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Hair Loss Drugs and Breastfeeding: Which Medications are Safe?

 

The following situations are a commonly encountered in a busy hair loss practice:

A 32 year old woman with genetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) was using topical minoxidil solution before her pregnancy. She stopped it during her pregnancy and now is wondering if she should start it up again after her delivery. She is breastfeeding. Is it safe to use this medication?

A 28 year old woman with genetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) was using the oral drug Spironolactone  before her pregnancy. She stopped it during her pregnancy and now is wondering if she should start it up again after her delivery. She is breastfeeding. Is it safe to use this medication?

 A 34 year old woman with discoid lupus of the scalp (a scarring alopecia) was using the oral drug Hydroxychloroquine before her pregnancy. She stopped it during her pregnancy and now is wondering if she should start it up again after her delivery. She is breastfeeding. Is it safe to use this medication?

 A 27 year old woman with folliculitis decalvans of the scalp (a scarring alopecia) was using the oral drug clindamycin along with the drug rifampin before her pregnancy. She stopped it during her pregnancy and now is wondering if she should start it up again after her delivery. She is breastfeeding. Is it safe to use this medication?

 

WHICH HAIR LOSS MEDICATIONS ARE SAFE TO USE WHILE BREASTFEEDING?

Although I often discontinue many hair loss medications during pregnancy, the question frequently arises as to whether some medications can be restarted while moms are breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding has many benefits for babies.  For some drugs, the answer is yes. For others, the answer is no.

In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a helpful guide as to the safety of medications during breastfeeding. It's important to always check with your physician before starting any medication during breastfeeding. However, the following medications (used in hair loss) are felt to be safe for women who are breastfeeding.  For a full list of medications which are safe during breastfeeding, click here.

 

List of Hair Loss Drugs Regarded as Safe in Breastfeeding

B12

Cefazolin

Chloroquine

Ciprofloxacin

Clindamycin

Hydroxychloroquine

Folic acid

Ketoconazole

Topical Minoxidil

Prednisone

Rifampin

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole

 

Therefore, the four women I mentioned above were able to safely use these medications while breastfeeding.  However, women considering using any medication while breastfeeding must check with their health care provider.

 

 


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299



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