Hair loss/thinning and Prednisone

Any other women out there on pred experience any hair loss or thinning while on pred? If so, what dose are you at and for how long have you been on it? Any response would be greatly appreciated!

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I lost about 1/3 of my hair over the course of 6 weeks while I was on my taper last year. At that point I was around 20 mg, but I had been on Pred for at least 3 months by that point. My doc thought the massive hair loss might be my body recovering from my rapid onset of symptoms, but we didn't get definitive...

It grew back! I know the constant shedding is annoying, but it does grow back. :-)

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Thanks for your response. I've been on it since November and am on my taper...currently 5mg/day and I just now started to notice this. I did notice it about 2wks ago, but just dismissed it. But now it is REALLY noticeable. Grrrr.....the constant shedding IS annoying. Thanks though!

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I've been on pred since last September. I'm tapering down and noticed that I was shedding lots of hair about a month ago, when I was at 60/mg every other day. I'm currently at 40/mg every other day and it's still falling out! Luckily not enough to have visible spots on my head... yet....

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My daughter is currently coming off steroids for the last time (been on up an down pulsing for 4 yrs) and her hair has REALLY been falling out over the last 3 months. we will be off steroids in 2 weeks, I am glad to hear it will grow back. she had brittle hair on cytoxan, lost a lot... then had thick beautiful dark curly hair (she was a straight-haired blonde) on cyclosporine, and went through some other shedding times on prograf....

but this current massive shed (she does have some bald spots, but I can cover them up) I think is completely due to the pred taper. I really wouldnt care if she was bald at this point - just want her off the steroids forever!! :)

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I guess I'm really weird. I lost all body hair below my neck (great cause I didn't have to shave armpits or legs for 6 months) but grew neck and facial hair like nobodys business. I looked like the wolf boy from Mexico. My son called me Mrs. Wolverine. It went away when I stopped the pred and everything is back to normal now.

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My daughter has lost so much hair that we are getting worrried and thinking hair extentions. She had such a thick head of hair that her hairdresser would always make comments of how long it would take to do it. Now she is so thin we can us e a baby rubber band to band it all together. She is so upset for her hair was one thing she would get comments on all the time. Being 16 and losing your hair, I couldnt imagine. Is there anything we can do when will it all stop or is this a cycle we will have forever. She was on prednazone been off about 3 months, now on lacinapril 20 mg and actacad 4 mg. That is all. I want her to feel like herself again and not let mcd change her life so much she cant enjoy it.

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I LOST ABOUT HALF THE THICKNESS OF MY HAIR WHEN I STARTED TO TAPER OFF 60MG OF PRED FOR 6 MONTHS. NOW I HAVE BEEN OFF THE PRED FOR 2 MONTHS AND STILL LOSING SOME, NOT AS MUCH AS BEFORE. I JUST GOT MY HAIR DONE AND THE HAIRDRESSER SAID I HAD NEW GROWTH ALL OVER MY HEAD SO IT IS ALL COMING BACK AND CURLY THIS TIME. I ALWAYS HAD STRAIGHT HAIR.

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While I was on Cellcept, my hair came out and got very thin. I was also on prednisone which dried it out so that it resembled a hay stack. I have always had very thick, straight hair. After I got off the Cellcept, my hair starting growing back and it is really thick again and curly. I never dreamed at 58 to have curly hair. My neph says this is fairly common. He also said it was the Cellcept that was causing the hair thinning.
They had also given me a chemo treatment in my veins and they told me that would cause my hair to come out some too. I really thought I was going to need a wig, now I need a weedeater to keep this mop under control but I 'm not complaining.

