Alert! The Must-Know Truth Behind Omeprazole Hair Loss Condition

The last time I checked with my young sibling, she complained to me about her hair fall due to Omeprazole. She was totally pissed and wanted to switch her medications.

Omeprazole is perhaps the most popular OTC drug for heartburn, esophageal heal, gastritis, and so on. As a side effect of this drug, people often suffer from vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and abdomen pain. Nevertheless, hair loss due to Omeprazole is rarer than you think. Even in my years of medical school, I have hardly encountered any cases of Omeprazole hair loss.

What will you do if Omeprazole is causing your hair to fall? Will you switch to another medicine? Or reverse the hair loss effect with a drug? Catch the expert advice regarding the situation in the following segments of this article.

omeprazole hair loss

Does Omeprazole Cause Hair Loss?

Omeprazole is considered a Proton Pump Inhibitor or PPI. This drug heals stomach acid-related conditions and esophageal burn. Due to the effectiveness of this medicine, doctors often prescribe Omeprazole to GERD patients.

According to a report, less than 1% of individuals who take Omeprazole daily experience hair loss. Also, hair fall occurs for 2 to 3 months after taking Omeprazole.

The concerned authority declared that the hair fall side effect was not experienced during the clinical trial. After the drug has been approved by FDA and marketed widely, the reports of hair loss started pouring in. Even many studies have marked Omeprazole as a potential agent that causes hair fall in the consumers.

Generally, drug-induced hair loss can be categorized into two types – telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium. Hair fall due to Omeprazole falls under the telogen effluvium. telogen effluvium hair loss occurs between the shift of the hair growth cycle from anagen to telogen phase.

Unlike anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium hair fall is much delayed. The Anagen effluvium causes hair loss within 1 to 2 weeks. On the contrary, telogen effluvium shows the effect 3 months after the initiation of the causative factor.

In telogen effluvium hair loss, the causative factors are stress, nutritional deficiency, surgery, and medications like Verapamil, Omeprazole, etc. Different studies reported that hair fall due to Omeprazole might be severe. Many patients lose 100-300 hairs per day and end up experiencing a 70% hair loss.

Experts suggest that Omeprazole hair loss is rare, and the condition gets back to normal once you stop taking the drug. Does that mean you should remove Omeprazole from your medication list?

Primarily, you should stop taking Omeprazole if it is causing massive hair fall. I recommend you speak with your doctor and discuss the matter. S/He will get to the bottom of the case and suggest what is best for you.

However, sometimes patients take Omeprazole for years. Yet, the hair fall experience comes very late. These types of incidents can be severe and should be treated with caution.

No matter what the case is, consult an expert if you witness any omeprazole hair loss symptoms or side effects of any drugs.

Does Omeprazole Cause Weight Gain?

Like hair loss, weight gain is another rare side effect of Omeprazole. University of Maryland Medical Center has claimed that less than 1% of patients who take Omeprazole experience an unusual increase in weight.

Weight gaining due to Omeprazole might be a sign that you need medical attention. There are 3 red flags you must recognize.

Sudden Put-on of Weight

When you take Omeprazole regularly to heal your GERD or ulcer pain, you might experience an unusual weight gain. This scenario is highly uncommon, and you should reach out for medical attention.

Doctors believe the sudden weight gain while taking Omeprazole can be an allergic reaction. Cases like these exist, and there is nothing to worry about.

weight gain is common with omeprazole hair loss

However, the unusual weight gain sometimes may reflect any other serious health problem. For example, doctors often prescribe Omeprazole to gout patients. An increase in weight is not uncommon in acute gout attacks, and it requires medical treatment.

To avoid such problems, you should consult with your doctor immediately after noticing anything unusual. Also, tell him about all the medicines you take and your medical history if he prescribes you Omeprazole.

Increase in Weight During Pregnancy

The researchers suggest that pregnant ladies on Omeprazole may put on extra weight. An increase in weight is normal during pregnancy. But if it occurs as the Omeprazole side effects, the patient will experience swelling or bloating with the additional weight.

Researchers claim that the drug also affects the fetus. If the mother takes any form of Omeprazole regularly, the baby will also gain weight as a side effect of the medication. 

Swelling and Weight Gain

Unlike Omeprazole hair loss, bloating and swelling in the legs or ankles are two common side effects of the drug. People often mistake the swelling with fat deposition or weight gain. Remember, swelling is a form of water retention, and it is not permanent.

The temporary weight gain due to swelling is not severe in most cases. If you feel trouble walking or doing regular tasks, feel free to consult an expert. An ice-pack or anti-inflammatory drug can soothe your struggle.

What Are the Side Effects of Omeprazole?

Like most other medications, Omeprazole also has some side effects and warnings. The most common reactions of this drug are,

  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Vomit
  • Headache
  • Abdomen pain
  • Constipation, etc.

The patient may also suffer from diarrhea or skin rashes because of Omeprazole. Doctors have witnessed that this drug shows a different side effect among children. For example, a kid who takes Omeprazole might experience fever or feverish symptoms as a drug reaction.

Long-term use of Omeprazole can cause kidney and liver issues among the patients. Other severe side effects of Omeprazole are,

  • Low magnesium level
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Stomach inflammation
  • Bone fracture
  • Fundic gland polyps

Not all patients who take Omeprazole suffer from these side effects. Only a few with medical complexities may face the adverse reaction of this drug.

Omeprazole hair loss, weight gain, low blood sugar are the rare side effects of this medication. Doctors claim that one in a hundred people may face a rare drug reaction. Recognizing these side effects of Omeprazole and taking earlier actions can save your health.

How to Avoid Omeprazole Side Effects?

