Sunday, November 01, 2009 joanj, Community Member, asks

Q: Hair loss with Arava

Has anyone experienced hair loss with Arava? Not in "clumps" but an unusual amount of of loose hair everytime I comb my hair.  I had severe reaction to Methotrexate and had to switch to Arava - which I have been taking for 7 months.  In reason weeks I seem to loosing a LOT of hair everytime I comb and am wondering if there is a connection to Arava.

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Answers (3)
Brad, Health Guide
11/ 2/09 2:26am

Joan,

It is a possible side effect of Arava. I take it as well, but was already losing hair before I started. Ask you Rheumy about it. Have you tried Palenquil? Its at least an option. Hope you feel better soon!

 

Brad

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Wren, Community Member
11/ 3/09 11:17pm

I had the same thing happen to me, Joan. First couldn't tolerate methotrexate (it made me sick as a dog!). I started Arava and have been taking it for about a year, and tolerate it well. But yes, I lost hair just like you are now. Fortunately, for the last couple of months that seems to have stopped. Maybe it will for you, too. Good luck!

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joanj, Community Member
11/ 6/09 5:16pm

Thanks for that info.  I was ready to tell my Doc that I wanted to stop the Arava - but now maybe I should stick it out a while longer.  Other than the hair loss I tolerate it very well & it does work for me.  In the meantime my hair has thinned a LOT!

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joanj, Community Member
11/ 9/09 10:36pm

You say the hair loss seems to have stopped - but do you think you are also getting new growth???

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Wren, Community Member
11/10/09 6:18pm

Well, that's a lot harder to answer. I haven't noticed that my hair has thickened any, but I figure that since hair is always growing, the hair I lost over the months will probably come back.

 

I just saw my rheumatologist. Since I've been having a lot more pain lately, he's increased my dosage of Arava from half a tablet to a full tablet each day. I'm hoping that the hair loss won't start again, but if it does, I guess I'll just grin and bear it. To me, having the pain and, perhaps, the progression of this disease lessened and slowed is worth a brush full of hair each morning. I've always liked hats ...  Wink

 

Good luck with the Arava, Joan.

 

 

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joanj, Community Member
11/11/09 5:06pm

It seems to be slowing down the last week.  I take 20mg so maybe I can switch to 10mg - I see my Rheumy in two weeks.  My hair wasn't very thick to begin with so I really notice the loss.  And yes - I guess if the choice is pain or hair loss I'll take the hair loss!!

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Robin, Community Member
12/29/09 9:18pm

Hi Joan,

I don't know if your still experiencing the hair loss but I wanted to let you know that I had a lot of hair loss with Arava.  I started it a few months ago to replace Methotrexate that I was on for 10 years. It worked wonders for my RA but I couldn't tolerate the side effects....nausea, diahhrea, and major hair loss.  I've been off for over 2 months but still experiencing hair falling out everyday.  It has thinned considerably. I hope it stops soon.  Good luck,

Robin

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joanj, Community Member
12/29/09 9:34pm

I've been off it for two months but, like you, am still experiencing hair loss every day altho it does seem to be a lot less than before.  I got some B-12 vitamins which is suppose to help hair growth!  My hair is very long and I wear it up in a twisted bun - but it has thinned so much I'm having trouble keeping the pins in place but finally found a hair clasp that seems to be more secure.  So, I'll keep you posted if - and when - loss stops!

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By joanj, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/18/10, First Published: 11/01/09