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Wednesday, June 04, 2008 Harlan Davison, Community Member, asks

Q: Is hair loss a side effect of Lamictal?

 

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Answers (11)
susan, Community Member
6/ 6/08 1:14am

I called the company who makes the Lamictal which is AstraZenica pretty sure and they said no known side effects were reported of hairloss.  I was on the starter pack and trying to get off of seroquel to lose some weight and feel better about myself but it did not work.  It was too hard to change medications.  It takes too long to get the therapeutic level of lamictal  with me on bipolar. 

People might tell you that lamictal causes hairloss but every individual is different in responding to medications.  Stress can cause hairloss more than anything.  I should know mine is thin on top.  Good luck with your lamictal treatment. Hope it works!

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LucyBP, Community Member
2/21/12 9:11am

 

Yes Lamictal causes hair loss. I was on it for under two months. My hair first started coming of in little fluffy tufts that I thought nothing of because I had bleached my hair about 6 weeks back. But then I had a relapse and my dose was doubled, and in less than two weeks the hair was falling off at a faster rate. All I had to do was touch my head and I would come off with something on my head. Then a bald patch started forming at the back of my head. It was brought to my attention by my cousin who thought I had nap-hair and should have straightened it out to cover the hole. Then I rstarted noticing that my hair lenght was growing uneven. Some parts were longer than others. When I went to the salon to get it done, my hairdresser and I were both horrified to notice that not only was my hair thinning, it had fallen out so much I had a hand sized thatch of uneven hair with parts that had thinned so much you could see through my scalp. And the sides of my head also fell off. I had to cut off over half my hair and trim it to literally within an inch of its life. And, by the way, it is still coming off. I called my doctor and I was immediately taken off Lamictal. Keep in mind that this all happened in less than two months. It is possible that the bleaching may have accelerated the process, but on the other hand, I have been doing that for the past five years. I got my diagnosis about 8 months back and have been on Quitipin/Seroquel, Zyprexa, Citopam and Lamictal and a slew of sleeping pill prescriptions. I read up on it and indeed, Lamictal does cause hair loss. I also don't think the best people to ask would be the company that manufactures the drug. What else could they say anyway?Though to be fair, there are doctors who don't know that it causes hair loss because to them, it is one of those rare side effects their patients rarely complain about so they rarely think about it because it is not one of the most frequently reported. 

 

And please note the moment I alerted my doctors, the decision to take me off Lamictal was done in less than 5 minutes over the phone. That is how serious the hair loss can be.

 

Just though I would share.

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lori zachary, Community Member
6/27/12 3:40pm

Did Your Hair return back to normal after getting off lamictal? I am experenceing the same ..

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dakotacheyene, Community Member
6/ 6/08 2:56pm

Hi, my hair is really thin on top, and also all over. I don't take lamictal, but I started noticing it almost 2 years ago, when I was on celexa. I've been on paxil, seroquel, and now trileptal. I have also continously been on clonazepam the last 2 1/2 years. I think for me, it's hormones, and age. Some meds will cause hair loss more than others , but I don't know abut lamictal.

 

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summerslave, Community Member
6/17/08 3:12am

I am not on any of the meds some of the others mentioned but I did read that prolonged use of alot of the meds used in treatment of mental disorders can cause hair loss

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Charlotte'sWeb, Community Member
7/21/08 2:00pm

The only advice I could give is if you are on any medication that can be used for high blood pressure and other things that might be what is causing hair loss. I have heredity on my mom's family side so I know that is part of my situation. Every time I get my hair cut they person asks me if I take any high blood pressure drugs. If you don't take blood pressure medication then the only other thing I can think of is stress and maybe some other medication you are on. I have found with my hair loss the Nioxin brand products have actually helped. They are a bit spendy and you can find them at any pricey salon but not at a Great Clips or Cost Cutters. Hope this helps and good luck.

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Kirsty-Louise, Community Member
7/26/08 6:30pm

Yes this can cause some hair loss and it can be particularly bad when combined with other medications such as lithium and fluoxetine.

 

If you are concerned at all discuss with your doctor and check that there is no other reason for hair loss such as low iron levels or thyroid etc

 

 

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unwarpedfool, Community Member
1/ 8/09 3:19am

hi--i was on lamictal for bp2 disorder. My hair fell out after upping the dose after i had been on a lower dose for a year.i was sure it was lamictal--but the dr's didnt agree.they said it would have happened sooner(haha--i think my body rejected it later) they said i had alopecia areata--ok--.it started filling hairbrushes and coming out in clumps. 25 years old and i had loved my hair.bald patches.. but they also said my hair wouldnt grow back ever--eventually all falling out.i quit lamictal(tapered)--my hair grew back. i have a full head of hair--the same it was before. never again (so far knock on wood) have i had that hair loss happen. i read tons of others with similiar experiences. turns out im not bipolar2 anyway--now im on a medicine that has raised my blood pressure. haha--everything has a price. but good luck to you!!!your hair will come back.

