Does Metoprolol Cause Hair Loss?
Most people will be prescribed medications to treat various ailments at some point during their life. Whether you're living with acne or working through challenging cancer treatment, how your body reacts to medication isn't always predictable. And unfortunately, in some instances, drug-induced hair loss can occur.
If you (or a loved one) have ever suffered from high blood pressure, beta-blockers or metoprolol might have been prescribed to improve overall health conditions. But hair thinning and loss could potentially occur as the body adjusts to the medication. To unravel fact from fiction and understand how you can help resolve metoprolol-induced thinning hair, VEGAMOUR spoke to the experts and dug into the research. Plus, discover the hair wellness products that encourage thicker looking hair.
What Is Metoprolol?
Metoprolol is a beta blocker medication often prescribed to treat high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts the heart and arteries under strain, and without the help of certain medicines, the heart and arteries will stop functioning as they should. Metoprolol is also prescribed to treat chest pain known as angina and can help reduce the risk of heart attacks.
While metoprolol is an essential aid when dealing with heart problems, unfortunately, some people have also reported hair loss as a side effect. And it's not just Metoprolol. Over-the-counter medications and other brands of blood pressure medications can trigger drug-induced hair loss. "Metoprolol can cause hair loss," confirmed board-certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist Dr. James Marotta. "This is a known side effect of beta-blocker medications which are used to treat high blood pressure. Other beta blockers like timolol, propranolol and atenolol can likewise cause hair loss."
Why Do Drugs Cause Hair Loss?
When it comes to drug-induced hair loss, metoprolol isn't the only culprit. From acne medications and anabolic steroids to valproic acid and other medications prescribed to help the body function healthily, many patients experience hair loss as a side effect. But why?
Various medications can damage the hair follicles and disrupt the normal cycle of hair regrowth. Typically, two types of hair loss can occur; telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is considered temporary hair loss, and the second most common form of hair loss. It occurs when there's a change in how many hair follicles produce new hair growth. Certain medications and blood thinners such as metoprolol, atenolol and inderal can interrupt the healthy hair cycle and encourage more hair to stay in the resting phase. Ace inhibitors, which can also help thin the blood, can trigger hair loss too. The hair typically experiences three phases:
- Anagen: the growth phase
- Catagen: the transitional phase
- Telogen: the resting phase
Telogen effluvium is linked to the telogen phase. On average, 5-10 percent of someone's hair is in the telogen phase at any one time. But with telogen effluvium, the anagen phase slows down, moving approximately 30 percent into the telogen phase, which triggers excessive shedding. Though incredibly frustrating and upsetting, this type of hair loss is temporary, and the growth cycle will return to normal over time.
Anagen effluvium refers to hair loss that occurs when hair is lost during the growth phase of the cycle. Anagen effluvium is often the result of a direct injury to the hair follicles from a toxic agent or inflammation. Changes can cause the hairs to stop dividing, which prevents critical enzymes from turning into essential steroids needed to assist in the keratinization process for hair growth.
The hair fall seen as a result of anagen effluvium happens quickly, with breakage and hair fall occurring within a couple of days of the change. Empty and bald patches become present across the scalp, and a large amount of hair is lost quickly. This type of hair loss can occur after chemotherapy or when people take cytostatic drugs. Hair loss can occur all over the body but is often temporary once the trauma subsides and drug intake is reduced.
Other Side Effects of Taking Metoprolol
Taking metoprolol can help resolve specific complaints linked to the heart, but users might experience other side effects, too.
Common side effects of metoprolol include:
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fatigue or weakness
Less common side effects of metoprolol include:
- Weight gain
- Bloating or swelling
- Difficulty breathing
- Impaired vision
- Slow speech
- Short-term memory loss
- Trouble breathing
- Tingling fingers when exposed to cold temperatures
"If you experience medication-induced hair loss, you should speak to your medical doctor and physician who specializes in hair loss," said Dr. Marotta. It's always worth checking in with your healthcare provider for further advice.
Hair Care Tips to Resolve Hair Thinning Issues
Losing hair can be truly upsetting — so much so it can impact someone's mental health. If you are experiencing hair fall or dramatic hair loss, there are things you can do get your hair back on track.
Switch to Alternative Medication
"The good news is that most medication-induced hair loss is reversible," said Dr. Marotta. "Your medical doctor may decrease your medication dosage or offer an alternative medication for blood pressure."
There is a range of medications available to help with blood pressure fluctuations. Even if you're upset by the excessive hair loss you experience, it's important to discuss it with a medical professional before discontinuing the use of the medication. And remember that hair loss is usually temporary, and your strands will grow back over time.
Use a Hair Serum
If you're concerned about the state of your hair, the GRO Hair Serum can help boost hair health. The lightweight and non-greasy topical serum combats poor scalp health and works to support a healthy follicular system. The vegan ingredients include powerful phyto-actives that have been shown in multiple clinical studies to improve hair density, making hair look thicker and fuller after just 90 days of use.
If after changing your medication and exploring every other option you still aren't satisfied with your hair, you can talk to your doctor about a hair transplant. "Platelet-rich plasma or platelet-rich fibrin matrix treatments which utilize your body's own plasma may be used to restore medication-induced hair loss," said Dr. Marotta.
Consider a Hair Wellness Routine
Wellness professionals and experts believe that taking an inside-out approach to hair care will give you glossy, healthy, fuller-looking hair fast. A healthy diet that includes antioxidant-packed and vitamin-full berries and leafy greens will nourish the entire body — including the hair follicles.
To supplement a nutritious diet, the GRO Biotin Gummies feature a combination of vitamins and minerals that help beautify strands and keep the scalp healthy. Vitamins A, C and E help neutralize damaging free radicals, and zinc promotes and helps maintain the scalp's health — because a healthy scalp contributes to gorgeous hair.
The Final Word
Hair loss can be stressful, especially when experiencing other challenging medical conditions. Metoprolol might trigger some hair fall, but it will also help regulate blood pressure.
If most cases, hair growth will return to normal once you've stopped taking the medication. If you're really concerned, talk to a medical professional about reducing your dosage and changing up your diet to improve your overall health. A 360° hair wellness routine that considers sleep hygiene, diet, stress levels and all-natural hair products will keep your locks feeling thick and looking beautiful for years to come.
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