ADD/ADHD Medications & Hair Loss
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a label given to one of the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is most commonly diagnosed in childhood and lasts far into adulthood. ADHD is a neurological illness that causes issues with paying attention in class, focusing on schoolwork, keeping up with assignments, following directions, finishing tasks, and social interaction, among other things. ADHD medications are a safe and effective way to relieve ADHD symptoms.
Some fact on ADD:
While the term ADD is technically obsolete and no longer used by medical professionals, it is nevertheless occasionally used colloquially to describe someone who has trouble keeping concentration but does not exhibit hyperactive symptoms.
Scientists are researching the cause(s) and risk factors for ADHD in order to better manage and lessen the likelihood of a person developing the disorder. Although the cause(s) and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, recent research indicates that heredity plays a significant influence. Genetic variables have been linked to ADHD in recent studies.
Aside from genetics, scientists are looking into other probable causes and risk factors, such as:
- Injuries to the brain
- Environmental hazard exposure (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or at a young age
- During pregnancy, you should avoid drinking and smoking.
- Premature childbirth
- Birth weight that is too low
The most common treatment for ADD/ADHD is stimulant medications. They can aid in the management of symptoms such as:
- Attention span is limited.
- Behaviour that is impulsive
Which Medications are used to treat ADD/ADHD?
Certain brain chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, are increased by these drugs. They allow your brain’s nerves to communicate with one another. They’re also triggered by pleasurable activities.
The medications are of 3 types:
- Long-acting stimulants
Most commonly used medicines are:
- Adderall – GENERIC NAME: DEXTROAMPHETAMINE-AMPHETAMINE
- Vyvanse- GENERIC NAME: LISDEXAMFETAMINE
Around 70% of adults and 70% to 80% of youngsters who have ADHD benefit from these medications. They are less likely to be hyperactive, interruptive, or fidgety. They can also aid in the completion of activities and the improvement of relationships.
But there are some side effects to these medications. Hair loss is the most common among them.
Can ADD/ADHD medications cause hair loss?
Some medications (like Adderall, and Vyvanse) have the potential to cause negative side effects. They can become more severe as a result of long-term use and addiction.
Negative effects include decreased appetite, stomach pain, and weight loss. Nutritional inadequacies, which are commonly a cause of hair loss, can be caused by a loss of appetite.
But is hair loss common?
While it’s natural to lose a little hair every day, some side effects of these medications can include hair thinning and loss. These can include the following:
Sleeplessness and inability to fall or keep asleep. Hair loss can be caused by a lack of sleep.
Appetite loss and weight loss. You may develop a nutritional shortage if you lose your appetite. This may result in hair loss.
Stress levels have risen. Cortisol is a stress hormone that has a role in the fight-or-flight response. Cortisol levels in the blood can damage hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
Rashes and itchy skin. Excessive scratching might cause hair loss if your scalp is irritated. If you’re taking Adderall and you’re getting itchy, rashy, or hives, see your doctor right away. It could indicate a severe allergic reaction.
How can it be resolved?
Hair loss should be discussed with a doctor if it occurs while taking ADHD medications. A doctor can advise reducing the dosage or switching to a different medication. Other stimulants, on the other hand, can cause hair loss as a side effect.
Before stopping ADHD medications or any other stimulant drug used for ADD/ADHD, you should obtain medical guidance. Stopping them abruptly may cause withdrawal symptoms, which are likely to reappear.
Other strategies are:
Anxiety management. Compulsion hair pulling can be prevented or reduced by stress or anxiety reduction techniques. Anti-anxiety drugs, behavioral therapy, regular exercise, support groups, and relaxation therapies like meditation and yoga are examples of these.
Taking proper care of one’s hair. Haircare will not prevent hair loss, but it will help to reduce hair breakage and damage. A doctor or a skilled hairstylist may be able to advise you on the best hair care plan for you.
Nutritional deficiency testing. Doctors can test for common nutritional deficiencies and provide advice on how to cure them through dietary and lifestyle changes.
Taking a multivitamin is a good idea. Some nutritional deficiencies can be treated or prevented with the use of a multivitamin supplement. A doctor or dietitian can help you choose the right dietary supplements.
Consultation with a hair loss specialist. Hair loss doctors can determine the cause and provide the necessary advice. Even if the hair loss started when a person started using Adderall or Vyvanse, it could be due to something else.
ADHD medicines are potent stimulants. While it can help with ADHD and narcolepsy, it can also have some negative side effects.
While you’re taking the medicine, your doctor will keep an eye on your health and any side effects. Be open and honest with your doctor about how the drug is impacting you, as well as any side effects you’re having.
FAQs about ADD/ADHD:
Is there a connection between ADD/ADHD medications, appetite loss, and hair loss?
Yes, there is a sheer connection and interaction between the medication with hair loss and appetite loss.
Is there a connection between ADD/ADHD medications and trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania (Trich), also known as a hair-pulling disorder, is a mental disease characterized by repeated, overwhelming cravings to remove hair from your scalp, brows, or other parts of your body, despite your best efforts to stop. Trich behavior can be caused by excessive usage of stimulants medications (ADHD medication). Psychostimulant medication, which is commonly used to treat ADHD (like Adderall or Vyvanse), can make people feel compelled to engage in self-soothing behaviors like hair pulling.