breakage due to medication

I didn't see another recent thread about this topic. I've been having excessive shedding (and it's breakage), and when this has happened to me in the past it's always been due to some medication. There are 4 possible drugs it could be, and honestly unless I go really bald, I can't justify medically stopping them just to see if the hair loss stops. Also in the past, it's usually stopped after a while even if I stayed on the medication. So bringing me to my point, does anyone know of any ways to make medication induced breakage less likely?

Oh and I'm naturally very high density so this loss has brought me to the low end of high density or the high end of medium density.
Is this a known side effect of the medication(s) or your medical condition(s)? Do you know what the mechanism for the poor hair quality is?

By which I mean could it be related to nutrient intake or absorption factors, say? Many medical conditions and some drugs are linked to nutrition issues.

Are you working with your hair properties (porosity, elasticity, coarseness) when choosing products and ingredients?
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
It is known side effect of 3 of the medications (but then again, I've almost never seen a side effect list for anything that didn't include headache and nausea, and most list hair loss as well), I don't know what the mechanism is, however it's breaking close to the scalp I have A LOT of really short hairs (less than 1cm), there's not much information beyond listing it as a side effect and some forums where patients complain about those medications and hair loss. It is not a side effect of my medical conditions. I don't think it's nutrition related, nothing in my diet has changed, and the hair loss started this year so it's pretty recent. I just found out my properties from goosefootprints (although the hairs I collected were from before this started being a noticeable problem), so I will be working with my properties for new products and I don't really have anything very problematic, just that I could have better products, but I can't really afford to waste product, so I will use up what I have and replace with ones more suited to my hair.
I really don't mean for this to come out wrong - but I would express your concern to your doctor, not the curly hair forum. If it truly is caused by medication, then I'm not sure that there's much you can do. Although medications can alter your nutrient absorption, etc.
2c-3a - coarse - normal-high porosity - high density - growing out to donate

NP/LP: KMF Whenever Conditioner/ YTCucs
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed DC / CJ Argan & Olive Oil, KCKT, YTBbs
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
OIL/STYLER: SM Elixir / KCCC
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
It is known side effect of 3 of the medications (but then again, I've almost never seen a side effect list for anything that didn't include headache and nausea, and most list hair loss as well), I don't know what the mechanism is, however it's breaking close to the scalp I have A LOT of really short hairs (less than 1cm), there's not much information beyond listing it as a side effect and some forums where patients complain about those medications and hair loss. It is not a side effect of my medical conditions.
Originally Posted by wavypen
While obviously your physical health come before your hair, have you spoken to your doctor(s) to see if there are alternative drugs you could try?

I don't think it's nutrition related, nothing in my diet has changed, and the hair loss started this year so it's pretty recent.
Originally Posted by wavypen
Lots of medications can increase or decrease your absorption of certain nutrients varying from antibiotics, cholesterol lowing drugs, diuretics, steroids, etc So you should check yourself on whether the drug category then the particular drug depletes or increases your absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.

Many doctors aren't up on their nutrition so it will take other symptoms apart from hair loss such as pain and fatigue before they will look at whether you are deficient in certain nutrients.

Even then they are more likely to say you are depressed or stressed due to being ill and blame it on that unless you are lucky.
I really don't mean for this to come out wrong - but I would express your concern to your doctor, not the curly hair forum. If it truly is caused by medication, then I'm not sure that there's much you can do. Although medications can alter your nutrient absorption, etc.
Originally Posted by sixelamy
I only did because in my experience with doctors (and I have a lot of experience) they will say it's not the medication, that it's stress or whatever and basically ignore the issue, basically they often like to pretend side effects aren't side effects unless it's glaringly obvious.

ETA: and I was hoping that someone might know if say supplementing my B vitamins or something else similar and safe might help.

I'm researching how these medications affect nutrient absorption now.

Last edited by wavypen; 03-26-2014 at 08:58 AM.
Blueblood is spot on about medications and medical conditions affecting your absorption and utilisation of different nutrients, it is not necessarily related to whether your diet has changed or not.

