I am 42 and have had acne on and off since the age of 13. I've taken EVERY medication with the exception of Accutane, but find that Spironolactone works the best (in conjunction with Tazarac and Benzaclyn). I've recently started taking a dose of 100mg/day - up from my original 50 mg -and I've noticed that my hair is coming out like crazy! If you've noticed this too, do you have any suggestions for me?
Has anyone experienced hair loss while taking spironolactone?
Question posted by nw1970 on 20 Jan 2013
Last updated on 8 October 2022
My doctor prescribed this one month ago to stop testosterone and prevent additional hair loss... I stopped today and feel fearful as I have never seen so much hair fall out of my head. The shower, the hairbrush, it’s blowing around when I’m blow drying... and this was already my problem. I’m so upset...
I’ve been on spironolactone for six months. I went on it for moderate acne that came back with a vengeance after I had to come off the combined pill due to migraines with aura which I had been on for 10 years (whiteheads and cysts around my chin/jawline). After about 3-4 weeks it cleared it up my skin completely and I was completely clear for 4 months, then my skin started to break out again but not as bad as before. My period also went back to its normal cycle around this time (was getting 2 periods per months when I started spiro). Then I started experiencing excessive hair shedding about 5 weeks ago (about 5 months into treatment). After reading this thread and knowing that hair loss is listed as a possible side-effect, I’ve stopped taking it today. I have never suffered with any type of hair loss and I’m not taking any other medication that could be causing this.
Spiro affects the hair follicles/hormones so I am almost sure this is the cause! Hopefully the shedding stops soon. Just wanted to share my experience! Will update after a few months.
Has anyone tried oral minoxidil?
I was on it for 9 months. Now that I look back my hair was slowly thinning but I realized too late. I’ve been off it for two months now and my hair is still falling. I’m mixed and have curly hair and a lot of it so it’s hard for people to notice. But I’m scared about the future. I’ve been to so many doctors and they have not been helpful so far. They tell me to use rogaine and finasteride. But I never experienced hair loss before this drug so I don’t want to to be dependent on hair drugs. My naturopathic doctor is having me not drink any alcohol and have a high protein healthy diet with lots of vitamins. I hope that helps. The worst part though, is I can feel hairs literally detach from my scalp throughout the day. It’s like a slow torture. Im scared
I've been on this drug for about two weeks (I'm on 50mg) now going onto week three. I went on this drug bc my endo had suggested it or to take ashwaganda. I was taking ashwaganda for two months and didn't see any improvement for hair loss, hormonal acne, pcos symptoms, and the facial/body hair that was growing like crazy.
I read the above post and read it and was thinking if this is the right drug for me bc my symptoms are not getting any better.
I do have to say unknown that it is typical to wait 2-3 weeks as doctors always say to give the drug time to work.
I am now at the point were I want to screem.
I use natural hair products that the honest company has like the sensitive dhampoo/conditioner as well as their lotion and for hand soap I use the Meyers brand mand are using Not Your Mothers Dry Shampoo which Is also natural.
My cousin shared a really good App (iphone) called Think Dirty Xhop Clean and has helped me in picking clean products that don't have chemicals in the ingredients so I know for sure its not.my bair products.
I also exercise and eat right as well as drink water.
Does anyone have an alternative to this drug...
I almost just want to throw this drug out the window...
I am 42 and my acne began at 13, also. I recently began taking Spironolactone 50mg two wks ago for my acne. My scalp started feeling irritated right away. It burned, stung & felt raw. It started shedding a lot more & a lot came out in the shower. It was not visible in the scalp. I thought it was a post Covid issue. I really didn’t think it was the medicine though I did read starting a BP medication (or just a new medication in general) could cause hair loss. I was panicking & researched hair loss over & over. My husband made me quit taking it & Im glad he did bc it now is going back to normal after stopping it after the 10th day. So relieved.
I do think I have some degree of TE (telegium effluvium) so I am taking “Nutrafol” hair supps (which are pricy/may switch to a less expensive hair growth supp after I see how these go for a month).
I also had a blood panel done to check my thyroid & iron levels & now know I’m anemic which can also contribute to hair loss..but gauging the TIMELINE from when I began the Rx (Spiro) to when I stopped it is a night & day difference. Scalp pain has diminished at least 90%. One more day & I think it will be 100%. Wheew.
Also, I began “FLO” vitamins for my acne. I’m early in taking them (about 8 days) but I think they are helping. Started “Alaya Naturals” collagen also which may too be contributing to better skin.
