Antirheumatic drugs that may cause hair loss include:

  • Methotrexate, which causes hair loss in 1–3% of users
  • Arava (leflunomide), which causes hair loss in roughly 10% of people who take it

Enbrel (etanercept) and Humira (adalimumab) may also cause hair loss in rare cases. Researchers think this might be because these drugs affect molecules in the body that send messages between cells.

Parkinson’s disease drugs

The drug Levodopa or L-dopa can cause hair loss.

Stomach disorder drugs

Drugs to treat stomach ulcers and digestive issues may cause hair loss. These medications include:

  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • Pepcid (famotidine)

Other drugs

Other medications that can cause hair loss include:

  • medications for thyroid disorders
  • immunosuppressants
  • chemotherapy
  • antifungals, such as voriconazole
  • some antibiotics
  • anticonvulsants such as Tridone or Trimethadione
  • isotretinoin (Accutane)
  • drugs that contain vitamin A

When discussing medications with a doctor, people may want to ask some of the following:

  • What side effects could the new medication have?
  • Will the new medication have any effect on hair growth?
  • Is there an alternative medication that does not cause hair loss?
  • Could there be any other cause for the hair loss?

A doctor may also be able to tell people whether their hair will start to grow back by itself or whether they will need treatment for hair loss.

If people are taking medications that are causing hair loss, they can see their doctor about switching to an alternative. Once people stop taking the medication, they may start to see hair growing back within 6 months.

In most cases, hair will grow back by itself once a person stops taking the medication. People may be able to help hair growth with at-home treatments.

If people are seeing no signs of regrowth after 6 months, they can discuss other treatment options with their doctor.

People should also speak to a doctor to determine whether another underlying issue may be causing hair loss.

Which Antidepressant Causes the Most Hair Loss?

  1. Do antidepressants cause hair loss?
  2. Is hair loss from antidepressants permanent?
  3. What to know about antidepressants
  4. When to see a healthcare provider

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

The millions of Americans who take antidepressants are probably familiar with common side effects like weight gain and sexual dysfunction. But you may not be aware that some antidepressants also cause hair loss. 

Although hair loss is a distressing symptom, these concerns should be balanced against one another. Learning about antidepressants and hair loss may help you make informed choices regarding navigating depression treatment options. 

Treatments start at $20/month

Find a hair loss plan that works for you.

Learn more

As the name implies, antidepressants are medications used to treat depression. Side effects linked to these drugs include insomnia, nausea, and dizziness, but hair loss (alopecia) is a rare reaction.

Research on long-term antidepressant use found the following to be the most commonly reported adverse effects (Cartwright, 2016): 

  • Sexual difficulties
  • Weight gain 
  • Emotional numbness 
  • Failure to orgasm 

As you can see, hair loss did not make the list. However, a research review comparing hair loss among various antidepressants found people taking bupropion (brand name Wellbutrin; see Important Safety Information) had a higher risk of hair loss compared to others like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (Etminan, 2018).

Other antidepressants had a lower risk of hair loss with fluoxetine (brand name Prozac; see Important Safety Information) and paroxetine (brand name Paxil, Brisdelle; see Important Safety Information) showing the lowest risk. Among the typical antidepressants, fluvoxamine (brand name Luvox) had the highest risk, but not as high as bupropion (Etminan, 2018).

Antidepressants can cause telogen effluvium, a type of temporary hair loss triggered by things like stress and medication. Telogen effluvium occurs when hair follicles in the resting phase fall out too early. 

Normally, around 85% of a person’s hair follicles are in the actively growing (anagen) phase. The remaining 15% are resting hairs in what’s called the telogen phase. But if you experience telogen effluvium, those roles reverse; this launches up to 70% of hairs into the telogen phase, which is when new hairs push out the resting ones (Hughes, 2021).

The good news is that telogen effluvium usually occurs without any scarring and is typically reversible.

SSRIs: everything you need to know

Antidepressant medications Last updated: May 17, 2021 9 min read

Of the major classes of antidepressants, SSRIs and SNRIs are the first-line treatment. SSRIs alleviate symptoms by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain. SNRIs block the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine.

Examples of SSRIs include:

  • Sertraline (brand name Zoloft; see Important Safety Information)
  • Paroxetine 
  • Fluoxetine 
  • Escitalopram (brand name Lexapro; see Important Safety Information)
  • Fluvoxamine 
  • Vilazodone (brand name Viibryd)
  • Citalopram (brand name Celexa)

Examples of SNRIs include:

  • Duloxetine (brand name Cymbalta; see Important Safety Information)
  • Venlafaxine (brand name Effexor; see Important Safety Information)
  • Levomilnacipran (brand name Fetzima)
  • Desvenlafaxine (brand name Pristiq)
  • Milnacipran (brand name Savella)

Other types of medications include monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and atypical antidepressants like bupropion.

