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And yet another Spironolactone question / still effective even if not slowing shedding?

Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by Kadee, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Kadee

    Kadee Established Member

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    Hi,

    It's my understanding by most that Spironolactone is supposed to slow the shedding / stabilize the hair loss and in some rarer cases can help regrow.

    But, if it's not slowing visible shedding can it still be helping by protecting the new hairs coming in from DHT so they might be thicker / stronger?

    So that in time even though you're still shedding hair might start looking better?
     
  2. JustMeS

    JustMeS Established Member

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    I would like an answer to this as well, because I really don't know..
     
  3. Ginger1113

    Ginger1113 Established Member

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    Yes. This is exactly what my derm said it should do. It just takes a long time and may not work for everyone. That's why I am just taking the chance and giving it a shot as scary as it may be. There has been lots of studies where it works or at least helps slow down the loss and help you to maintain what you have. If only I could be so optimistic for myself. I know I have had very few side effects with it. Having trouble putting on some weight since starting. Still under 100 pounds. Ugh! Wish I could have got the side effect of some larger breasts, even a little. That might have been nice..lol.Best of luck to all who are trying it. Praying it works for all of us.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes. This is exactly what my derm said it should do. It just takes a long time and may not work for everyone. That's why I am just taking the chance and giving it a shot as scary as it may be. There has been lots of studies where it works or at least helps slow down the loss and help you to maintain what you have. If only I could be so optimistic for myself. I know I have had very few side effects with it. Having trouble putting on some weight since starting. Still under 100 pounds. Ugh! Wish I could have got the side effect of some larger breasts, even a little. That might have been niece..lol.Best of luck to all who are trying it. Praying it works for all of us.
     
  4. Kadee

    Kadee Established Member

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    Yes. This is exactly what my derm said it should do. It just takes a long time and may not work for everyone.


    Hi Ginger, Do you mean he said it should slow the shedding or it should help even if the shedding does not slow??
     
  5. Ginger1113

    Ginger1113 Established Member

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    I believe he said it could help with both. I never had a horrible shed although I do shed . I believe it will help even if the shedding doesn't slow because it is going to still have that affect on the dht levels either way.
     
  6. eggplant

    eggplant Established Member

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    It should lower the DHT levels so in that sense, yes, it should help protect your hairs.
     
  7. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

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    I would say it might depend on your dosage. I think you want a dosage of 100mcg/day (minimum) to 200mcg/day (max) to possibly be effective in stopping hair loss.

    Also, it should take a minimum of 2, or as many as 4 months to see positive results. You didn't mention how long you had been on Spironolactone, so I wasn't sure if you had given it enough time to work.
     
  8. Ginger1113

    Ginger1113 Established Member

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    My derm who specializes in hairloss said Spironolactone could easily take up to a year for results
     
  9. Roxana

    Roxana Member

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    I started Spironolactone 100 half way Nov and my shed was slightly decreased after 2 weeks. My scalp became dry as well. But now my shed has increased and my scalp gets oily. I hope that is not due to AD(escitalopram)
     
  10. EsmeMarie

    EsmeMarie Member

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    I am so confused about Spironolactone...

    I saw Dr. Redmond in Sept. I was already on 50 mg of Spironolactone from my dermatologist, so Dr. Redmond upped me to 100 mg and then to 200 mg in 2 wks, so I've been on 200 mg now for 4 months. Initially, I noticed more hair loss. My dermatologist said "this was impossible", but I know my hair, and there is no doubt, I was shedding more. Then after Dr. Redmond upped me, I definitely noticed even more shedding.

    After about 2-3 wks on Spironolactone 200 mg, my hair loss went down a lot, and I felt like my hair was getting better. But in Nov., I noticed my hair shedding would go up and down with no consistent shedding pattern. Dec. has been worse with more shedding, as has Jan.

    Does anyone have inconsistent shedding on Spironolactone 200 mg? It can be 30 strands one day (shower & sink), and be 100 strands the next day. The other thing is I have become OCD with running my hands thru my hair (like someone else on this thread), and my hair literally just falls out from the root. It never did this before, so does anyone know what this means?

    So I guess my ?s are:

    1. How do you know if Spironolactone is working for you?
    2. Is spontaneous and inconsistent shedding normal?
    3. Why am I literally "raining" hair on some days?
    4. Is 1 yr of treatment on Spironolactone the norm to see any results?
     
  11. Kate10

    Kate10 Member

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    I think we all know our own hair and know our levels of shedding - it bugs me that your derm said it was "impossible" for your hairloss to increase on the Spironolactone. I remember when I was a teen and went to a derm to get oral medication for pimples and I said something about enjoying chocolate that caused me to break out and he said "there is no relationship between what you eat and your skin, food goes through your digestive track and has no impact on your skin". Well I can tell you there was a definite relationship between the two - dr's really bug me sometimes ....

