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Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril - does it cause hair loss?

Responses (1)

Rajive Goel 14 Feb 2012

Hair loss appears to be a rare complaint in people taking lisinopril. In clinical studies, hair loss was reported in less than 1% of people who took the drug. However, given how common hair loss is in the general population and how rare a complaint it is in people who take lisinopril, it is difficult to say whether hair loss is caused by the medicine, genetics, other factors, or a combination of these things.

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies in which thousands of people are given a particular medicine and then compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occurred in more than 1% of people (common side effects) and those that occurred in less than 1% of people (rare side effects). Hair loss was reported in less than 1% of people taking lisinopril.

Yet, clinical trials are designed to factor out many possible variables in order to understand whether the medicine works and its possible side effects. This means that once approved, it is possible that new side effects may occur, since a wider range of people are now taking the medicine and for longer periods of time. However, once a medicine is approved, it does not usually continue to be studied, so certain side effects that occur very rarely may never be documented, especially if they are not serious side effects. The bottom line is that it can be difficult to say with complete assurance that a particular complaint is not because of a medicine, even if the complaint is not a reported side effect.

If you experience hair loss while taking lisinopril/Hydrochlorothiazide, talk with the doc who prescribed the med. Depending on how severe the hair loss is, he/she may be able to recommend treatment options. If hair loss becomes bothersome, the doc may recommend a medicine other than lisinopril for your condition.

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