Prozac (fluoxetine) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. But, does Prozac cause hair loss? Like other SSRIs, Prozac is effective at treating clinical depression and reducing the likelihood of further depressive episodes.
If you or someone you love takes Prozac, you may be concerned about hair loss as a potential side effect. After all, many people with clinical depression also experience hair loss as one of its symptoms. Since Prozac is an SSRI that blocks serotonin in your brain, does that mean it can cause hair loss? Keep reading to find out.
- 1 What is Prozac?
- 2 Does Prozac Cause Hair Loss?
- 3 SSRI Antidepressants and Hair Loss
- 4 SSRIs and Shedding: Is There a Link?
- 5 Which Antidepressants Cause Hair Loss?
- 6 How SSRI Antidepressants Cause Hair Loss
- 7 Does serotonin cause hair loss?
- 8 Which antidepressant does not cause hair loss?
- 9 Do antidepressants make your hair thin?
- 10 Can SSRIs make your hair fall out?
- 11 Is hair loss from antidepressants temporary?
- 12 After how long does hair grow back after Prozac caused Hair Loss?
- 13 How long before Prozac side effects start?
- 14 Does anxiety meds make your hair fall out?
- 15 How can I stop my hair from falling out due to medication?
- 16 What vitamin should I take for hair loss?
- 17 How common is hair loss from antidepressants?
- 18 Can stopping antidepressants cause hair loss?
- 19 Conclusion
- 20 FAQs
What is Prozac?
Prozac is a brand name for the drug fluoxetine, which is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or panic disorder. It is also used to help relieve hot flashes in menopausal women.
In the United States, Prozac and other SSRI antidepressants are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by adults aged 18 years or older with depression.
Does Prozac Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, Prozac can cause hair loss as one of the most distressing side effects. The hair loss is mostly diffuse scalp alopecia. The cause of the hair loss is not definitively known but is thought to be related to the specific serotonin reuptake mechanism of action.
Hair loss, especially diffuse scalp alopecia, is an uncommon but a very distressing side effect of many medications including some common psychotropic and serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac. The cause of the hair loss is not definitively known but is thought to be related to the specific serotonin reuptake mechanism of action.
SSRI Antidepressants and Hair Loss
SSRI antidepressants, such as Prozac, are associated with hair loss because they often cause a dryness of the scalp, which may lead to hair falling out. SSRIs and other serotonin-related medications work by increasing the concentration of serotonin in your brain.
Serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical that affects mood, appetite, sleep, and other behaviors. Prozac and other antidepressant drugs are also associated with hair loss because they can worsen pre-existing conditions like lupus or thyroid disease.
Be sure to consult with your doctor about any health issues you’re noticing before you take any medications, including Prozac or antidepressant drugs.
SSRIs and Shedding: Is There a Link?
A common side effect of SSRI antidepressants is shedding. Shedding is the process of hair falling out, or being ejected from its follicle. The shedding is usually transitory, that is, it will grow back in time. The length of time this will take varies from person to person and on the severity of the antidepressant drug’s effect on them.
The truth about Prozac specifically causing hair loss? It doesn’t appear to be a direct side effect. People who have taken SSRI antidepressants for more than one year and experience hair loss may be due to other factors such as genetics, stress, health problems, hormones, or poor diet rather than the medication itself.
Side effects of SSRI antidepressants are often more severe for women than men. Women have higher levels of serotonin in their bodies naturally and are also more susceptible to hormonal fluctuations that can lead to increased susceptibility to shedding if they are taking an SSRI antidepressant.
Which Antidepressants Cause Hair Loss?
Most antidepressants cause temporary hair loss with a different degree of severity. The most common types of antidepressants that cause hair loss are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which have been found to cause temporary hair shedding in as many as 50% of patients. This hair loss condition is known as telogen effluvium.
The shedding usually stops on its own within three months, but it can last up to 6 months in some cases.
The SSRI drugs include:
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline HCl)
- Celexa (citalopram HBr)
- Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Luvox (fluvoxamine maleate)
- Luvox CR (fluvoxamine maleate extended-release tablet).
How SSRI Antidepressants Cause Hair Loss
The most common type of hair loss that’s associated with SSRI antidepressants is telogen effluvium, also known as a shedding phase. This type of hair loss can happen to anyone and is not a result of taking SSRI antidepressants.