Before starting a new antidepressant, it’s helpful to have a list of questions prepared. As it relates to hair loss, you might want to ask a healthcare professional questions like: 

  • What side effects could the new medication have?
  • Will the new medication impact hair growth?
  • If so, is there an alternative drug that doesn’t cause hair loss?

If you’re taking antidepressant medication and notice signs of hair loss or thinning, it’s just as important to talk with your provider—don’t just stop taking these drugs on your own. There are countless reasons for hair loss (like genetics, diet, illness, and stress) so it’s important to differentiate drug-induced telogen effluvium from other issues.

Your provider may reduce or eliminate the drug for several months to see how your hair responds. The caveat here is that this should always be done gradually as opposed to cold turkey. Abruptly stopping these medications can lead to what’s called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome—a temporary flu-like withdrawal reaction to ending a medication (Warner, 2006).  

Antidepressants: types, side effects, uses, and risks

Antidepressant medications Last updated: May 26, 2021 10 min read

Once people stop taking the drug, they’ll typically see hair regrowth within six months. At this point (or maybe even sooner), your healthcare provider will better understand your hair growth patterns and if additional treatment is necessary. 

Research shows that more than 60% of Americans taking antidepressants have been on them for two or more years. Roughly 14% have used the medication for at least 10 years (Pratt, 2011). Judging by this information, it seems safe to say that these medications are here to stay, so it’s important to understand all side effects. 

The good news is that if loss of hair occurs, it usually only lasts a few months and is reversible. You can work with your healthcare provider to find an alternative medication or explore other solutions for treating and managing hair loss from antidepressant use.

  1. Cartwright, C., Gibson, K., Read, J., et al. (2016). Long-term antidepressant use: patient perspectives of benefits and adverse effects. Patient Preference and Adherence, 10, 1401–1407. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970636/
  2. Etminan, M., Sodhi, M., Procyshyn, R. M., et al. (2018). Risk of hair loss with different antidepressants: a comparative retrospective cohort study. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 33(1), 44–48. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28763345/
  3. Hughes, E. C. & Saleh, D. (2021). Telogen effluvium. StatPearls. Retrieved April 1, 2022 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430848/
  4. Pratt, L. A., Brody, D. J., & Gu, Q. (2011). Antidepressant use in persons aged 12 and over: United States, 2005–2008. NCHS Data Brief, 76. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db76.htm
  5. Warner, C. H., Bobo, W., Warner, C., et al. (2006). Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome. American Family Physician, 74(3), 449–456. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2006/0801/p449.html

Dr. Chimene Richa is a board-certified Ophthalmologist and Senior Medical Writer/Reviewer at Ro.

Hair Loss Depression - Dr. Acar

The Cosmedica Team

We are an international team committed to providing the best hair transplant services on the market and to informing and educating people around the world about hair loss and its treatments.

Article contents

A threat called hair loss

Thinning hair , thinning hair and baldness are very common human scalp problems. These states are associated with hair loss , otherwise known as alopecia. Hair loss is a condition in which excessive hair loss occurs. Hair loss can be observed in men and women, as well as in representatives of different age groups.

For many years, hair loss experts have associated this threat with hormonal problems , symptoms of old age or other physical illnesses. However, new evidence has emerged that mental health problems can not only cause hair loss, but also be the result of people losing their hair. nine0005

Cosmedica - Dr. Acar , a leading hair clinic, is committed to helping people overcome the symptoms of hair loss and factors such as depression that lead to hair loss . Here are important details about how depression causes hair loss and treatments to follow when treating depression from hair loss.

Common types of hair loss in men and women

Hair loss can have different effects on individuals. This is because different types of hair loss can affect different people. These types of hair loss can be either permanent or temporary.

In general, The American Academy of Dermatology recognizes the following most common types of hair loss.

Alopecia areata: This type of hair loss is most common in young people. Alopecia areata usually causes people with this condition to lose their hair in clumps.

Androgenetic alopecia: This type of hair loss is also called male pattern baldness. This condition causes the hair to fall out in the middle in an "M" shape.

Telogen effluvium: Telogen effluvium occurs mainly due to stress and is characterized by large amounts of hair loss. Hair loss in this disease begins at the resting stage of the hair growth cycle.

Trichotillomania: this condition is known as hair-pulling disorder and usually results in a constant and irresistible impulse to pull hair from various parts of the body. nine0005

Trichorrhexis nodosa: Unlike other conditions that cause hair to fall off the scalp, trichorrhexis nodosum simply breaks off at weak points.

Relationship between depression and hair loss

Patients with mental illnesses always experience far-reaching consequences from the conditions they suffer from. But more recently, hair loss has been linked to suffering from anxiety and depression. Although there are no direct studies that prove that depression causes hair loss, there are several types of studies that show how depression can cause the conditions that lead to hair loss. nine0005

One such condition is stress . With increased levels of stress, the likelihood of thinning hair and hair loss can increase. Hair loss can also be the result of stress associated with childbirth or depression caused by unwanted life events or problems such as death, ill health, or problems at work.

