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What causes hair loss after using Carbamazepine?

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Psychiatrist
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 637 Questions
Question
Hi, When I stopped using sodium valproate three months ago and replaced it with carbamazepine, I started losing hair at a much faster rate than I was whilst using the sodium valproate. I'd like to know whether the increased loss could be attributed to withdrawal from the sodium valproate or whether it's due to the carbamazepine use?
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 in Mental Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sunil Gupta 40 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Carbamazepine is the likely culprit

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

I can understand your concern regarding hair loss due to your medications. one of the known side effects of Sodium valproate is hair loss. This hair loss is usually reversible after stopping valproate. In your case, the hair loss has continued even after stopping it.

One of the rare side effects of Carbamazepine is hair loss. So, in your case, it is very much possible that the hair loss is due to carbamazeine and not due to the withdrawal of valproate.

In your case, you can consider and discuss two options with your psychiatrist. One is to restart valproate as hair loss was lesser with that. Together with valproate, selenium containing multivitamins can be added which might reduce the hair fall.

Another option will be to change to another anti-epileptic drug (in case you are taking treatment for epilepsy) or shift to lithium or an atypical antipsychotic (if the treatment is for bipolar disorder).

I do hope that I was able to answer your query. Please feel free to ask any further query that you might have.

Best wishes,

Dr. Sunil Gupta

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