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Avatar universal

Hair loss and Topamax

I have been prescribed Wellbutrin for depression and Topamax as a mood stabilizer.  The combination worked very well for me and the bonus was that I lost weight.  However, I also lost hair.  I was wondering if anyone else experienced the same problem.
177 Responses
108944 tn?1222277478
i have been on topamax for about 10 months. i have been on it for headaches, it has worked great.i have lost 45lbs,a great plus ,but lately my hair is falling out bad! im not sure what to do .i had a dr. apt. last week and had to cancel.i have to make a new apt.i have lost alote of hair its scary.iv been putting the hair thats left in my brush in a baggy to show the dr.how much iv lost since 8/22.i wish you luck!
Avatar universal
Considering askin Doc for Topamax, mainly for migraines/anxiety.  I am currently on Lexapro 10 mg...does anybody think this would be too much?  I don't want to feel oversedated...the Lex is mainly for anxiety as it is a "lowdose", so I would imagine he could d/c this and replace with Topamax. Any information from anybody would greatly help.  Thanks!
108944 tn?1222277478
i had very thick hair .it grew very fast .in the last 6 years i have donated 4 times to the locks of love .in june i donated again 12" @the relay for life . my hair is now just under shoulder lenght. since aug, 22. i have filled 3/4 of a gallon baggy up of hair from just my brush, not what just falls out , and what falls out in the shower. every person is diffrent though, good luck! i just hope the hair loss stops soon .
Avatar universal
I stopped Topo over a year ago because of hair loss.  It didnt stop.  I am so sad that I was so stupid to take topo for weightloss and now suffer with my hair falling out.  I have always been known for my serious thick long hair. Now its just a mess.   I think the topo messed with my adrenal system.
108944 tn?1222277478
How long did you take topamax,and how long did you take it after your hair started falling out? thanx
Avatar universal
I almost hate to type the words out of fear of breaking the spell, but the eve primrose oil seems to be working.  I see less hair in the brush everyday.


If this continues to get better, i will be thrilled!!
Avatar universal
I have been a hairstylist for 24 years. One thing that I have ALWAYS noticed when my customers loss a significant amount of weight (25lbs or more) they have some hair loss. When you drastically cut the calorie intake you also alter the nutrients and your body goes in survival mode and the essential organs will get the nutrients and the others (hair, skin, nails) will get the left over. That is why you should really talk to your doctor or pharmacist about a good supplement
Avatar universal
I have been on 400mg twice a day of topamax for at least a year or year and a half. I have lost 165 pounds (in about 2 years).  It killed my appetite and I barely ate anything until just recently.    However, over the past few months I have noticed my hair falling out excessively throughout the day and coming out in big clumps in the shower.  It is getting increasingly worse. The past few days my scalp or perhaps my hair follicles have started hurting too. I used to have extremely thick, healthy hair. People are always picking hairs of my clothes and my boyfriend told me last night that it is getting visible. My hair is everywhere, on all my clothes, all over the house... but not on my head. Great. I am  getting ready to go off the topamax especially now that I have just learned that this is a side effect.  I didn't know.  Had I had known would I have gone off it?  I don't know...  I had been fat all my life and it was so exciting to watch the pounds drop off so fast and change sizes so quickly.  But now I am seriously going bald at age 35 and I am really freaking out.  It isn't worth it anymore to be thin.  I want my hair back.  I was a happy fat person.  I am a miserable size 12 now.  I am so scared it won't grow back and I am so broke I would never be able to afford a wig.  Can you imagine... wearing a wig at my age?  All because I decided to lose weight?  And my doctor keeps telling me my hair is falling out because of stress.  I am furious with him.  He didn't even suggest that I take vitamins while I was losing the weight.  I also don't enjoy all the loose skin that will never bounce back... Weight loss isn't always worth it, especially when you take a pill to do it.  I found out the hard way.
1 Comments
stop it you act like you didn't know any of this was going to happen, the hair loss I will give you that, I'm going through it too, I researched it and am taking supplements to stop it, but please, the loose skin and all the rest, I have 120 lbs to lose, I'm under no illusions of what weight loss will cause my body to look like and I'm 58.  