I work in lifestyle healthcare which obviously includes nutrition, tho am not a registered dietician whom you would ideally consult. Be careful to use reputable sources when DIY researching: government websites, health charities, textbooks, published research papers, PubMed/ Google Scholar are all useful. Wikipedia, random alternative 'nutrition' sites and commercial diet books can be packed with misinformation.

Randomly supplementing is not a good idea: micronutrients work synergistically and in opposition so you can easily WORSEN imbalances. Any supplement regime should be tailored to the individual: health conditions, medication, age/ gender, physical activity levels, diet and so on. Ideally you would get all your nutrients from wholefoods so adapt your diet to your medical history. Obviously supplement if advised to do so by an appropriately qualified health professional.

Nutrient dense wholefoods include oily fish, cocoa, molluscs such as oysters, organ meats such as liver, nuts, seeds, whole eggs, beans and lentils not just the obvious (bright and dark coloured) fruits and vegetables. Many of these are foods that most people eat little of, or not a wide variety from each group.

HTH.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Thank you Blueblood and Firefox,

I found that one of them can cause vitamin E deficiency, but I can't find any information that links that to hair loss.

Blueblood, unfortunately I'm considered "refractory" and sensitive to medications, so I have fewer options all the time. Which is part of the reason that they won't want to take hair loss seriously unless I have bald spots or something.

I guess it's time to message my PCP and see what he thinks, he could maybe order blood work or access professional databases I don't have access to..

Firefox, I'm always very careful about which websites are trustworthy and which are not. Of your list of foods there I only don't eat oysters and organ meats (I'm a pescetarian because I don't like meat, I do like fish, just not mollusks, crustaceans etc), and I think of the rest eggs are probably the only one I don't eat very much of (the rest make up most of my diet and I get bored of food, so definitely a wide variety), so perhaps it's time to boil some eggs. Right now I only supplement D3 and B12, and that's based on doctor's advice.

I only did because in my experience with doctors (and I have a lot of experience) they will say it's not the medication, that it's stress or whatever and basically ignore the issue, basically they often like to pretend side effects aren't side effects unless it's glaringly obvious.
Originally Posted by wavypen
That is my experience as well.

In my case (I can't go into specifics) two other female practitioners at the same surgery looked at some of my test results and disagreed with their more experienced male colleague as they actually listened to my symptoms and didn't view me as a whining woman.

ETA: and I was hoping that someone might know if say supplementing my B vitamins or something else similar and safe might help.
Originally Posted by wavypen
We wouldn't be able to tell you specifically even if you did give us your blood test results. We would steer you to look at certain things and talk to another medically qualified practitioner in the correct area.

BTW Do you have any other symptoms that aren't listed as the most frequent side-effects of your medication? Do your finger and toe nails look normal? Point these things out to your PCP, and also stress what you do and don't eat again.
It's hard to determine what are side effects and what is from the conditions, except things that don't occur with the conditions, otherwise I tend to think medications exacerbate some side effects. However my nails (especially toenails) have been brittle recently.
It's hard to determine what are side effects and what is from the conditions, except things that don't occur with the conditions, otherwise I tend to think medications exacerbate some side effects. However my nails (especially toenails) have been brittle recently.
Originally Posted by wavypen
I know one of my nutrient deficiencies made my medical condition much worse. I only found this out when I spoke to a friend who suddenly suffered a milder form of the same symptoms.

Anyway make a list of all your symptoms particularly the ones that aren't linked to your medical conditions and take that list with you when you see the PCP to tell him/her.

If s/he refuses to listen, tries to blame it all on your condition/ medication and won't help, then get a second and even a third opinion if you need it.

Ideally you want your PCP to do a full range of nutrient blood tests and you should get a print out of the results.

For some nutrients i.e. B vitamins, ferritin you don't want to be in the lower part of the range otherwise you can have symptoms of deficiency. Other nutrients/enzymes indicate something related is wrong but the doctor not being a specialist will say it's fine as they don't understand what it could be linked to.
...And the doctor put it down to stress, said to come see him if it continues for a while.
...And the doctor put it down to stress, said to come see him if it continues for a while.
Originally Posted by wavypen

If you are still unhappy go and get a second opinion.

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