My scalp had been very dry also which I know was a factor so am now doing nourishing scalp masks. (Scalp health is vital as well for anyone reading who had scalp issues prior to Rx)
After stopping it, my scalp longer feels “tender” & the shedding is less.
Good luck to you &/or whomever this may help:)
Yes, I now believe it's the drug and like the other members, I have been told by my derm that Spiro is not the cause because it actually helps with hair loss. As do, most articles online. This is my story below and it mirrors everyone else here. It's a long post but it does help me to get it out.
I was put on Spiro 50mg once a day almost two years ago for oily skin. I didn't have acne, but oily skin and large pores. After 3 months and no change, the PA increased me to 50mg/2 a day and said "this drug is safe, you can't take too much." The higher dose worked and my skin looked great, no oil, and pores size decreased. With the higher dose, I also noticed body hair decreased and was needing to shave less often. Loved it!
Fast forward about 4 months and I notice thinning spots on my temples. I have (had) very thick coarse hair that grows quickly, and the thinning areas were only noticeable to me if I pulled my hair back. I'm 51 years old so I blamed it on hormonal changes. I still have my period but it was now coming twice a month (one light, one heavy) and I was getting cramps which I have not had in years. I've never had issues or irregularities with my period, it is always on time, every month.
At my annual physical with my PC doctor I mentioned the hair loss and she tested my thyroid function and all was normal. She said to keep an eye on my weight (don't lose any more since I'm petite and increase my protein).
I saw the PA, who prescribed the spiro, for a hair loss appt. and she ordered a hair loss blood work panel. She assured me it was not the Spirno causing hair loss, I did ask. This blood work showed no deficiencies but she suggested I take Viviscal Pro vitamins (expensive) and prescribed a topical prescription that's a combo of Finasteride 0.1% and Minoxidil 7% (it gave me some new baby hairs, but also turned my blonde hair an orange hue). She also said I may have to be on Spirno for life.
After about 3 months of continued hair loss, I now started finding large clumps in the shower and had overall thinning. I now have a much wider part that now goes down the entire back of my head. I have easily lost well over 1/2 of the hair on my head. It feels so thin and you can see my scalp through the hairs. It's also dry and breaks easily.
This time I made an appt with the dermatologist (not her PA) because the hair loss was so drastic at this point and I wanted a second opinion. She said it was not the Spiron because it should help with hair loss. She said I was in a TE cycle. She looked at my previous blood work and said it was fine, but increasing my iron may help. She didn't increase my Spirno but recommended that I stay on it.
At this point, I am still taking Spiron 50mg/2 day and diligent about taking the all the vitamins, iron, adding collagen protein to my coffee, eating protein at almost every meal, washing my hair only a few times a week. Doing all the "right" (and expensive) things. I even started doing a LED red light therapy at home this week for about 20 minutes a day.
One thing I have noticed is that if I accidentally miss a dose or take an extra pill by accident, that seems to trigger a noticeable hair loss phase.
It's been about 4 months since the derm appointment and I seem to be in another TE phase with large clumps in the shower and overall thinning. I want to stop this drug. I have also noticed my skin is getting oily again (but not as oily as before spiron) and the body hair growth is back to the previous amount before starting spiron, and my last two periods have been on a regular cycle.
Since it doesn't seem to be working on the other issues any longer this may be the time to taper my dose and get off this stuff for good. I'm just very nervous stopping may cause even more hair loss.
The amount of time I spend obsessing over my hair loss is crazy. It's constantly running in the background of my mind throughout my day. I think I've read as much as I can on this drug. It's not healthy how it consumes me.
I will do an update on how things go if I taper my dose. I've exhausted everything else at this point. Thank you for letting me vent and to everyone for sharing your story and tips.
Any feedback from those who stopped taking Spiron please let us know how you are doing.
One thing I have tried that helps with my dry, brittle hair is to coat it with EVOO for about 20+ minutes before I wash it. It seems to help with the drying effect of the shampoo.
Please try to stay positive and hopeful. We are more than our hair :)
Hi! I started Spironolactone two years ago due to my acne, and noticed in october that I had lost a lot of hair. Since that my hair has shed a lot. I now have less than 50% of the hair that I had before starting on Spironolactone. Did your hair stop shedding?! And did the hair grow back as normal pre meds??? Please answer me, I am desperate and depressed because of this.
Below is my experience with spironolactone. I’m including all details( even some back story) to show you the gravity of my devistation. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO RISK LOSING YOUR HAIR DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION.