Avatar universal
I went to the doc today she put me on topamax for migraines and dizziness, I am so afraid to even take this... I see that some of you have had a hair loss... Is that because you lost so much weight? or does this stuff just make your hair fall out? I know that a sudden big weight loss will cause your hair to all out.. its a nutrition thing. but does this pill its self make your hair fall out? If I take great vitamins and drink ensure, or something will I not lose my hair? I have had the migraines for years... I hate them but I don't want to lose my hair... If I did lose weight I could only maybe lose 20 lbs tops... i'm 5 foot 9 and in a size 10 now... I just turned 46 last week. 15 or 20 lbs might look really nice, but anymore would be too much and I mostly don't want to lose my hair. So, I will not start my pills tonight until I hear why the hair loss is happening... if its diet I'll be careful to get what I need in nutrition... but if its just something that the pills make your hair fall out of your head I'll never take this stuff... somebody write to me OK?
Avatar universal
Ps also I see that the last one was on 400mg 2 times a day. I will only get up to 100mg ....50mg/ 2 times a day... maybe that will make a difference in the hair loss? do you think. Please write back I really need to know. I'm really not going to take this till I find out more.  Thanks
Avatar universal
Hi, I am on 50 mgs of Topamax twice a day for migraines. (Just recently switched from 100 mg once a day, hopefully to get better migrine control, as my headaches had returned.) Anyways, I have been on it since July and just recently noticed the hair loss...I don't think it was happening when I first started taking it. I am thinking it probably does have a lot to do with losing weight and eating a LOT less than I used to (I have lost about 20 pounds) and not taking vitamins, etc. I have a friend who had gastric bypass surgery, and she had some hair loss afterwards...she said she increased her protein intake, which helped quite alot...however, with topamax, you need to balance protein intake with LOTS of water to prevent kidney stones, so keep this in mind! I am adding protein by adding a protein powder/plain yogurt/soymilk shake (it tastes terrible!) :) I am also restarting the multivitamin I used to take and taking biotin, which supports hair and skin health. Someone on this board mentioned evening of primrose (thank you!), so I am now going to add that as well. Anyways, hopefully something will help because I have thin hair to begin with, and I need all that I have. I don't think I am going to comb it out while it is wet anymore, because it really freaks me out.
108944 tn?1222277478
I have now been on topamax for 1year and 8 months .It has helped so much for my migrains .It has hepled ,but the hair loss is still realy bad ! The dematologist said eat more protein, I have and that has not helped.I take Biotin and zinc every day .I have tried different shampoos . good luck! to any one on topamax
Avatar universal
Well, I've been on Biotin since I've started taking Topamax the second time, and most of the time I took it the first time.... the first time I was taking 100mg 2x daily, and had the rash side effect and had to come off cold turkey with the help of ativan they gave me and a no driving restriction for 4 day.  I noticed a little hair loss the first time I was taking it, and thought/hoped I was being paranoid... it stopped when I stopped the topamax.. My doc wanted me to go on Nuerotin, and I wanted to retry topamax, as I was afraid to go on Neurotin, as it is a nasty drug!  So... no side affects this time as I'm taking it 50mg 2X daily...except the hair loss... now my hair is then, see through hair follicles, a buch of hair in my brushes...and my hair was ALWAYS thick...  always always thick :(  Now I just want off...  i want off of everything and I'll deal with the seizures unmedicated... to hell with all of the side effects... I want my hair back :(
108944 tn?1222277478
108944 tn?1222277478
I'm starting to read up on alote more people with hair loss thats on topamax!
Please share !
Avatar universal
I've been on Topamax for about a year now at 75mg x 2 day i can put up with most of the side effects but the last few weeks i've been getting hair loss. i did not know this was one of the side effects of Topamax and the only way i found out was by going on the web , i think we should get told more about this side effect of topamax it's not nice seeing your hair washing away every time you want to wash your hair.
I've started to take a multivitamin  and omega3 oil to see if this helps  
i also read somewhere on another fourm "can't find it again" that selenium based shampoo helps so i might try that also...
i have 5 week before i see my doc so before then i giveing all these things ago  
Avatar universal
I've been on Topamax for only three days.  Do you think that it would be dangerous to start taking evening of primrose or a multivitamin to try and decrease the chances of hair loss?  I wouldn't think that this would be a problem but you just never know.  Thanks.  Newbie.