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mmgirl, Community Member
6/28/09 2:17am

How long were you on the Lamictal? and what was the max dose you took before you noticed the hair loss?  I was on 275mg for about 2 years and then upped to 300mg.  After that didn't seem to help I was then upped to 400mg.  That was when I noticed the hair loss and acne.  I am just wondering because I am really upset about losing my hair.  How long once you were off of the Lamictal did it take for you to notice your hair growing back in?

Thanks, any info. would be great.

 

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Dr.B., Community Member
4/16/10 1:57pm

I take lamital and a couple of other psychiatric drugs. My hair falls out, but since I have very thick hair and grows fast, it is not noticable.

I ;falls out when I comb it. There is hair all over my bathroom which I have to vaccum every three days.

 

It will not hold any set, flat iron, curling iron, setting on curlers.

When it is set on curlers with setting lotion when it comes of the roler it just breaks like crystals falling on my shoulders.

 

My remedy has been to get  a relaxer so that I don't have to stree it too much when I comb. When I want it look nice I wash it and blow dry. Just leave it straigt.

 

My hair is iron grey and white. So I look like a wild woman but I have the personality to carry it off thank goodness. But yes my hair changed drastically with these meds

 

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2255, Community Member
7/28/10 8:46pm

MY STATS: patient (not hlth pro), F, age 26, 150lbs, 5'3, Bipolar/PTSD, meds:  lamictal 100mg/day now and xanax 6mg/day

      I noticed alarming hairloss once titrated up to 300mg/day of lamictal, as well as other uncomfortable side effects.  Because of these side effects, I tapered to 200mg/day, and after 1.5 weeks some side effects went away, but some remained including - the hair loss!  I just called my pdoc and today start tapering down to 100mg/day. 

      My pdoc seemed surprised at my mention of hairloss; as if he'd never heard of it before. however, I talked to a different pdoc who said that he was aware that it happened to some people and told me to use a shampoo system called "Nioxin" (I found it at J.C. Penney).  He said many of his patients noticed less hairloss with this.

     There is NO QUESTION that hairloss was a side effect for me, it is too soon to tell whether my tapering and the shampoo will help with this.  I would like to be able to update yall if I can.  BTW, I am open to anyone asking me questions regarding my med/illness experiences, so let me know.

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dada76, Community Member
8/ 9/10 9:29pm

Hello everyone! Hair loss should not take control of your life. I have thick hair and I'm aware that I've slowly been losing it. Lamictal has been my breakfast and dinner for the past 6 years (150mg). Face it NO hair treatment or products are going to fully convince you that you have the hair you once lived with. (GOOD DOCTORS WILL LIE TO YOU IF HAIR LOSS IS YOUR ONLY REAL PERSONAL SIDE EFFECT).So Just focus on the "positive" and don't let falling follicles make you even more stressed than you already are.

I'M NOT FULLY SEIZURE FREE (NEVER WILL BE). I'm living in this reality but I'm learning to not "fall" like my other falling enigma!!!

 

ps: This opinion only comes from a single male point of view. When it comes to dating I'm sure women unconsciously create that lack of confidence directed to our "manly" hair loss. Instead do concentrate on TEACHING A WOMAN TO NOT FEAR YOUR EPISODES BY BEING OPEN ABOUT IT and you'll see that hair loss is not such a big deal...charm will be your savior. And oh yeah...when it come to style keep your hair short do not promote the "Kojak or the Howie Mandel look" and don't dress too casual. Tucked in button shirts (doesn't have to be pricey) and a mild sun tan.

 

 Dada76 

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Aradia66, Community Member
10/24/10 9:35pm

Hi Im a 43 year old female and have taken antidepressants since I was 23.I was recently given lamictal for bi polar I take prozac and klonapin and have for years

I was given about 4 months ago the lamectial my hair looks dry lifeless and

and I am loosing it more and more can anyone help Ive tried vitamins for hair

but doesnt seem to help would appreciate any comments thank you soo much

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learnedmylesson, Community Member
10/26/10 1:16pm

everyone is different, but to those who say it doesn't cause hair loss- I beg to differ- alopecia is listed as a side effect and IT WILL MAKE YOUR HAIR FALL OUT. (or thin out alot) I dont say this lighly- I experienced it and it was the only med I was on-- started slowly then after about two weeks alot in brush, shower, on floor.  My texture totally changed as well-- this is like toxic waste for your hair. And stress had nothing to do with it-in my case.  I have an internist and a psychiatrist and they both say that the hair loss is from the lamictal...yes- you do have to decide if the benefits outweigh the side effects, and I will tell you lamictal made me feel amazing-- it is unfortunate that it has this and alot of other side effects--(doc also said hair, skin and nails are all tied together so do you have any rash or itchiness anywhere?)  BE CAREFUL with any doc that casually prescribes an anti convulsant (like for mood stabiliztion) because I now have a minor facial tic in my cheek and I have been off lamictal over a month.  Took it for a very short period of time

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Lorraine, Community Member
11/11/10 2:37pm

What were the other side effects? I am trying to decide on some meds for my bipolar 16 year old. 