Chronic use of birth control pills can also lead to some level of depression. This, in turn, leads to hormonal imbalance - a strong factor responsible for hair loss. Similarly, people who use antidepressants usually experience hair loss as a side effect of taking them.

Hair loss depression treatment

If you are suffering from depression associated with hair loss it is important to take steps to restore healthy hair. One of the best methods is to take care of the health issues that usually lead to depression. nine0005

If the hair does not grow back, a hair transplant can be considered. Hair transplantation involves taking hair from a donor area of ​​the body and transplanting it to areas of the scalp where the hair has fallen out.

Hair transplant is a common procedure at Cosmedica and is recommended as a permanent solution to hair loss, especially caused by depression or hereditary factors.

Final Thoughts on Depression in Hair Loss nine0012

Although there are several drug treatments for hair loss depression , not all forms of treatment are appropriate due to side effects. That's why you need a specialist to help you get through recovery. Fortunately, Cosmedica does just that. Contact us today to access high quality treatments that will improve your health growth.

Do you have any questions? nine0012

If you have any questions about hair transplant in Turkey , Dr. Levent Acar and his team will be happy to help you. Get a free, no-obligation hair consultation today.

Free consultation

sign up

Stress causes hair loss, but not immediately

Recently, the number of patients with alopecia has increased several times. Almost all of them say: experienced stress. First because of covid, now because of the political situation. Stress triggers a cascade of adverse reactions in the body, and sensitive hair follicles react to it so sharply that 3-4 months after the stress, the hair literally climbs in bunches. Why is this happening and what to do? nine0137

Constantly, about 85-90% of the hair on our head is actively growing (anagen phase), and the rest is at rest (telogen phase). Under the influence of stress, hair (from 30 to 70%) abruptly enters the telogen stage prematurely, and then falls out. In this case, we are talking about telogen effluvium. But hair loss does not occur immediately, but after about 100 days, when we no longer think about the traumatic situation. Often patients are perplexed: how is it that the stress was in January, and the hair began to fall out only in April. The fact is that the phase of rest and loss on average lasts almost 4 months. During this time, the hair root gradually moves to the surface of the skin and falls out. And now, we already see tufts of hair on the comb, clothes, in the bathroom and on the pillow. nine0005

How does stress affect hair?

There are several theories about exactly how stress affects hair follicles, causing hair loss in large numbers.

Blood microcirculation is disturbed

It is believed that during stress, blood flow goes to vital organs that ensure the integrity of the body. With this distribution of blood, the hair follicles, shrouded in a network of capillaries, lack nutrients, so they enter the resting phase prematurely. nine0005

Hormonal fluctuations occur

Under stress, there is an intense release of cortisol into the blood, it reduces the level of testosterone and increases the level of dihydrotestosterone in the tissues, which can lead to the launch of androgenetic alopecia - female-type hair loss (thinning, thinning) or male-type ( baldness in the fronto-temporal and parietal zone, on the top of the head). Hair loss eventually subsides, but the volume does not return. Patients complain of bald patches, gaps, expansion of the central parting. In addition, stress can lead to problems with the thyroid gland - the appearance of autoimmune thyroiditis, exacerbation of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, which can also be one of the reasons why hair stops growing. nine0005

Autoimmune diseases develop

Against the background of stress, nest-shaped hair loss often occurs when the body attacks its own follicles: one or more foci ranging in size from a pea to a five-ruble coin or more appear on the scalp in a short time. The episode can be single, sometimes it closes on its own, and new foci may appear and merge with each other. The disease is not fully understood, but stress plays a big role here. In this case, only a trichologist will help. nine0005

Depletion occurs

Any noticeable imbalance of vitamins and minerals causes the follicles to go dormant. During stress, there is a large consumption of trace elements and vitamins, especially B vitamins, which are important not only for the functioning of the nervous system, but also for hair. These vitamins affect the absorption of iron, without which latent iron deficiency anemia can develop, and this is often the cause of alopecia. In addition, some antidepressants, which are often prescribed by psychiatrists to stabilize the emotional state, have hair loss as a side effect. nine0005

What to do about it?

First, check the level of glucose in the blood, the amount of total protein, cholesterol, thyroid hormones, take tests to determine the level of vitamins D, C, B6, B9, B12, as well as trace elements - iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium, iodine. The deficit needs to be filled, and at the same time to establish a sleep and wakefulness regimen, a diet, and reduce emotional stress.

To cleanse the scalp, leave your usual shampoo according to the type of scalp - oily, dry or normal. In pharmacies, you can buy products for hair loss, as well as connect peeling for the scalp 1-2 times a week. It may contain fruit acids, salicylic or glycolic acid - they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, stimulate collagen synthesis.

Learn more