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Was prescribed lansaprozole (Zoton) for reflux. Cured reflux, but caused hair loss. A headful of thick curly hair was reduced to my scalp showing through, also lost all body hair and eyelashes! Stopped taking it but haven't got my hair etc back! Can one sue the Pharmaceutical company?

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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry you have had to go through this. I'm a female in my late twenties and I was prescribed lansoprazole for the same reason. It cured my reflux (to a degree - I do still suffer from it but not as severely) but after three months of use my hair also started to fall out. I didn't realise it could be down to the tablets until I re-read the leaflet and it does say that hair loss can be a side effect although a rare one (from seeing some of the posts on this site I might beg to differ!).

    I had thick curly hair that was my pride and joy and now have been reduced to private hair medication to stop the loss of the thin hair I now have, as the doctors are disinterested and think it is alopecia due to stress (funnily enough I was quite a laid back person until my hair started falling out, I think doctors like the stress diagnosis a bit too much) rather than down to the tablets and keep telling me it will grow back - this was a year ago now and I'm still suffering hair loss. I stopped taking the lansoprazole and now rely on rennies to combat the reflux which helps some of the time.

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  • Posted

    You both have my every sympathy, and I am experiencing the very same problem (incidentally have dark curly hair too!!).

    I have three bald patches and thankfully they don't seem to be getting any worse.

    The problem seemed to start when I was prescribed Omeprazole which was only semi-successful against refulx, and so the GP doubled the dose. It was soon afterwards that I found the 'holes' in my hair.

    The GP said it was nothing to do with the medication (it was me who had to point it out in the contraindications! He didn't even know it was in there) but moved me onto Lansoprazole instead by way of placating me.

    This has been mostly successful with reflux, but I was told to double the dose if I needed to. I have only done this about three times, and for about three days afterwards my scalp has been irritable (red and hot and itchy) and I think I may have lost just a little more hair around the three areas, but not a great deal. It certainly seems to be better than the Omeprazole, but there is no sign of regrowth at all.

    I'm going back on Thursday, and hope they take the hair loss a bit more seriously this time!

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  • Posted

    Maybe it's a dark curly hair thing!! Incidentally I had my dosage doubled from 15 to 30mg before the trouble with my hair started, although I don't know if the 15 mg had already started the damage process as it was at least 3 months before I realised I had a patch on my head which was at least 5-10cm diameter, and I had suffered (and still do suffer from) terrible scalp irritation which I had put down to hair products - how I didn't notice the patch before it had got so big I don't know! Luckily it has grown back now but my hair is still thin all over with the occasional small patch appearing.

    You mention there are no signs of regrowth to your patches - I found a product called Nioxin Follicle Booster worked well for me before I went private - It's about £20 a bottle and you apply the liquid to the patch once or twice a day (I found once was enough). It is very effective and I noticed regrowth within about a month, although the bottle didn't last long so it ended up more being cost effective to go privately, but this was due to the fact that as soon as one patch grew back another appeared! As for the private product, I stopped using it for a while earlier this month but noticed the difference immediately, so it looks as though I will be using this for the foreseeable future.

    I am thankful there are others out there who have had this experience with these drugs, as I thought I was being paranoid. Maybe the doctors need to sit up and take notice - I hope you have more luck with them on Thursday, it would be interesting to see what they have to say.

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  • Posted

    Hi again Curly27. My heart goes out to you. I hope you have your glorious tresses back soon xxx

    I know what you mean about the 'how could you not notice it' bit. Mine too seemed to appear almost overnight, but I'm sure it can't really have done. I also feel strangely comforted by the fact that your problem got worse when your dosage was increased - I'm convinced that was the start of things for me, and I am trying more than ever now to manage without 'doubling up'.

    I saw my usual GP that Thursday instead of a locum, and he was fantastic about the whole thing. He said straight away that it would almost certainly be down to the tablets. He was full of sympathy and said that I mustn't have to put up with it. He has put me onto Pariet, which is a PPI too but hair loss isn't mentioned as a side effect. He isn't totally confident that it will make any difference, and I have to go back immediately if I think hair loss is getting any worse.

    A lady at work looks periodically for me, and she assures me that there is some hair growth starting to appear - about 1cm long and sparse, but better than nothing I guess.

    I have a friend who is a Chemist, and she has suggested that I talk to GP about trying drugs such as Ranitidine - they are a H2 antagonist, rather than a PPI. Apparantly not as effective as PPI's but no hair loss, so gotta be worth a shot!

    So you are definately not paranoid - and don't let them convince you that you are! I'm certainly curious to know if it is a curly hair problem - logic tells me it could be as I seem to recall reading somewhere that the proteins bond differently with curly hair.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Another quick update. Went back to see GP today as there seems to be a lot of hair loss having just washed hair. He has taken me off the PPI based tablets. I now find out that the hair loss may be permanent!!! I'm completely gutted - if I'd known that I would have come off them much sooner.

    So back to living with the acid problem :-(

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  • Posted

    A final update!!

    I came off the PPI's and was so terribly ill that hair loss seemed to be a much better option!!

    My GP has put me onto Nexium which is apparently the 'second generation' PPI's and therefore work in a slightly different way.

    The contra-indications say 'hair thinning' as a rare side effect, rather than hair loss or alopecia.

    Finger crossed very, very tightly, I have been on these for about two weeks, and my hair does seem to be growing back.

    Good luck everyone.