But once the medication triggers the telogen effluvium, the new hairs will push out the resting hairs resulting in an increase in hair loss within 2–3 months of starting the medication. Thus, if you start taking Prozac or any other SSRI antidepressant, you might experience hair shedding for about 3 months before you notice your hair regrowing again.
Therefore, does Prozac specifically cause hair loss? No it doesn’t. All SSRI antidepressants are associated with some form of hair loss as a side effect, though certain antidepressants are more likely to trigger this response than others (such as Paxil).
Does serotonin cause hair loss?
Some common psychotropic and serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Celexa can cause diffuse scalp alopecia or hair loss which can be distressing to most people. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood and appetite.
The most common theory behind the link between serotonin levels and hair loss is that low levels of serotonin can cause a hormonal imbalance, which can lead to hair shedding.
There are many different causes of hair loss, and it’s not always clear what the exact cause is. In some cases, hair loss may be a side effect of medication. This can happen with both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Sometimes people can experience hair loss due to an underlying medical condition or other health issues, such as stress or nutritional deficiencies.
One of the most common causes of hair loss is an increase in the hormone DHT—an androgen that naturally occurs in males and females after puberty—which is triggered by things like genetics, age, hormone levels (DHT is increased during pregnancy), pregnancy, wearing tight hairstyles for long periods of time, stress, certain medications including hormonal birth control, certain antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine), certain painkillers like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (e.g., Aleve), certain blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) and even some herbal supplements like saw palmetto or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like finasteride (Propecia).
Which antidepressant does not cause hair loss?
There are many different types of antidepressants that people take for their mental health. These include SSRI, tricyclic antidepressants, MAOIs, and more. One of the most common questions people have is whether or not they will experience hair loss while taking an antidepressant.
The answer depends on which type of antidepressant you are taking. Some types of antidepressants have a lower risk of causing hair loss while others have a higher risk. For example, Prozac (fluoxetine) and paroxetine have the lowest risk of hair loss while fluvoxamine has the highest risk of hair loss.
Do antidepressants make your hair thin?
Yes, but the hair loss caused by antidepressants is usually temporary. The most common negative side effect of antidepressants is hair loss. It’s important to note, though, that the hair loss caused by antidepressants is often temporary and doesn’t happen to everyone.
Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed drugs for people with depression. While there isn’t a definitive study on how long the hair-thinning effects last, studies indicate that it typically lasts about three months before stabilizing or regrowing.
For some people, this means their hair will stop falling out after three months; for others, it might take six months or more before they stop losing hair.
Can SSRIs make your hair fall out?
Yes, SSRIs including Fluoxetine can cause hair loss. While there is no solid evidence to suggest that Prozac causes hair loss, it is scientifically proven that SSRI antidepressants can cause hair loss. One study found that 60% of people who take SSRIs experience some form of hair loss.
This can include bald patches, thinning hair, and general shedding. Postpartum women seem to be the most likely to experience this side effect, with a whopping 90% experiencing hair loss while taking an SSRI antidepressant.
Additionally, there is also a chance you may experience side effects like nausea, headaches, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction. It’s important to realize that you should talk to your doctor if you notice any side effects as they may not be typical.
Is hair loss from antidepressants temporary?
Many people who take antidepressants experience hair loss as a side effect. How long does this last? It is not permanent. The two most common types of antidepressant drugs that cause hair loss are Prozac and Effexor (venlafaxine).
The good news is that the hair loss usually goes away once you stop taking the drug. Hair loss from antidepressants is temporary, but it can be a frustrating experience.
After how long does hair grow back after Prozac caused Hair Loss?
Once a person has ceased the medication, hair can take up to 6 months to grow back. After a person has ceased the medication, hair can take up to 6 months to grow back.
However, if the hair loss is severe, it may take longer. In any case, it is possible that a person may never regain their original hair density or thickness. It also takes a while for scalp sensitivity to return to normal levels after Prozac causes Hair Loss.
How long before Prozac side effects start?
You can feel drowsy in the first few days of taking fluoxetine. The FDA recommends starting at a low dose and gradually increasing the dose over a period of one to four weeks, as tolerated. You will start feeling the effects of Prozac in about two weeks after the first time you take it.
Does anxiety meds make your hair fall out?
Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that is caused by something that throws the body’s hair-growth cycle out of balance. It can be caused by a number of things such as:
- Major emotional distress
A common cause for telogen effluvium is antidepressants, which may lead to depression and anxiety. Medications like Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Zoloft are typically associated with this side effect.
It should be noted that while some people experience hair loss while on Prozac or other SSRI antidepressants, not everyone will lose their hair. And in many cases, it’s unclear if the hair loss was actually caused by the drug or if it just appeared to be related because the person was already experiencing telogen effluvium before taking the medication.
How can I stop my hair from falling out due to medication?
You can use Finasteride (Propecia), Minoxidil (Rogaine), and others where the hair grows in 3–6 months after use. The hair around the scalp falls out as part of a natural process and is replaced with new hair in a cycle that typically repeats itself every 3 to 6 months.
The hair may also fall out due to stress, poor diet, or medications. If you are concerned about hair loss caused by medications, there are treatment options available to help your hair grow back. One option is called Propecia (Finasteride).
This medication blocks the conversion of testosterone into another hormone called DHT which causes hair loss in some people. Another option is Minoxidil 5% foam (Rogaine) sprays directly onto the scalp and can prevent hairs from falling out for up to six months when used twice a day.
And lastly, laser therapy is an option for those who want their hair back quickly; it uses intense light to stimulate new growth and restore thinning hair on the head.
What vitamin should I take for hair loss?
When you are having hair loss, Biotin (vitamin B7) is the vitamin that can give you the best effects. Many people have experienced hair loss, as evidenced by the number of people who post about it on social media.
One of the most common causes for hair loss is vitamin deficiency – specifically, a lack of B vitamins. When you’re not getting enough biotin in your diet, hair can fall out or become brittle and lifeless. One way to counter this problem is to take a biotin supplement.
Biotin is an essential vitamin that helps prevent against many problems associated with hair loss, including brittle nails and skin discoloration (which happens when the liver doesn’t produce enough bile).
There are three types of biotin – oral supplements like Vitamin B7 Complex and trimethylglycine that you can find at drugstores or food stores, topical creams like Nutrafol® Nail & Hair Growth Supplement that are applied directly to your skin or nails, and injectable solutions like Viviscal Extra Strength Injection which are given by your doctor. The dosage depends on what kind of biotin you use, but they’re all fairly inexpensive and easy to find.
How common is hair loss from antidepressants?
Hair loss is classified as a common possible side effect for almost all antidepressants sold in the country. It’s important to note that these potential side effects are not guaranteed to happen.
Can stopping antidepressants cause hair loss?
No, hair loss from medication usually ceases once people stop taking the medication. Many people wonder if they’ll lose their hair when they stop taking their antidepressants. Fortunately, this is not a common side effect and it usually ceases once people stop taking the medication.
As you can see, Prozac is one of many antidepressants that is known to cause hair loss. However, this side effect is not exclusive to Prozac. All SSRI antidepressants have a risk for causing hair loss as a side effect, and the specific drug may vary from individual to individual.
For example, someone who takes Prozac may experience hair loss or another side effect that someone on Paxil does not. It’s important to note what medications you are on and adjust them accordingly if necessary so that your body can function properly.
SSRI antidepressants are often prescribed for depression or anxiety disorders because they help stabilize moods and promote a sense of mental well-being. But did you also know they could be responsible for some unwanted side effects?
Does Prozac cause hair loss?
Yes. Prozac, or fluoxetine, is an antidepressant that can cause hair loss. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose your hair when taking this drug. It’s important to mention that not everyone who takes Prozac loses their hair. Some people might notice a little bit of thinning, but others might go bald completely. The odds are that the more you take it, the more likely you are to experience hair loss as a side effect – but some people won’t have any problems at all.
How to prevent Prozac from causing hair loss?
It’s unclear why some people experience a worsening of their symptoms when taking Prozac and other SSRI drugs for depression and anxiety treatment, but there is one thing you can do to try and head off the likelihood of experiencing symptoms like this – talk with your doctor about reducing your dose gradually if you begin to experience these side effects after being on the medication for an extended period of time; most cases of hair loss occur when someone who has been on the medication for longer than six months suddenly stops taking it (or dramatically reduces their dosage).
Is Prozac the only antidepressant that causes hair loss?
No, this is a common side effect of any SSRI drug. The SSRIs cause hair loss of different severity with Fluoxetine being one of the medications with least hair loss.