For some hair is simply just another accessory but to me, having it look nice has always been top priority. I don’t over style or wash, don’t color too often, use silk hair tires and pillow cases etc. I wasn’t always this careful. About 8 years ago, for 2 years straight I tried every different type of extension there is out there. It did a lot of damage to my natural hair to say the least. Not long after taking the extensions out I ended up getting pregnant back to back with my 2 children. In a matter of roughly 2 years my head went from being thin and short with bald spots to 6 inches longer, thicker and the most beautiful it has ever been.
Present day a little over 2 years after having my youngest I had maintained my luscious locks until about 5 months ago. I finally wanted to start working on parts of myself that were neglected since having the kids. Acne was one of them. I suffer from hormonal cystic acne on chin that has left dark spots and I wanted to get a handle on it. I went toA dermatologist I used in the past to see what my options were. She suggested I do spironolactone, I agreed. I vaguely remembered taking it in the past a few months before my wedding to make sure I was free from blemishes by the big day. I didn’t remember having any issues but then again I had so many extensions in my head I wouldn’t have been able to tell either way. I started the medication 50 mg once daily. It was hard to get into the swing of things so in the beginning I would forget some days here and there. Each month the past I’ve vaguely remember a certain event or time I did my hair and noticed it was getting thinner and thinner. The last month or so I was getting into a good routine and was taking It every single night. Then I ran out and wasn’t able to get on for an apt for a few weeks. I figured it would be no big deal I might just have to fight off a few zits but little did I know I had many more issues to come. First, I got my period 2 times this month. I literally got it a week after it ended. For the record I have probably the most regular menstrual cycle there is. I always know what to expect with duration, heaviness, I’m never late, and typically get it around 26-29 days ( I’m not on birth control and haven’t been in years) so to have this happen was a huge red flag. So because I’m having my period again my whole body is off. Anyone who has suffered from anemia will understand. Then this past week after washing my hair and straightening it for the first time in a while, I noticed I have lost so much around the back and crown and I also have this weird cowlick due to lack of hair and volume. I started researching today what it means when you lose lots of hair in the crown area and somehow stumbled upon this thread. I never connected the 2 and to say I am truly devastated is an understatement. Nearly 4 years of doing damage control since removing the extensions and here I am in the exact same situation. I called my derm she said…”they have no studies to link the two”. I responded “ok but have you been asked this question before my other patients experiencing the same thing?” She said “yes a few times”. That was it. I was done. I will never ever touch that pill ever again. She suggested rogaine but then said it’s just like anything else once you start you have to stick to it otherwise you’ll end up with the same problem. I hope this story helps anyone who may still be on the fence about if hair loss is related to this medication. Don’t risk it!! I wish I found this article 5 months ago before I started. 4 long years of working to get my hair back…. All down the drain:(((
Wow, I am so relieved to have found this thread! I was at a loss and beginning to think I was going crazy. I am going to provide my full experience with spiro in detail.
I was put on it in September of 2019 for hormonal acne. I am 32 and I am on no other medications other than topical retinol (tretinoin please forgive any spelling errors). All was well and my skin cleared beautifully. I started at 100 and was upped to 200 roughly 6 months later (March 2020). I began shedding hair in June 2020. I initially thought that is was because of stress due to the pandemic. It continued with highs and lows. In Dec. 2020 my dermatologist said that it was TE and that it would clear on its own. In spring of 2021 I began losing majority shorter hairs(my new growth). This continued for month. I have tons of new very short growth all of my hair but I am rapidly losing short new growth as well, so I find little comfort in the new growth.
I finally panicked and made a hair app specifically for the hair loss with my dermatologist. She basically told me that it was nothing I was doing and I just had to be patient and deal with it till it clears. Also, my hair has now become two different textures with the back soft and the crown and temples brittle, frizzy, and dry. I literally put no heat on my hair and have styled it with mouse and a diffuser on cool for years. I only high light it with Carmel high lights twice a year. There’s literally no other explanation other than the spiro and thanks to you guys, I have no decided I will slowly wean myself off of this. I am heart broken because it’s given me beautiful skin, so I feel torn between trying to save my hair or having clear skin. Thank you all so much for your posts it’s given me hope, and I will post updates.
I am finally off Spiro after a few years of beautiful, perfect skin (sigh). It was prescribed for my persistent cystic hormal acne -- something I've dealt with since my teens but mostly in my adult life. I only ever get it in one part of my face (chin and sides of chin) and they usually require cortisone injections, so this was to be preventative. It worked SOOO well for my skin, like nothing including accutane ever had. But I have been experiencing a lot of shedding since shortly after starting it, and I'm finally convinced that I need to stop before I lose most of my hair (I was willing to just deal with it for that long because my normal hair is crazy thick, like I used to have my hairdresser thin it it was so thick, so it didn't seem like the end of the world for a while). Like most people on it, I've had docs continually telling me it can't cause hair loss, along with a few docs who have said it can. It is crazy making.
