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Author Topic: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA  (Read 5873 times)

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Offline Papillon_44

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Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« on: August 10, 2010, 12:49:34 PM »
Howdy foloks,

So I am losing about 70-100 hairs every morning (not counting the hair throughout the day) It coincides with taking ATRIPLA- just started 2 months ago.  I am also taking minocycline for rosacea. 

Has anyone else experienced hair loss?  How was it resolved?  Was a different medication taken?  Did the hair grow back eventually? 

I am ready to stop treatment because of the severe hair loss.  I saw a dermatologist and he said he couldn't tell me why there was such hair loss.  My hairdresser- who has been cutting my hair for the last 4 years could not believe the how much hair loss there was when I saw her last Friday.  She said the hair loss is not in a typical balding pattern but all over which is very unusual and thinks it has to do with the medication(s) I am taking.  What could be the causes?  Anyone?

Something is killing my hair and I am ready to stop taking the ATRIPLA.  Funny because this is the only side effect I have experienced on ATRIPLA.

 :( :( :(

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 12:59:03 PM »
Hey Pap -

I haven't experienced anything like this with Atripla - but then again, I am not working with a large amount of hair.

A web search did find that minocycline can cause hair loss:


Best to you -

September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline freaky_dream

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  • mmm
Re: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 01:15:47 PM »
I am ready to stop treatment because of the severe hair loss.  I saw a dermatologist and he said he couldn't tell me why there was such hair loss.

Strange the doctor didn't inform you that you have telogen effluvium. TE happens when there is a shock to your system or a chronic illness. It's basically your body shutting off your follicles because your body is under duress. I think you mentioned in other threads that your t cell count all of sudden dropped recently. TE usually has a lag time of 3 or more months from the time that the "incident" occurred to when your hair starts falling out. As long as you don't have male pattern baldness in your family your hair should grow back for the most part however it probably will never quite be as full as it once was.

Offline Realist

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Re: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 02:49:00 PM »
The link with Atripla and hair is a strange one, I've actually had the reverse effect in the past five months. My facial hair growth is thicker and more rapid since I started Atripla (more damn shaving!) and I have noticed a slight increase in body hair - I am male in case I start scaring anyone!

Hair loss is common in people without HIV so I suppose its quite difficult to pinpoint a reason in us HIVers. I think you should consider a different dermatologist though - they should be carrying out a thorough examination of the hair follicles and biopsy if necessary.

On another note hair loss is often associated with immune reconstitution rather than actual meds and as you have only just started meds, this may be something to consider.

23/02/10 Tests confirmed
25/02/10 13100 220 24%
12/03/10 19800 372 19%
26/03/10 Atripla
30/04/10 58 286 23%
28/05/10 45 222 21%
25/06/10 UD 301 23%
24/09/10 UD 283 22%
01/12/10 UD 319 23%
11/03/11 UD 293 28%
10/06/11 UD 423 24%
23/08/11 UD 389 26%
28/02/11 UD 315 34%

I blogged it all http://notdownnotout.blogspot.com

Offline Papillon_44

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Re: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 03:50:53 PM »
Hi- Thanks for your responses. 

Male pattern baldness is out as a cause.  My hairdresser has already ruled this out based on the way the hair is falling out- it also does not run in my family- No bald paternal uncles, full heads of hair on father and both grandfathers.  Brothers hair is like a bush! 

My T-cell count has hovered between 350 and 240 for the last couple of years so i don't know why all of a sudden my hair would fall out.  Also, I have been HIV positive for 23 years and just last July 3rd started taking medication (Atripla).  During that time my hair has been thick (too much even) and sometimes hard to control because it is so thick and full.  I would usually get my haircut every three weeks and have to trim a bit to maintain my grooming...  This hair loss is DEFINATELY medication related.

What does immune reconstitution mean?  Will my hair grow back?  Is the hair loss permanent?

The dermatologist I saw is supposedly a specialist in his field and deals specifically with patients with HIV and AIDS (I know Lame!!!!).  I had to remind and ask him to give me a thyroid and iron deficiency blood test (I know totally lame!!!).  I have no confidence in this so called "internationally renowned dermatologist". 

Any other points of view?  I have an emergency DR appointment at 2PM Pacific ST.  And would like to be as informed if not more informed than my f'ricking "doctor"...

Thank you and bless you all!  ;)



Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 06:52:05 PM »
I would seriously doubt it's the Atripla buddy.  I was having some hair loss prior to starting meds and it stopped completely once I got healthy.  Are you eating properly?  Malnutrition could be the culprit perhaps.  I say this because you seem very body conscious...

Offline Papillon_44

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Re: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 07:56:04 PM »
I would seriously doubt it's the Atripla buddy. 

It is the ATRIPLA.  Met with a DR today to discuss (yet again) the skin issues and hair loss (since the incompetent allegedly "internationally renowned" dermatologist wasn't able to help).  According to the DR I saw, it seems that the website owned by the company that makes ATRIPLA posted that a component of ATRIPLA- Efavirenz causes, besides skin problems like acne and eczema- PROPECIA...  So yes,  ATRIPLA does cause skin problems and balding. 

It may not happen to everybody but it has happened to me.

Offline vt5john

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  • to infinity and beyond
Re: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 08:32:00 PM »
Hi Papillon - Sorry I didn't mean to sabotage your thread - but I read that you're taking Minocyline for Acne

Several months ago - I had a major case of Acne on my face and upper chest after started taking HAART.     I was so depressed and stressed out about this :-(....  I have since started using topical cream (Benzoyl Peroxide and Clindamycin) - this does make the acne go away quickly especially on my face, but it's a constant battle.   Someone on the forum did suggest taking Minocycline - but it's not available here in Thailand.   A friend of mine is currently in the US and returning in the near future and is willing to bring back some minocyline for me.  Can this drug be purchased over the counter or can I order it online?  What dosage should I get?   

Besides acne, I'm also experiencing some pain on my toes, and back - my doctor gave me some anti-inflamatory tablets which seems to help -  I heard Minocyline also has anti-inflam properties.   

Any info would be much appreciated.
Apr 2009 - noticed red dots on my body
Feb 2010 - Shingles on my chest - panicked!
Feb 20, 2010 - Found out :-( :-(
Feb 23, 2010 - CD4 311 22% VL 29,000
Mar 06, 2010 - CD4 251 15%
Mar 06, 2010 - started meds: D4T 3TC NVP
Apr 05, 2010 - stop NVP (Hypersensitive)
Apr 05, 2010 - Switched: D4T 3TC Kaletra
May 14, 2010 - Switched: Tenofovir-300 3TC Kaletra
June 10, 2010 - CD4 342 19% VL <40
July 13, 2010 - Reduced: Tenofovir-200 3TC Kaletra
Sept 21, 2010 - CD4 423 23.1% VL < 40
Oct 15, 2010 - Dr. Concerned with high Cretinine lvl - dropped Tenofovir-200
Oct 15, 2010 - 3TC Kaletra
Jan 17, 2011   - CD4 498 23.36%

Offline Papillon_44

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Re: Hair Loss On Medication ATRIPLA
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 01:07:41 PM »
Hi VT5,

The Minocycline is perscription only as far as I know- I take Minocycline 100MG Cap which I take twice a day.  Hope this helps.  Although the improvement is minimal for me- I am pretty sure it will help you with the acne.  Good luck


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