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    • Posted


      I'm not qualified to give advice, but I'll just tell you what I've read on the net.  I've read that the hair loss is due to PPi's stopping vitamin B12 being absorbed.  Hair loss might also be linked to B6, so have a google.

      I couldn't take PPi's, found my hair thinning.  The one thing that reduced my horrible indigestion was taking a small amount of vitamin B1.  Maybe get them to test you for deficiencies.

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    • Posted


      Thanks for your advice. Once I see the doctor on Friday I hopefully will know what direction to go. I believe I need to move away from PPI and try to fight the problem by a more natural way.

      Again anyone advice natural remedies for reducing belching...

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    • Posted


      I have been there and tried that ie liquorice powder, peppermint tea, dandilion tea, aloevera juice.  I just about cleared Holland and Barrett out, not to mention the chinese herbal man in my local town and all it did was cost me a fortune.  I tried leaving out fats, leaving out spicey foods etc but after about 10 days not only would it come back but it came back twice as severe.  I ended up with scar tissue at the back of my throat and acid erosion on my back teeth.  I got to the stage that I would have taken anything even knowing that it was doing me no good, as was the case with Lansoprazol.  The pain was so intense I could hardly sleep and so back again onto the merrygoround of Lansprazol.  I hope you can work something out but know if it becomes too bad there is something there to help.  The operation is keyhole and for all I had to take it easy for the first couple of weeks, I am so glad I had it done and got my life back.

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  • Posted

    Dear PMJ and curly

    As if putting up with the trauma of acid reflux wasn't bad enough, you have to suffer hair loss too. I really, really hope you can remedy this situation.

    Just to put others at ease, I take 30-60mg lansoprazole daily and have done for 6 months so far - (I have severe and debilitating reflux). The only thing I have lost so far is weight, I have managed to keep my long, straight hair and pray it continues.

    I really wished doctors would take this condition far more seriously than they do. I too was told it was caused by stress - but apart from my illness, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I blame a glass of red wine before bedtime (oh I have also lost my drinking habit too -not a bad thing).

    Take care - and hope you regain your tresses soon.

    Suze x

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  • Posted

    Dear All

    Interested to read your comments. Have been suffering from severe acid reflux for several years now. I started on Lansoprazole but after several months noticed my hair was starting to thin out. Assured by my GP that this had nothing to do with medication but changed to Omeprazole 40mg. After 4 months my hair was shedding daily and I developed bald patch. Saw different GP who again said this was not caused by the medication but the menopause! Went on holiday in December - felt so ashamed by the state of my hair that I decided to come off the medication and try and manage with over the counter remedies. Hair stopped shedding and some new hair growth but this very sparse and lifeless. Acid symptoms became much worse a few weeks ago and started on Pariet on 11th May. 3 days afterwards I noticed shedding and last night I was awake all night with irritable, red itching scalp - my hair shedding all over the place. have made earlier appt to see GP, this Friday but know I will be again dismissed as some neurotic, stressed, menopausal female. I will take your letters with me.!! At a loss to know what to do next. I feel I cannot manage without medication but don't want to end up bald which I am now convinced I will do, if I continue to take this medication. I also note that Ranitidine and Nexium also list hair loss as side effect. I feel the reason this side effect is shown as rare is because the majority of women who take it are over 50 and they are just fobbed off with the excuse that it is the menopause. So relieved to read all your expereinces with these drugs as I was made to feel I was being paranoid. Have read that the hair will never grow back and would be grateful to hear how you have all been getting on.

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  • Posted

    Hi JE

    How is it going on the new tablets? I can't believe my bad luck - after feeling I had escaped the hair-thinning side effects, my scalp became sore and I couldn't get a comb through it without whincing. I also felt nauseous (see my earlier experience - I was feeling great on lansoprazole for 6 months with no \"hair\" side effects).

    I called my doctor and told him my head was burning and I felt sick. He said it was most likely a side effect and gave me a different PPI (nexium - esomeprasole). These are great so far (a week) and my head feels normal again. Plus I have no nausea and hardly any hair falls out when I brush it now.

    I think reading this site gave me good warning and I may have nipped things in the bud.

    I would love to hear how everyone are getting on. We need to support each other through this!


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  • Posted

    Hi Suze and JE,

    I read your comments with much interest, and it is like listening to myself talk!

    I tried Omeprazole, Lansoprazole and Pariet, and have three large bald patches. When I tried to come off them, the result was just awful - so much acid (apparently once you stop surpressing it with a PPI it comes back in much larger quantities because it has all the time been fighting against the effect) and I was ill 24/7. So much so, that I asked to go back on them as i figured that hair loss was far more comfortable.

    I have been moved onto Nexium, but can't say that I've seen much of an improvement in the hair growth/loss cycle.

    The bit I would like to share with you is the fact that I seem to have found a resolution to the problem (at last!!). We have a local Herbalist who has prescribed me a medicine to calm the acid. With the help of that, I have gradually reduced that tablet from one a day, to half a day, to a third a day and today I'm down to a quarter. Each time I reduce the dosage I experience some very mild symptoms for two days, and then its gone. I'm hoping to be free of the Nexium within the next week. Yippeee!!!

    I don't know if this can offer you any comfort at all, and I guess all Herbalists are different - I rate mine very highly so if you are in the Lincolnshire area, its definately worth a look up (initials are A.S. which should help you find him).

    Good luck all, my thoughts are with you.

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