I am also taking some other drugs (levothyroxoid since teens, Yasmin bcp, Wellbutrin, Retin-A which I just heard can cause hair loss??? ) known to cause hair loss so I have been so confused about what could be causing it, but from the beginning I have strongly suspected the Spiro. So long story short, I've been off it for 2 full weeks after tapering down for a few months, and my hair is coming out in clumps. I know it has only been 2 weeks since fully stopping, but I really need to hear from some women with success stopping and having their hair return to normal. For what its worth, in response to the questioner, YES I've noticed it and experienced it, you are not crazy. I have been taking Finasteride (Propecia) for a little over a year for hair re-growth, I've tried minoxidil and another European hair regrowth serum but find the upkeep to be too taxing and I really don't want to walk around with greasy or crispy looking hair every day. I use Nizoral and have felt that it helps keep me from losing hair, but just a little bit, and doesn't encourage re-growth (I don't think?). I have not tried Vitex or biotin supplements yet...
Oh lord!!! I was on Spironolactone for over 6 years for acne. I slowly weaned off it over the last 6 months and I too am suffering with major major major hair loss. I’m devastated. Reading this and finding this has been a small token of hope! Please tell me it doesn’t take 2 years though... I won’t have any hair left.
I started having cystic acne along my lower jaw in my 40’s, after trying several unsuccessful treatments, my pcd prescribed me spiro. Like most ppl, it worked great at treating my cystic acne, unfortunately I was not aware of the side effects. I started losing my hair by the handfuls, (to the point of clogging the shower drain) it was falling out everywhere and breaking off, became incredibly dry and frizzy, the texture changed to course texture and the lower one half of my head is now kinky curly while the top half of my head is still completely straight, it’s baffling. I have also started gaining weight like crazy, (in my stomach, butt, breasts, and upper thighs.) I have always been the same size and weight my entire adult life, now I cannot fit into any of my clothes, I feel bloated all the time, and my stomach looks like I am pregnant.
When I initially asked my doctor about the hair loss, she said this medication should help with hair loss and suggested we test my thyroid and it was dismissed.
My questions about the weight gain were dismissed with comments about none of us are getting any younger. After finding this website and reading multiple comments from ppl complaining of these same side effects, I’m absolutely convinced it’s this medication.
These drug companies need to put warning labels on this prescription to protect us from these hidden side effects (before we take them.)
Hi everyone, I’m posting because this thread was the only thing that made me feel sane when I was losing my hair, and I was DESPERATE for someone to update... so here’s my story - I hope it helps someone!
Im 23 was prescribed Spiro 12 months ago for my hormonal acne. It worked wonders I absolutely LOVED it, cleared my acne, reduced my body hair, I no longer had oily skin. And then about 7-8 months in my hair started falling out dramatically. I shed a lot anyway so for me to actually notice hair loss means a LOT is coming out. When I showered it was the worst, I could no longer brush my hair and after about a month I could see my scalp :( it was horrible, I’ve never experienced anxiety like this before. The thinning is mainly on my crown and temples.
Anyway so I came across this thread because I was frantically searching the internet to see if Spiro had done this to anyone else and as soon as I found this I stopped it straight away! I was on 150mg. Im now 2 months post Spiro and my shedding is finally reducing!! It was really disheartening to see everyone saying it took years so hopefully this will help someone. I went to a hair specialist and they diagnosed me with telogen effluvium and Androgenic alopecia and gave me minoxidil. Also, I was prescribed iron supplements because blood tests showed that Spiro depleted my iron, which I think is a possible reason for hair loss? So anyone experiencing this, get prescribed iron supplements!! It WILL get better. I hope I’m finally on the other side of this but I am still shedding more than usual. I will update in a few months, good luck to you all and I’m so sorry this happened to us all! It’s hard to see when you’re in it but we are so much more than our hair and you WILL recover. X
I am 22 and been on Spiro for about 6 months now. I normally have really thick hair that grows quickly but I've noticed in the past month that it's gotten very thin, I'm shedding more frequently and I can tell that my scalp is more obvious. I initially thought it was stress but now, after reading everyone's experiences, I'm thinking it's definitely linked to the Spiro. I don't know if I've lost as much as others on this thread but I'm going to try stopping my dosage now, to prevent it from worsening. I've been on 150mg for the past three months and I believe that's what made it worse (before then I hadn't really noticed any hair thinning). Hopefully, recovery is possible.
- Spironolactone uses and safety info
- Spironolactone information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Spironolactone (detailed)
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