• Rena Rena
    October 04, 2010
    I am taking Enbrel. How much hair loss is to much?
    Rena Rena
    October 04, 2010

         I am taking Enbrel along with Methotrexate.  How much hair loss is to much?  I have been on Enbrel for about 6 months now and have had good results.  It has reduced the swelling in my knuckles and has reduced my pain quite a bit.  I feel better now than I have felt for several years.  But,...I am losing quite a bit of hair.  I had very thick hair.  My hairdresser used to say that I had enough hair for two people.  But, I am noticing quite a lot of hair in my drain when I wash my hair and when I sweep my bathroom floor.  It is beginning to concern me.

         Should I continue with the Enbrel since it is helping me and I do have a lot of hair and can afford to lose  quite a bit before anyone would ever notice, or should I stop the Enbrel and bo back to the drawing board and try another medication.  Playquenil and Methotrexate alone are out.  Is the Enbrel strike three???

    READ MORE

FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Lene  Andersen
    Health Guide
    October 08, 2010
    Lene  Andersen
    Health Guide
    October 04, 2010

    as has already been mentioned, your hair loss is most likely a side effect of methotrexate, not from Enbrel.

     

    We all have different definitions of what is the manageable side effect and what isn't. For some, hair loss (for instance) would be intolerable, for others, the benefits of the medication outweigh the vanity - check out Holly's post on deciding to stick with methotrexate despite hair loss. That said, given your response to Enbrel, it may be that you can take away methotrexate without affecting the outcome. It may be worth talking to your doctor about giving that a try to see how you'll do on Enbrel alone and if you find that you need a boost, think about whether methotrexate is the right medication for your or talk to your doctor about whether there are other options.

    • Rena
      October 10, 2010
      Rena
      October 10, 2010

           Thanks so  much for commenting Lene.  I have battled the mouth sores caused by my methotrexate ever since I started taking it a couple of years ago.  I never considered it causing the hair loss.  I am now trying to slowly cut back on the methotrexate.  I am hoping to stop taking it and just take the Enbrel.  It will take a few weeks to do this.  I am hoping to cut the Methotrexate out completly.  We will see. 

           Hope all is well with you.  Take care and thanks again!

      READ MORE
    • Lene  Andersen
      October 11, 2010
      Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      October 11, 2010

      I'll keep my fingers crossed for you - keep us posted on how it goes, please?

      READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 12, 2010
      Rena
      October 12, 2010

      Thank You! Smile

      READ MORE

FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • sunshinegal43oh October 04, 2010
    sunshinegal43oh
    October 04, 2010

    Rena,

     I think the hair loss comes from Methotrexate moreso than the Enbrel.  I have thick hair, too, but don't notice a lot of hair loss. Maybe a light covering of the drain is all I see, but this is over a period of a week or so.  I'm on 20mgs of Methotrexate/week.

     I wouldn't give up on the Enbrel since you're getting good results. Speak to your Rheumatologist about your hair loss and see if perhaps he/she could adjust your dose of Methotrexate to help with the hair loss.

    Good luck!

    Shine

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 05, 2010
      Rena
      October 05, 2010

           Thanks for commenting.  I never considered the Methotrexate.  I have been taking it for about 2 years.  I only seem to have day after affects from it.  I am currently seeing a covering of the drain (which really slows the water draining out of the tub), every day.  I think I will call my Rheumy and try to start reducing the Methotrexate.  I would really like to just take the Enbrel.  That would simplify things for me as well. 

           Thanks so much for the info!

      READ MORE
  • slcurry October 07, 2010
    slcurry
    October 04, 2010

    I take Enbrel and Methotrexate and noticed some hair loss, however before I started taking any RA meds I was experiencing hair loss. So I went to the Dermatologist and asked why.  He checked my thyroid and did other blood work was taken and there was no reason for my hair loss then except age factor and female hair loss pattern.  Now taking meds for RA hair loss is a little more but still not bad.  I've been taking Methotrexate since Nov 2008 and added Enbrel in Jan 2010 and haven't seen much difference.  However the benefits I reap from taking the Enbrel is well worth a little hair loss.  Also my Dermatologist said that you normally lose 100 hairs a day and the only serious hair loss you should be worried about is when you wake up in the morning and your pillow looks like a furry ball.  Well I sure don't see that!  Only hair on the bathroom floor after blowing drying and brushing or styling and that's it.  So I would say keep on the Enbrel and enjoy your pain free days.  It is well worth it. Smile

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 10, 2010
      Rena
      October 10, 2010

           Thank you for answering my question.  Your answer has been very, very helpful.  You and I are in just about the same boat with the RA med's.  I've been taking Methotrexate since 2008 and added Enbrel in March 2010.  The Enbrel  has helped me a lot.  I have been very pleased with it.   The info. from your Dermatologist about normally lose 100 hairs a day and the only serious hair loss you should be worried about is when you wake up in the morning and your pillow looks like a furry ball, was very good news for me.  I have never been to a Dermatologist and had no idea how much hair loss was to much.  But, now I know that I'm still in the clear, as I do not have a "furry ball" pillow either.  LOL  Yeah!  Thanks again.  Take Care!