    I took Spironolactone for approx. 5 months at 100mg - I saw no change in my shedding but my salt levels dropped and I was going to have to amend my diet to increase my salt levels. I stopped taking the Spironolactone as I thought it wasn't doing anything but now wonder if I should have continued and upped it to 200mg. I met someone recently who was on 100mg of Spironolactone who said it was working and that it worked after a month - so I don't know.

    I guess if after taking 200mg for a year and you see no results , it probably isn't working.
     
  12. EsmeMarie

    EsmeMarie Member

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    Thanks Kate10! Funny you say that about my derm b/c I'm done w/ him and seeing a new derm in March, hopefully she will be better. He was clueless anyways b/c he thought 200mg of Spironolactone was crazy high and did not agree w/ Dr. Redmond, even though I have PCOS.

    Did you have shedding after stopping Spironolactone? After reading all the horror stories of ppl running back to Spironolactone after quitting it and having mega-hair shedding, I now feel like I'm a prisoner to this med.

    Btw-- had you asked me what I thought about Spironolactone about 6 wks after being on 200 mg, I would have told you it was a life-saver. But now that I'm having a lot of intense hair shedding, I don't feel that way anymore :(
     
  13. Kate10

    Kate10 Member

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    No I didn't have hair shedding after stopping the Spironolactone but a few months later my hair improved for approx. 18 months. I mused to myself that had I continued taking Spironolactone, I would have attributed the improvement to it - just goes to show it's so hard to know exactly what is helping and what isn't. Interesting to note that many women wont lose all their hair and the hairloss will naturally plateau at some point. Each person's plateau will be different so if you take Spironolactone and then you naturally plateau, it would be easy to mistake the change to the drug.
     
  14. EsmeMarie

    EsmeMarie Member

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    Ok WOW!!! I am totally amazed your hair did not shed after stopping Spironolactone and I am totally amazed your hair improved after getting off of it! That is absolutely fantastic!

    You are so right about knowing what is helping and what is not helping. I have been to over 10 drs and misdiagnosed for nearly 2 yrs, and as a result, was over-dosed on thyroid meds. I thought being hypothyroid was the cause of all my hair loss. No one ever told me PCOS and perimenopause could cause hormonal hair loss, other than Dr. Redmond.

    Interesting what you say about women not losing all of their hair, I pray I do not lose all of mine. What's equally confusing is the fact that I was losing hair when not on thyroid meds, and losing hair while on thyroid meds. It's hard to remember how much I was losing when I wasn't on thyroid meds vs. when I was on thyroid meds. In the beginning, I initially tried Rogaine 5% after seeing a trichologist for 4-6 wks and lost tremendous hair, the hair loss started almost immediately. It finally subsided, but I had to get off of it b/c my blood pressure got really low and I was dizzy and my internist thought I was going to black out.

    You said your hair got better for 18 months. How is your hair now? Are you on any meds for it?... Also, I started on Dasgro Hair Vitamins, do you know anything about them? I have tried Viviscal, HSN vitamins, and biotin, and they've all done nothing.
     
  15. Kadee

    Kadee Established Member

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    Well, I have not been doing anywhere close to the recommended dosage yet so I'm not expecting a miracle. I started out on just 1/2 a 25 mg pill for several months while my body adjusted. I did have quite a hormonal shift. Actually during this time for the most part my shed was down quite a bit from what it had been this summer. Early December I went to 25 mgs a day and things stayed about the same. I upped to 50 mgs a day two weeks ago and I am starting to lose wayyy more hair. Enough to worry. I know Spironolactone can cause a dread shed as can anything that changes hormone levels. I was just curious to know if long term, shedding isn't reduced does it still help protect hair or is it in fact making it worse? And, I guess the only way to know that is to stay on it an extended period of time and see what's in the mirror on your head?!
     
  16. EsmeMarie

    EsmeMarie Member

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    I started out on 50 mg, and it absolutely made my hair fall out more. I was on it less than 1 month before I got upped to 100 mg, and then 2 wks later, I was on 200 mg. The increase to 100 mg and the increase to 200 mg both made my hair fall out more, but after 2-3 wks on the 200 mg, it stabilized. That is until after around 3 mos. on it.

    I found this online today from drugs.com, which now has me freaked out!... A patient was asking about Spironolactone causing hair loss, and Dr. Jeff Donovan answered them... this was Dr. Donovan's answer:

    "Hair shedding from spironolactone is not common but can occur. We call this "telogen effluvium". Usually it occurs within 3-4 months of starting the drug. Hair loss due to drugs is more challenging to diagnose than most would believe.
    Typically hair loss starts weeks to months after the drug is taken. All in all, hair loss is a fairly rare side effect of spironolactone - but it's certainly possible."

    So after reading this, I am def concerned. I don't know that if this is the case, is there an alternative to Spironolactone, such as Avodart? or do ppl get off Spironolactone? or reduce their Spironolactone dosage?
     