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learnedmylesson, Community Member
11/12/10 8:41am

Hello...again, I must emphasize that this is my personal experience with lamictal and may not happen to your child-- that being said, I experienced anxiety, acne, feeling very spaced out and word searching--like I was able to think a thought and not express it.  I also had mild facial twitching in my cheek under my eye.  This is some very powerful medication--heavy duty, and while I don't know how serious your situation is, I have a 14 year old daughter and I wouldn't even consider this medication for her or anyone else if there was an alternative to it--which, as of now, I have tried topamax (same reaction, with heavier anxiety side effects), and trileptal (the weakest one, but still an anti-convulsant with the same, but lighter side effects).  Please, please' do some serious soul searching before exposing your teen to this class of drugs.  I have been off all of these for a while now and my hair is coming back, the twitching is not as bad and the rashes have all went away.  I will always be open and honest about my take on these drugs--and my advice is have an awesome dr that will monitor everything that goes on very closely-- oh and the trileptal requires weekly to bi weekly blood draws to monitor the sodium levels of your body while you are taking it... that's alot of money and needle sticking... been there.. my best of luck to you and your child and please dont hesitate to post anymore questions I can help you with.  Stay positive--I take nothing but fish oil and vitamins now-- and I feel great-- however, my mood disorder is very mild and I probably shouldnt have taken this in the first place.  Your situation may be different.Undecided

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sharon noel, Community Member
11/28/10 11:46pm

I was prescribed lamictal 8 yrs. ago by my neurologist. i finally took my on self off of it.Yes it do cause hair loss. My hair had been falling out the first year i started taking it. my hair is so thin and i have a large area where a ball spot has formed. never had thisw problem. my hair was thick and strong.now it it is thin and balding. ive been off of it for 1 month now. hopefully i will recover some of it. will keep you posted.

 

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keepmyhair, Community Member
12/24/11 5:16pm

Hi everyone, 

I too experience hair loss from Lamictal and other antidepressants. It is mading, I went to the dermatologist and they told me there is nothing they can do. It seems to fall out while takeing a shower. There is something about being in the water that exacterbates the problem. I searched the internet for days for a cure and here is what I found. Your hair loss can be caused by a lack of blood flow to your scalp. I believe that the medication somehow prohibits the blood flow to your scalp. Therefore it may be beneficial to increase the blood flow in the following way.

1st I have an inversion table and I invert myself upside down. In case you don't know what and inversion table is I found a You Tube clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYbT9M6KaO0

Then I massage my scalp, you tube video below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp_97Dq5GSA

I wash my hair in tepid water so as not to open up the pores and allow hair to come out in the shower, and gingerly comb it. I also take Ginkgo Biloba to help increase blood flow.

My hair doesn't seem to fall out at any other time but in the shower. This system I developed seems to help. I washed my hair the other day and about 250 hairs fell out. Then in a panic I searched the internet, did the things I mentioned and washed my hait today and about 10 hairs fell out. I am no doctor and I am unsure this will help, but it seems to help me and has worked in the past with other drugs I have taken.

I hope this helps, I feel your pain and can relate real time! 

*The above you tube clips are ranbom and I am unassociated with the people in them

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keepmyhair, Community Member
12/24/11 5:18pm

Hi everyone, 

I too experience hair loss from Lamictal and other antidepressants. It is mading, I went to the dermatologist and they told me there is nothing they can do. It seems to fall out while takeing a shower. There is something about being in the water that exacterbates the problem. I searched the internet for days for a cure and here is what I found. Your hair loss can be caused by a lack of blood flow to your scalp. I believe that the medication somehow prohibits the blood flow to your scalp. Therefore it may be beneficial to increase the blood flow in the following way.

1st I have an inversion table and I invert myself upside down. In case you don't know what and inversion table is I found a You Tube clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYbT9M6KaO0

Then I massage my scalp, you tube video below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp_97Dq5GSA

I wash my hair in tepid water so as not to open up the pores and allow hair to come out in the shower, and gingerly comb it. I also take Ginkgo Biloba to help increase blood flow.

My hair doesn't seem to fall out at any other time but in the shower. This system I developed seems to help. I washed my hair the other day and about 250 hairs fell out. Then in a panic I searched the internet, did the things I mentioned and washed my hait today and about 10 hairs fell out. I am no doctor and I am unsure this will help, but it seems to help me and has worked in the past with other drugs I have taken.

I hope this helps, I feel your pain and can relate real time! 

*The above you tube clips are ranbom and I am unassociated with the people in them

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By Harlan Davison, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/05/14, First Published: 06/04/08