From my PA, it was mentioned about hair loss. I can't afford to loss all my hair. How can this be counteracted? Will the pharmaceutical company pay for a wig or treatment to reverse this? It is unattractive to be without hair or enough to style. Hair is so important to our self-esteem.
You haven't mentioned which medicine you are using. In any case, if hair loss is due to a medication then stopping the medicine should resolve the problem. Unfortunately, you can't really do anything else to counteract the hair loss (apart from wearing a wig) while you are on the medicine. I don't think any pharmaceutical company will pay for wigs or reversal of hair loss treatments.
Hair loss from medications is challenging to prove. I always recommend that individuals who think their hair loss is from a drug see an experienced dermatologist before making the conclusion.
In a significant proportion of patients who think their hair loss is from a drug - another cause ends up being the main cause.
A few key points concerning hair loss from medications:
1. Hair loss from a medication generally start 2-5 months after starting the drug. Any later than that, an it's unlikely from the drug.
2. Most commonly drugs increase the amount of hair shedding (we call this telogen effluvium). Telogen effluvium usually (but NOT always) goes away when the drug is stopped and hair density returns. There are other mechanisms of hair loss too ! In some of these the hair does not return to normal after the drug is stopped. Examples here include the drug induced scarring alopecias.
3. If the drug caused increased shedding, it can take 6-9 months for hair shedding to slow and stop and density to come back.
4. Sometimes a drug can't be stopped because it is just too important for the patient's health and stopping it could cause serious harm to the patient. In these instances, treatments such ad minoxidil or low level laser therapy can be discusses with your dermatologist.
Jeff Donovan MD PhD FRCPC FAAD
US & Canadian board-certified Dermatologist
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