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I was writing this originally to tell you about my hair loss experience from prednisone, and when I read the other replies, I knew that I should also write to you for sure, as my experience was the same as theirs. Maybe it will help you to know that even though you will most likely lose at least a third of your hair, a good hair stylist can cut and style it to look nice while you are having to be on prednisone. It will cause hair loss on the head and even the eyebrows among other places. But it does cause a fuzzy growth of hair on your face, which can be waxed to remove. I was on very high doses of prednisone at 100mg a day. Once I was no longer taking prednisone my hair also like the others here said...grew back very thick and with some curl in the back. My hair had not previously been so thick and was also previously very straight. It seems to be a common side-effect of prednisone. My stylist now says that my hair is so thick that she usually has to thin it, and that it has 4 different textures in different locations. About side-effects of prednisone...it also causes the thinning of your bones and can cause joint problems such as avascular necrosis among other things. Your doctor can help you by giving medications as a prophylactic measure to help prevent these more serious side-effects from occurring. I have only known of one person myself whose doctor has done this for her, but she came armed to the doctor with a lot of research concerning the side-effects of prednisone. So I am assuming it is something that you must ask or demand of the doctor in order to protect your bones and joints. Nothing was told to me about the side-effects when I first was given prednisone about 12+ years ago. I would advise anyone who is taking prednisone or any other form of treatment to do as much research on your own as possible. Your best health is literally in your own hands. The more you can find out about your illness and treatment will only help you in the long term of dealing with it. I wish you all the best with your treatments and in dealing with your illness.
Most sincerely, Mandy

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It has given me hope to read all your stories about Prednisone and Hair Loss. i really didn't know it was this bad. I have been on Prednisone for about 9 months now. Started with low dose, but didn't work and raised to 60 mg/day. I was on that for about 2 months and then started tapering off. I am at 20mg/day now. My hair is almost finished shedding constantly and about 300 to 400 per day.
Questions for you ladies if you have experienced this:
1. Does hair loss stop when you completely off Prednisone?
2. Does hair growth begin whenyou completely off Prednisone?
3. Does the extra facial hair caused by Prednisone go away after you stop or is it permanent?

Appreciate any help and your experience as I am going crazy with the hair loss, thinning of skin, bruising, sleepless nights.....I didn't know these were all caused by Prednisone until I came across this site and started researching more.

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Just a quick response to each of your questions, DIAM:
1. My Hair Loss seems to stick to the taper, and by the time I hit 2.5 mg or have been off for a month-ish, the hair loss stops.
2. Your hair is probably growing, just slowly. My neph recommended fish oil (to help with cholesterol) and that seems to help my hair grow in faster and shinier.
3. The extra facial hair slows when I hit low doses. I do wax my upper lip to keep the 'stache at bay, but it doesn't grow nearly as fast as when I'm on the Pred. (waxing every 3 months compared to every 3 weeks)

You can handle this. Yes, it's an awful drug, but it's better than the alternative. Everyone responds to the side effects differently, but I think the important thing is to respond---there are things you can do to deal with them. I'm all for cute haircuts and sleep meds to keep life more liveable.

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I have been on Prednisone for 5 weeks - began with 60 and just dropped to 50 p/day 2 wks ago. No thinning of hair yet, however, as beej1962 experienced...hair from neck below stopped, no shaving, sweet! Otherwise, have some possible Cushings symptoms showing which I can deal with. I am happy to deal with it compared to the edema and difficulty of getting around with edema which is under control now. Other side effects: Feel like a pacing caged wolf, trapped, paranoid that I will lose myself if I allow others to help me which makes me mean sometimes :(
I focus really hard on a daily basis planning how to combat the extreme physical energy by planning bike rides, walking, hiking, researching NS and MCD! The mental energy I burn with researching NS/MCD. Hang in there! M

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Thanks Kstreza for the reply and encouraging words.
However, I am not sure I will have any hair left in a few weeks, seriously. Maybe each person is different, but I am shedding like about 300 to 400 per day now. I am currently on Lialda, and enema and 15mg/day prednisone for my ulcerative colitis. My doctor is reducing it every week and hoping bleeding won't start again.
Mine also I believe started once he started tapering down. I was doing ok and feeling full of energy and lost weight and I think even hair was better on the 60/day, but once he started reducing.....my energy is low and I am paranoid and have anxiety and the hair loss and hair shed all over the shower and bathroom floor and house floor makes it worse.

