Gabapentin and Pregabalin are two very similar medications that are commonly prescribed to help treat seizures. These medications are also sometimes prescribed off-label for a number of conditions including to help with nerve pain.
When anyone starts a new medication, it is normal to try and be on the lookout for any negative side effects that may be occurring. And, for Gabapentin and Pregabalin, some people have wondered if there may be a connection between these medications and an increase in hair shedding.
But, do these suspicions actually hold true, and is there any evidence from clinical studies showing that Gabapentin or Pregabalin can negatively affect your hair?
Below, we will outline what we know about Gabapentin and Pregabalin and hair loss, including what the official medication safety information says, what studies have been done looking into the subject, and what you can do if you suspect your medication may be affecting your hair.
It is currently unclear whether Gabapentin or Pregabalin comes with an increased risk of hair loss or sped-up hair shedding. But, there is a minor mention of hair-related effects in the FDA prescribing information for both of these medications.
In the Gabapentin prescribing information, under the rare skin & appendage-related events, “hair disorder” is listed. Elaboration on exactly what the hair disorder might be is not clearly defined. The Pregabalin prescribing information also mentions “alopecia” under the infrequent skin & appendage-related events. Alopecia is a technical term for hair loss of some sort.
There are not currently any clinical studies looking directly at if there are any negative hair effects from the use of Gabapentin or Pregabalin, but there are a few case reports involving a singular person.
One case report describes a 28-year-old woman who was prescribed very high-dose Gabapentin for extreme neuropathic pain from a past trauma. After one week of the treatment, the patient presented with significant patchy hair loss.
There was another case report involving a patient who experience hair loss started just after beginning on Pregabalin. The report states that the hair loss resolved when the Pregabalin treatment was stopped.
It is important to note, that while case reports are informative, it is the case of just one person where many variables may be at play. So, these case reports may be a piece of the puzzle, but are to be taken with a grain of salt and not considered the normal experience of everyone who uses these medications.
If you are suspecting that Gabapentin or Pregabalin may be contributing to the negative hair changes you are noticing, it is important to start by talking to both your doctor that prescribed your therapy as well as a doctor familiar with hair loss to help figure out what might be happening in your case. Your doctor will be able to assess the situation and guide you through how to proceed.
Of course, your overall health is the most important thing, so you should not ever stop a medication or change the way you are taking it without speaking with a doctor first. Stopping Gabapentin or Pregabalin abruptly or without another medication in place to handle your medical condition could be painful or very dangerous.
We do not currently know if the medications Gabapentin or Pregabalin may contribute to hair loss or increased shedding.
There are minor mentions of potential rare hair loss events in the FDA prescribing information for both of these drugs, but it is not mentioned as being common. Also, there are a few scattered case reports of individuals experiencing hair loss when starting these medications, but nothing reported large scale.
If you are concerned about hair loss changes and you are taking these medications, or considering starting on them, you should discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Never stop a medication or change the way you take it without consulting with a doctor first.
It can be stressful when you are noticing hair loss, especially if you are already dealing with other medical concerns. If you are experiencing hair loss, whether it stems from the use of a medication, or from other causes, there may be things you can do to help reduce the hair losses, or help with regrowth in certain situations.
Here at Strut, we carry a wide variety of hair loss medications including topical gels and solutions, or oral capsules and tablets.
Many of our hair formulations are customizable and can be crafted to contain multiple active medications for your hair, instead of having to use just one.
If you are interested in seeing if you may be a good candidate for a prescription option, you can have a free questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today. They will review your information and issue a prescription, if appropriate. Then, your formulation will be put together at a U.S. compounding pharmacy and shipped to your front door with our free shipping.