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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Help! Hair suddenly damaged and falling out.
Aug 31, 2011

I'm 50 and vain, I'll admit, and have always had thick, healthy hair. Until about two months ago, when hair began falling out and now, my thinner hair is brittle and damaged looking.

I had been on higher doses of injectable testosterone (200mg/week) and had just switched meds to Isentress, Norvir, Prezista and Intelence. I'm also on Avodart and Doxazosin for my prostate. Other than some supplements (fish oil, Vitamin D, etc), thats it.

I've since stopped the testosterone but can't find any side effects listed for my meds that includes hair loss or damage. Is this just the combined effect of so any meds...?

Response from Dr. Henry

The risk for hair loss from your HIV regimen has not been well studied nor described (not many studies have included data from patients taking your particular regimen). Our clinic has had a modest number of patients on the regimen (often with other meds such as Truvada) without noticeably increased hair loss (would estimate risk is < 5%). Hair loss can be frustrating to sort out in the setting of taking multiple medications. Genetics, hormone levels, and stress as well as some scalp conditions are other factors that can influence hair loss as people age. Doxazosin has also been linked to a low risk of hair loss. KH

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