Kstreza:
Do you get on and off of prednisone?
My scalp is showing pretty bad now....did you ever get that bad? I think I will need a wig at most in a month if I continue losing 400 hairs a day.

Thanks for your response

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You have had great replies and I found them all most interesting. I too have been experiencing hair loss (off and on) while on pred., but did not realize the tapering off was causing the most of
my hair loss. Never had much hair, so it is very
thin currently. Don't know how low my dose will go, currently on 15 mg from 30mg. How about the fullness in face and around middle?
How long does it take for this to "TAPER" off?
Guess we have to have this drug -- but it's a nasty one. Hang in there........

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I have significant hair loss, and what I had was thin, so you can imagine my dispair. I am still tapering prednisone, however, I will be taking Cellcept soon. You said "while you were on Cellcept" you had hair loss. Now your hair has returned :o) Are you off of Cellcept? Apparently I am to take Cellcept indefinately :o( I do want my hair to grow back. Any encouraging words?

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My transplant coord. did recommend some products to help with thinnng hair.
I was told it should help. The product is
called Nioxin -- my hairdresser has ordered me this product, so will see.
It's a shampoo and scalp conditioner.
Can't think it would hurt to give it a try.
My hair loss I think is more from the Pred. taper as I have been on Prograf for 19 months and didn't experience any; alto I know there are some that do not take Pred. only Prograf and have noticed hair loss. It's not fun. I have had thin hair always, so many meds.
Good Luck to All.

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I hated being on pred. I was on 60mg for 6t months. The side effect where horrible. My hair came out so much I had to cut it really short. I went to my dermatolgist and started getting injections in my scalp. My hair has almost grown back in length but it's not as thick as it once was.

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I have been on Prednisone for 6 years. I have Rheumatoid arthritis. Started with 10mgs and worked down to 5mgs. Hair shedding started 4 months into therapy and has not stopped since. The only other med I was taking was an antibiotic, not the usual meds for RA that can cause hair loss. I have spent hundreds of dollars at the dematologist only to be told my hair is falling out faster than it is growing in. I was told by my doctor that he didnt think the Prednisone was the cause. I have always thought that it was. I was encouraged to find this site. two thirds of my hair has fallen out. I have had to resort to wearing wigs. My hair used to be sooo thick. I have had a recent flare and now had to up the Prednisone to 15mgs a day. I want to get off of it for many different reasons. My husband tries to be supportive. He says things like "hey, I'm going bald too!" I say "Yes, but you are a man! How would you like to be told you have to carry around a couple of double D breasts for the rest of your life! You wouldnt like it. Men dont have breasts and women should not go bald! I hope and pray that when I am off of this med it will grow back. Rheumatoid arthritis worsens when you are stressed. Going bald is not exactly a comforting thing.

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I was just reading through all the postings regarding hair and I had to smile. My husband could not believe with all the problems caused by FSGS and the side effects of the pred and cellcept, I was worrying about my hair. I told him it is just a woman thing and hair is very important to a woman's self esteem. It has been almost 2 years since I was taken off cellcept and I only take 5 mg of pred every other day and this will be for life. My hair got very thin and dry, grew back really thick and curly and now the curl has gone away and my hair is thick and straight as it was before I got sick.
It has really been amazing that it could change so much in less than 3 years. My hair dresser was wonderful and she really helped through the various stages and changes. My hair also grew very fast during the 9 months I was on the heavy drugs so that helped too.

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19 replies? Well, I'm being repetitious !! I've been on the same medication going 20 years. My hair is long, so it looks like allot, my hair could use something, anything to bring it to life. I use "I'm on strong medications," as a excuse for the state my hair is in at the time? I think I get better service and attention with my " and then life story " as she trims away most of the damage hair! LOL ( good luck ) let's try a new high priced treatment, " were worth it "

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