Can Amphetamines Cause Baldness and Hair Thinning?

October 31, 2015 — by Robert True
Tags: Hair Loss Medications

Tablets of a medicationWhen the team at True & Dorin Medical Group tackle a case of hair loss, it's important that we properly identify the exact cause of the problem. This focus on the root cause means smart solutions and treatments. It's what has made us one of the most trusted hair restoration centers in New York.

There are many different hair loss causes out there, some of which you may not expect. For instance, did you know that diet pills and ADHD medications can cause hair thinning? Let's explore the link between amphetamines and hair loss right now.

What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are a type of stimulant that are used for a variety of medical treatments. Doctors may prescribe amphetamines to treat obesity, narcolepsy, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Given the effects of amphetamines on the user, these types of medications are sometimes used as performance enhancing drugs or abused in order to achieve a euphoric effect.

Examples of Common Amphetamine Drugs

Amphetamines may take the form of diet drugs or medications to help with ADHD. Some common examples of amphetamines include:

  • Adderall
  • Evekeo
  • Dexedrine
  • ProCentra
  • Vyvanse
  • Zenzedi

Hair Loss as a Side Effect of Amphetamine Use or Abuse

It is true that people may experience hair loss or hair thinning as a result of using amphetamines, whether it's used to treat ADHD or help address weight and diet concerns. When hair loss and thinning occurs in these issues, the hair loss tends to be more diffuse and spread out. In other words, there will be no single bald spot per se, but shedding of hair from all around the scalp.

This hair loss is easier to detect in women since they will notice serious loss of hair from the scalp. In men, the hair loss may be more difficult to detect simply given the nature of male pattern baldness.

Typically the hair loss comes as a result of drug abuse or from nutritional deficiencies brought on by amphetamines since they can suppress the appetite. In many cases, sticking to your prescription and dosage recommendations prevents hair loss or limits the extent of the hair loss you will experience.

Will the Hair I Lost Grow Back?

By and large the answer is yes. So long as the health of scalp and follicles are unaffected, the hair that was lost will grow back with time once the patient has stopped taking amphetamines. It can take some time for hair to grow back, however, as it can take time for the drugs to flush out of the system and for your body to adjust to the changes.

For men, some of the hair loss may be permanent depending on if they suffer from male pattern baldness. Hair that is shed from the front portion of a receding hairline may not return.

Treatment Options to Consider

In the vast majority of cases, the best treatment is to stop taking medication and to wait and see if the hair grows back naturally. If it does not, medications such as Rogaine and Propecia may be considered. It may also be ideal to consider hair transplant surgery depending on the patient's current balding pattern. All of this can be discussed in more detail during your consultation with a hair care specialist.

Learn More About Treating and Preventing Hair Loss

To learn more about treatments for balding and what can be done to address these issues, be sure to contact our hair loss and surgical restoration specialists today. The team at True & Dorin Medical Group will work with you and find the best solution for your issues.