  17. Kadee

    Kadee Established Member

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    I have read that same article many times! And, many more and yes, it seems it can cause TE in some people. Most of what I read it tends to taper off as the body adjusts but like almost everyone on here, I can't afford to lose a lot of hair in the process.

    There is Avodart and finasteride, however, those typically can cause some "dread shedding" too as the older weaker hairs are pushed out and new come in. In fact any hair loss treatment has the potential for hair loss, or I should say shedding.

    Has your shedding increased to pre- Spironolactone levels or is it worse shedding than before starting Spironolactone now??

    I am wondering if in the 2 -3 weeks on the 50 mgs it would have stabilized as well?

    And, you know, my Dr. said the same thing - oh, it won't make your hair fall out anymore! Same as my derm who said he had never heard of Rogaine causing an initial shed! I was hoping by titering up slowly to maybe avoid a shed but I don't know. Last night was easily double what it has been and I do know sheds fluctuate but it's the highest it's been since starting on even the low dose back in August.

    Kate
     
  18. EsmeMarie

    EsmeMarie Member

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    Geez I hope you're right about this intense shedding tapering off. I/we def cannot afford to lose any more hair, certainly not when we're trying to help our hair.

    It's hard to compare to pre-Spironolactone shedding b/c I was overdosed on thyroid meds. My labs were way off the charts, my TSH was in the negative numbers, and my T3 and T4 were way above range. My hair however was not shedding like this-- it was coming out in spider-web handfuls. My holistic dr had me on NT (NatureThroid) and then added in Synthroid 100 mg, and there was so much hair coming out of my head in the shower, I was shaking for fear of what I might look like getting out. I was on that for 2 wks, felt horrible, ran to my internist, who did labs stat, saw my results & thought I was on the verge of having a stroke. She told me-- get off these thyroid meds now, or I will report that dr. This was Aug. + a trashcan full of thyroid meds.

    I got up to 200 mg of Spironolactone by mid-Sept. and about 2-3 wks after that, I noticed significant decrease in shedding. I felt like I might actually survive this nightmare. Yes, it's fluctuated, but I have never had intense shedding like this. I keep thinking it will stop, but it doesn't. I run my hands thru my untangled hair, and it just falls out. My mom saw me fill up the sink the other day and her eyes bulged out of her head. I swear ppl think you're exaggerating just b/c you aren't bald. I have thin spots everywhere and don't go anywhere w/o Toppik.

    When I was having a decrease in shedding once on Spironolactone 200 mg, I would say the shedding was anywhere from 25-50 strands in the shower and sink, and it was coming out when I ran my fingers thru my hair. I starting counting strands once I got on Spironolactone, whereas I had not counted before, but I'm certain it was well over 100 prior to Spironolactone, just from knowing what the drain and sink used to look like. But now I feel like I am back on thyroid meds again and my hair is just falling out. I swear I just don't get this.

    For ppl who do go thru TE on Spironolactone, do you know how long does this awful shedding last?

    I can't remember which dr told me this, but someone told me anytime you mess w/ your hormones that impact hair, be prepared for hair loss. It may have been my GYN honestly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    meant to say-- ...and it was NOT coming out when I ran my fingers thru my hair...
     
  19. Kadee

    Kadee Established Member

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    I wonder too if you are seeing hair fall now from the thyroid fiasco?? From what I read TEs from hormone fluctuations can be anywhere from 2 - 6 months?? I don't know. Just throwing that out there.

    I went through a thyroid fiasco last year too. Up and down on cytomel, armour, armour plus cytomel and went badly hyper at one point too.

    I'm hoping those with more Spironolactone experience can chime in and help. Maybe reducing your dosage? I have read though that dread sheds can last anywhere from a couple weeks to one account I saw, 7 months.

    It is so hard to know what to do. And, especially when you're not 100% comfortable with a drug in the first place.
     
  20. EsmeMarie

    EsmeMarie Member

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    AHHHHH!!! after being on NT + Synthroid, I lost tons of hair, more than ever before & in a really short amount of time, geez I hope I'm not losing more b/c of last August! but I never even considered that! Synthroid ruined my hair, it became super dry and not only fell out, but broke off. I saw my hairdresser soon afterwards and she was like-- wth did you do to your hair? She thought I tried to perm it or something and left the solution on for too long-- I said no-- one word, "Synthroid"! My hair was actually "crunchy" when you touched it, and I am an oily person w/ oily scalp and hair.

    So you also were overdosed on thyroid meds... I had no idea the thyroid meds were contributing to my hair loss b/c my holistic dr kept upping my dose & throwing more meds at it.

    7 mos? double AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! oh God let that not be me b/c I will be bald.

    I don't know what to do. I see my endo soon, so I really hope to get some answers on what is right and what isn't.

    Thanks for all your info and everyone else's info. I'm so glad I found this site and all of you :)
     

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