Avatar universal
This is interesting.  I have been on Topamax well over a year 100mg daily as maintenance five years after gastric bypass.  I had put on 25 pounds, taken it off and the topamax keeps it off just fine.  I have incredibly thick hair for a blonde, and lost handfuls after surgery but it grew back with good nutrition.  Recently I notice my hair is almost gone - lifeless as well as thin.  The doctors think its iron deficiency, my hairdresser has me on B vitamins, and now I read all this and its the drug - Oh how I hate those side effects:>(.  Now I have to find out if all the suggestions coupled with the iron will help or if I need to quit the Topamax and quit eating.  And that may not even return me to my previous condition.  And it probably caused all my troubles with kidney stones????
Avatar universal
I just started Topamax last week for migranes...I never knew about the hair loss and was not told about it...will def be watching out for that but my doctor did tell me to take vitamins regularly...b/c of the weightloss...so I bet that is what is doing it ... anyone on here lost hair but not weight?....im going to take my vitamins now...thanks for the info
108944 tn?1222277478
I went to the Dr. today he said to take prenatal vitamins .vs. multi-vitamin.
Avatar universal
I have been on Topamax since May 2006, had weight loss of about close to 30 pounds and have had hair loss now.  I to believe it to be the Topamax.  I have lost weight before and never lost my hair like I am losing it now.  I wasn't on the Topamax before, now I am, so all I can contribute my hair loss to is the Topamax.  I can't believe it, I have been through all the medicines out there and this is the only medicine that I have found that has really kept my migraines down to a minimum.  But I'd rather keep what little hair I have left than be bald.  I just can't believe I finally found something that works on my migraines so well and has such a bad bad side effect.  But like yall my hair is coming out in bundles going down the drain and in my hair brush after I wash my hair.  It's a frightening sight!  Good luck to all!
108944 tn?1222277478
Seen Dr. again yesterday  ,he now added selenium after blood work.I now take prenatal vitamins, biotin , zinc & selenium  to try and help stop the hair loss.Good luck!
Avatar universal
I have been on Topamax for about 10 months (100mg). I have the same symptoms as everyone else that has posted on this website and every other website. My hair has been falling out in huge amounts for probably about 6-8 months. I have been to the doctor, had bloodwork done which all came back negative. I asked him if it could be the Topamax and he said no.I lost 60 pounds in the first 6 months of taking the medication and like every one else was so excited to see it happening. I also like many people did before starting Topamax HAD very thick  hair. It is very frightning to see your hair fall out in huge amounts like this. I read what one lady posted above...she was a happy fat person... I sometimes feel the same way. This side effect definatly outweighs any good to come of this medication. If you are thinking about taking Topamax or considering stopping the medication...I strongly urge you to keep reading....what is on this website and every other website about Topamax and hair loss.
Avatar universal
I have tried topamax several times for weight loss.  the first time the dr. had me upping my dose every 3 days.  from 25-50-75-100.  he also had me on a vitamin regimen.  (zinc selenium alpha lipoic acid, vitamin e, etc).  i immediately noticed my hair falling out from a dose even as low as 25 mg.  i recently tried taking it again im pretty desperate to lose weight and cannot get adderall from my dr.  i tried increasing my dose more slowly 25 mg/week.  the first time i was taking it all at once, the 2nd time i started 25 mg for 7 days, then 50 mg for 7 days then 50 mg pm and 25 mg am for 7 days.  i was noticing more and more hair loss, and just a little weight loss.  I called my pharmacist who said that hair loss isn't really common with topamax and should go away in a few weeks when my body get used to it.  i just couldnt lose anymore, i had extremely thick hair and now i can see my scalp which i hate.  i use nioxin which helps grow hair (shampoo, conditioner, scalp treatment, and follicle booster) and just continued to lose it.  i decided to once again stop taking the topamax maybe if i needed it for migraines it'd be a different story but just choosing to take it to lose weight at the cost of my hair isn't worth it
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