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Accutane-Related Hairloss Remedies
Posted by Njman (Paramus, Nj) on 03/01/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Accutane will definitely cause hair loss. I took it back in 2007 when I was 23years old, and my hair thinned all over.

However, it should be reversible. Like you mentioned, you experienced hair loss 2 months after stopping Accutane, which seems perfectly normal.

Accutane is a very powerful drug and will shock your body from the inside out, and hair loss is just a side effect of it.

I remember a short time after I took Accutane, I looked in a mirror at a retail store and my hair was so thin that I could see my entire scalp. But, before that moment, I didn't even realize I was losing hair. I was 23 and hairloss wasn't even on my mind. I did absolutely nothing to treat the hair loss, but it all grow back over time after I stopped the Accutane.

So in short, I'd be more concerned about the overall side effects of continuing that insane drug Accutane, than I would be about the hair loss it causes.

Accutane-Related Hairloss Remedies
Posted by Nickodactyl (Pullman, Wa Washington, United States) on 12/10/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I'd like to start by saying how amazing this website is and all of the great information that Ted and all of the members provide. A little background; I started Acctuane July of 2010 and got off it in December of 2011. I took anywhere from 40-80 mg a day. I saw a previous post on Acctuane and hair loss on this forum and I have been following it to a T for the last 4 months will little success. I am 18 years old and had the thickest head of hair before Accutane and I have no family history of baldness on either side of my family. I am 100% sure that I am losing hair due to Accutane. It isn't in the MPB pattern, it is mostly diffusing all over. I have taken so many supplements in attempt to counteract my hair loss, here are some:

Biotin (5mg)

N-acetyl Cysteine (1500mg)

Riboflavin 5- Phosphate (36.5mg)

B Complex (Activated/co-enzymated 3x daily)

Molybdenum Picolinate (1, 000mg)

Phytisone Adrenal Complex (3x daily)

AC Grace Vitamin E (1200 IU)

Glutathione (2x daily)

EPO (1000mg)

Thorne Mediclear (2x daily)

Prescript Assist soil based probiotic (2x daily)

Niacinamide (1, 000 mg)

L-Glutamine (10g)

Copper (2mg)

Zinc (30mg)

Manganese Sulfate (400mg)

Fish oil (2x a day)

L-Lysine (1000mg)

Vitamin C (5000mg)

MSM (3000mg)

Vitamin D (6000 IU)

As you can see, I have experimented with a lot of different supplements and it's quite overwhelming. The hair loss did not start until 2 months after my course was over. I feel like none of these are getting to the source of my problem which I believe to be cell divison. Accutane is a chemotherapy agent and acts by suppressing cell division and proliferation. I have done copious amounts of research over the last 8 months and feel like I am getting so close to the answer.

"Retinoic acid (active form of Accutane) induces differentiation and reduces proliferation of stem and progenitor cells. It works on acne by inducing similar events in basal sebocytes. These same actions also lead to 13-cis-retinoic's (Accutane's) side effects, and these are directed towards proliferating cells in the adult such as in the skin, gut and bone. "

"A wide ranging effect of retinoic acid is to inhibit proliferation in dividing cells, and this accounts for its frequent consideration as an anti-cancer agent."

"Deleting telomere elongation capacity throughout the body would also be life-threatening, because it would mean that our regular, proliferating cells (like those in the skin or the lining of the gut) would suddenly have iron limits on their ability to reproduce themselves and thus replenish tissue. From the moment that we denuded our cells of telomerase, a clock would be ticking. With each division the telomere would shorten by a notch from whatever it had been when we took telomerase out. We would be under the specter of a rather horrible death, as our stem cells went offline one by one under replicative senescence with each failure of a stem cell responsible for supplying key functions, the tissue would fail to be renewed and would slowly degenerate. "(De Grey, 297)

To sum all of this up, the evidence we currently have is that long term treatment with ATRA (all-trans retinoic acid), which is almost chemically identical to Accutane, causes "telomere shortening, growth arrest, and cell death."

Accutane induces cell apoptosis. It down-regulates the telomerase enzyme and shortens the telomere length so the cells can't divide as much anymore.

Numerous factors affect the number and activity of androgen receptors in dermal papilla cells. Retinoic acid (vitamin A derivative), if used for a long time, may reduce the number of androgen receptors by 30 - 40 percent. [29] Vitamin B6 reduces by 35-40% the extent of protein synthesis observed after androgen receptor activation. [30] A polypeptide with molecular weight of 60 kDa, analogous to an intracellular calcium-binding protein called calreticulin, prevents binding of the androgen-receptor complex to DNA and also results in the production of calreticulin.[31]

Drugs producing hair loss:
Drugs may affect hair follicles in anagen in two ways: by stopping mitosis in matrix cells (anagen effluvium) or by inducing transition of hair follicles from anagen to premature telogen (telogen effluvium). Anagen effluvium ensues a few days or weeks after drug administration, [46] and telogen effluvium only after two to four months. In both cases hair loss is reversible. Anagen effluvium can be produced by cytotoxic drugs (alkylating agents, alkaloids) and telogen by: heparin, vitamin A and its derivatives, interferons, angiotensin converting enzyme blockers, beta-blockers (propranolol, metoprolol), the antiepileptic trimethadione, levodopa, nicotinic acid, salts of gold, lithium, cimetidine, amphetamine, isoniazid and antiinflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, acetylsalicylic acid).

I feel as if there was a way to increase cell division that the hair loss could be reversed. It states in the last paragraph that "in both cases hair loss is reversible". I hope that this is the case and that I just have telegon effluvium and not permenant alopecia.

Without having a scientific background it is hard to connect the pieces and come up with a solution. Ted- if you can decipher all of this and make some connection between it, it would mean the world to me and many other Accutane sufferers.

Sorry for the long post, take care EC.