      READ MORE
  • Deana October 07, 2010
    Deana
    October 04, 2010

    There is some hair loss with Enbrel and Methotrexate, but it should not be significant.  I would have your doctor check your iron and thyroid levels as both of these can also cause hair loss.  Anemia is always a risk with RA and will cause a lot of hair to fall out so check it out.  Anemia is caused when your pain levels are not being adequately managed by your meds.  When I had anemia I was finding hair on the bathroom floor and cleaning my brushes constantly.  Hope this helps, Deana

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 10, 2010
      Rena
      October 10, 2010

           I have not had my iron and thyroid levels checked in some time.  How often do you have yours checked?  It has been about 3 years for me.  Thanks for taking the time to post.  Yes, it helped a lot.  Smile  Thank You!

      READ MORE
    • Deana
      October 10, 2010
      Deana
      October 10, 2010

      I have my blood and inflamation levels checked about every 6-8 weeks by my rheumatologist.  The doctor also periodically checks my iron levels.  If you are on Enbrel and Methotrexate your doctor should be doing labs on you to watch everything because Methotrexate can cause kidney, liver, and other damage.  I have my thyroid checked periodically if I am not feeling well.  Also I have my vitamin D periodically checked as it can cause painful joints, stiffness, and hair loss as well.  I take vitamin D and calcium supplements daily because I do not spend a lot of time outside and I don't drink milk and I have osteoporosis.  Also, as we get older it is common to have some hair loss.  Hope this helps.  Deana

      READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 10, 2010
      Rena
      October 10, 2010

           I do blood tests once a month to moniter for elevated liver function issues by my rheumatologist.  I have not had my iron levels or my Vitamin D levels checked.  I have had my thyroid a couple of times with nothing abnormal coming up.  I also take multi-vitamin, B-complex, vitamin D, calcium supplements and omega-3 daily.  I have always been good on taking my vitamins.  I do need to get my iron, Vit. D and thyroid checked again.  Thank you for the information.  You have been so helpful.  Thank you!  Hope you are doing well.  Smile

      READ MORE
  • ronie October 04, 2010
    ronie
    October 04, 2010

    whether its the mtx or the enbrel, the question is how much hair are you willing to loose over whether the meds are working for ya.

     

    I too have a thick head of hair and have dealt with hair loss on and off over the years from this med or that.  But I have never had enough to make a difference in my appearance or for me to even notice that my hair was thinning.  It was never quite as bad as watching friends and family pull handfuls of it out when on cancer meds. So I considered myself lucky and dealt with it.  I was on Enbrel for 6 years and mtx for a long time as well.  Now that I am on Arava and Simponi, I see a bit of hair loss but not as much as in the past.  Now gray is a different subject all together.

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 05, 2010
      Rena
      October 05, 2010

           Thanks for replying.  I know what you mean about the gray stuff!  LOL  I never considered the Methotrexate.  I have been taking it for about 2 years.  I only have day after affects from it.   I hadn't noticed the hair loss.  I would really like to reduce and then stop the Methotrexate.  It makes sores in my mouth as well and I am taking the max amount on the folic acid.  I'm going to call my Rheumy and see what he thinks about getting off of it.

           Thanks a bunch!  How are you doing with your knee, by the way???  Hope you are doing well.  :)

      READ MORE
  • Paige October 04, 2010
    Paige
    October 04, 2010

    I also have a lot of hair loss, but I stopped taking Enbrel 3 or 4 years ago. I'm taking Humira now, and the hair loss has never eased. I've always attributed it to the methotrexate. I had very fine hair as a kid (diagnosed at 11 and on methotrexate from day 1) and I went off the meds almost completely when I was 16. I now have enough hair for probably a dozen people, even with it falling out. I pull hand fulls out multiple times day. Luckily, having so much, it just cuts back to my getting it thinned from every 2 months to every 6 months. I would think since so many people report hair loss with metho, that's probably going to be your culprit. Ask your doctor, and let them know how much you're losing. every appt. I have, one of the questions on the form I fill out is if there is any noticable hair loss, so it is something they want to be aware of.

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 05, 2010
      Rena
      October 05, 2010

           Thanks for answering.  I never considered the Methotrexate.  I have been taking it for about 2 years.  That may be it.  It sounds to me like your hair really grew back well after stopping the Methotrexate.  I will start to reduce it and see how I do.  Thanks!

      READ MORE
  • slcurry October 07, 2010
    slcurry
    October 04, 2010

    I take Enbrel and Mathotrexate as well and noticed some hair loss, however before I started taking any RA med I was experiencing hairloss. So I went to the Dermatologist and asked why. Checked my Thyroid and other bloodwork back then and no

    READ MORE
  • Chris October 07, 2010
    Chris
    October 04, 2010

    Hi. I was on Methotrexate and Enbrel, for a couple years. Now on Methotrexate and Remicade. I take folic acid to help with the hair loss. It really seems to help. It is not the over the counter strength but prescription strength. Maybe ask your dr. about trying this.

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 10, 2010
      Rena
      October 10, 2010

           I have been taking the max amount of folic acid.  I am now trying to cut down on the Methotrexate.  Hope that will help some.  Thanks for answering.  Hope all is well with you.   

      READ MORE
  • still kicking October 07, 2010
    still kicking
    October 04, 2010

    I lost about 1/3 of hair with methotrexate.  Adding Enbrel didn't increase the loss.  I had very think hair, so it made life easier for me.  Considerer using hair volumning products.  The response I had from the MTX was worth the hair loss.  But I have very think hair.  I believe that after several years, the hair began to increase in thickness.  I started using Wen products, you might look into to those products, and treat your hair gently without a lot of brushing, and find a style that suit the amount of hair you have.

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 10, 2010
      Rena
      October 10, 2010

           Thanks for commenting.  I never thought about volume products!  Great idea.  Take Care!

      READ MORE
  • Hope October 04, 2010
    Hope
    October 04, 2010

    Its most likely the meth.  I lost a third of my hair before I stopped taking.  After six months it did start to grow back.  I now finally have my nice full head of hair.  It too a year being off of meth.  I also take enbrel andknow that it was not that that caused the hair loss.  My doc took me off it the day I complained.  He said meds were supposed to help all the way around and if they make you feel uncomfortable or bad about lyourself because of side effects then you shouldn't take them.  So how much hair loss is too much is up to you.  You decide what you put into your body if you are unhappy go off of it.

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      October 05, 2010
      Rena
      October 05, 2010

           Thanks for commenting.  I never considered the Methotrexate.  I have been taking it for about 2 years.  I only seem to have day after affects from it.   I hadn't noticed the hair loss.  But, I may try to cut back on it and see how I do.  Thanks!

      READ MORE
  • MEL
    MEL
    December 23, 2011
    MEL
    MEL
    October 04, 2010

    I have bad arthritic problems. I took Remicade for 8 months and my hair started thinning just a little. Then i switched to Enbril because the Remicade stopped working. the Enbril worked great and still does when i take it. I stopped taking Enbril 3 months ago. I got a haircut yesterday and i am thinning alot. I'm afraid of bald spots and wonder if i go off enbril will any hair regrow. I do not think it will regrow. When i was off it my hair accumulated in my brush.I know Methotrexate causes hair loss but so does enbril. I took Methotrexate along with the Remicade it's been two years since i took Methotrexate.I don't know what to do. I am using vitamins like Biotin, Vit.D, Calcium. along with a one a day vitamin.

    READ MORE
    • kathy
      December 27, 2011
      kathy
      December 27, 2011

      My hair started falling out before I was diagnosed with RA. That is how I found out I have it.  Dr. put me on methrexate and Placquenil and hair still fell out by the handfulls.  allergic reaction to the methrexate and he changed to Sulfsalazine, hair still falling out.  Three years ago it was so thick I couldn't use a comb without it breaking off, now all you see is my scalp.  I cry over this, men are distinquished when bald, women aren't. i take 50,000I.U of Vitamin D, prenatel vitamin, biotin, folic acid, still falling out.

      I break out in rashes over my body until it bleeds, they don't know whats causing it.

      Never had kidney stones now a 2.4cm staghorn, that hurt.

      I see 11 doctors and none of them know what to do. 

      I asked the lab if they could just put a tap on me and when they need more blood they can just turn it on. Try to be humorous to keep from balling.

      RA is eating me alive and they can't seem to stop it, even on meds my anti-ccp just keeps rising.

      It's now going into my lungs, I grew up in Northern KY and have histoplasmosis scars in my lungs,granularmatosis. Am now on Spariva, ventilon and nebulizer.

      Diagnosed with scoleosis, scerosis of the hips,2 discs my back have disengrated.  Thoracic disk degeneration.  I have injections in my joint every month so i can move my arms. The Ra has eaten the bones from my ears and have had three ops in the last 12 months, now Dr says I have to be sized for a hearing aide no bone left to hold the anchor in place.

      50 MG of Prednisone daily,now have diabetes from the Prednisone. Tramadol x's 4 a day. Pain from cramps in my legs are so bad, feels like daggers.

      He now wants to put me on Arava or Embrel, since the histoplasmosis is not active they say I can take it.

      Dare I even try.

       

       

      READ MORE
  • Marilyn December 26, 2012
    Marilyn
    October 04, 2010

    I took methotrexate for six months several years ago. In addition to hair loss, I felt paranoid and angry and thought my head was going to explode. I hated everyone but, fortunately, not my husband. When I stopped taking it, my hair grew back curly (it had been stick straight) and those other side effects went away. I told my doctor about the mental part and he said he'd never heard of anything like that. I've been on Embrel for a year now and am doing fine.

     

    Good luck to you! 

    READ MORE
    • Rena
      December 27, 2012
      Rena
      December 27, 2012

           Thank you for replying.  I am so glad that you are doing better now.  I think their are all sorts of side effects that the doctors have heard about.  Stay healthy!  Take care.

      READ MORE
You should know Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.