For long-term usage, it is hard to avoid any side effects of Omeprazole. The adverse reaction of this drug will be minimal when taken for a limited time. However, some tips can also help you keep the Omeprazole side effects to a minimum. For example,

  • Follow the prescribed time strictly while taking Omeprazole. Do not delay or increase your dose in any case. Generally, the healthcare professionals suggest taking the OTC Omeprazole in the morning before breakfast.
  • In most cases, Omeprazole is prescribed for a short term, anywhere between 10 days to 8 weeks. In rare health conditions, doctors suggest this drug for continuous use. When someone takes Omeprazole for a long time, the risk of side effects increases. Ask your doctor for alternative therapy if he suggests you this medicine for long-term use.
  • Omeprazole is not suitable for people who have existing health issues like allergies, chest pain, nausea, liver problem, or skin rash. Also, the drug can create complexities in pregnant ladies. Consult your doctor about your medical history before taking Omeprazole.
  • Instructions on Omeprazole indicate taking this medicine before having a meal. Practicing taking the drug 30 to 60 minutes before eating will minimize the side effects.

What Medications Cause Hair Loss?

Medicines are meant to heal your sufferings, right? Yet, some drugs show unwanted side effects that you can not ignore.

It goes without saying that hair plays a significant part in self-esteem. So, drug-induced hair fall is not desired in any case. Misuse, overdose, or long-term use of some medications can cause this side effect. Here are some examples,

  • Antibiotics
  • Anticlotting drugs
  • Antidepressant
  • Acne medicines
  • Birth control pills
  • Cholesterol-lowering medicine
  • Steroid
  • Fungal medicine
  • Thyroid drugs
  • Mood stabilizer
  • Weight loss supplements
  • High blood pressure controlling medicines, etc.

However, like Omeprazole hair loss, some other PPI drugs may also exhibit the side effects of hair loss. For instance,

Esomeprazole Hair Loss

Like Omeprazole, the Esomeprazole magnesium also heals esophagus, stomach pain, and heartburn. The most common side effects of this drug are constipation, headache, dizziness, itching, etc. However, in rare cases, hair loss in the patients has been witnessed due to Esomeprazole.

Lansoprazole Hair Loss

Skin rash, itchiness, and diarrhea are the common side effects of taking Lansoprazole. Some patients (0.01 to 0.1%) have complained of thin hair and hair fall while on Lansoprazole.

Pantoprazole Hair Loss

Very few patients have experienced hair loss after taking this drug. Hair fall induced by Pantoprazole is rare and not proven yet.

Nexium Hair Loss

This drug works the best with GERD patients. Doctors have found a link between Nexium and hair loss. The cases are rare, and the hair will regrow after the drug suspension.

How to Reverse Hair Loss From Medication

Sudden hair loss due to medications can be traumatic for anyone. And it makes me understand why my sister was so pissed.

Doctors suggest that, in most cases, the drug-induced hair fall is temporary and totally reversible. However, in rare conditions, hair loss is permanent.

Generally, the hair growth resumes once you stop taking the drug. Your hair will grow within an average of 3 to 6 months time span. For some people, it may take 12 to 18 months to have the normal hair back.

But should you cease the medication from your list? Or should you start taking any hair growth supplement? Asking a doctor for alternative medicine will be the best option to get out of this situation. Apart from that, using home remedies and natural solutions often help people regrow their hair.

I am sharing the top hacks to reverse your drug-induced hair loss. These are the same tips my sister is currently following to get back her normal hair.

Diet

Your regular meal plan can be the most important factor in regrowing your hair. A balanced diet contains antioxidants, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. According to a study of 2015, these elements play a huge role in healthy hair growth.

good fatty acid can reverse omeprazole hair loss

Supplements

The hair loss you are experiencing might be a sign of deficiency, not a drug side effect. Experts suggest that iron, biotin, and zinc deficiency often contribute to hair fall. Prescribed supplements can cover up the lack and boost your hair growth.

Also, taking omega 3 fatty acid and antioxidant supplements reduces hair fall and increases hair density among 90% of the patients.

Seed Oil

Natural oils like pumpkin seed oil, black seed oil, grape seed oil nourish and hydrates the hair. Regular use of any of these oils will improve your scalp condition and eventually increase the hair count.

Minoxidil

This is a topical solution, and people often find it helpful. Applying Minoxidil to the scalp will regrow hair within 3 to 6 months.

N.B: Do not try any drug for hair growth without the permission of your doctor. Speak to him about the drug-induced hair loss you are facing. If the tips do not work out, you can look for other options.

FAQs

What Conditions Is Omeprazole Used to Treat?

Omeprazole is an OTC drug and seems effective in indigestion and frequent heartburn. Doctors also suggest this medicine when the patient is suffering from acid reflux and possible injury to the esophagus.

However, Omeprazole also treats serious illnesses like pancreas tumors, Zollinger Ellison Syndrome, and stomach infection.

Is Omeprazole Safe for Use in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women?

Many people do not know that Omeprazole has approval for use by mothers-to-be. This drug has been tested for all side effects it can show in pregnant ladies. According to the results and studies, Omeprazole is safe during pregnancy, and many ladies take it for acid reflux.

Also, Omeprazole barely passes any harmful elements when a mother breastfeeds the child. But of course, you should check with your doctor first.

Does Omeprazole Cause Bone Loss?

Long-term use of Omeprazole is never recommended. It can cause bone fractures and other bone issues. Researchers claim that regular consumption of Omeprazole affects calcium absorption and bone density.

However, some experts suggest the effect of Omeprazole on bone is unclear and needs to be studied further.

Can Gastrointestinal Problems Cause Hair Loss?

The drugs that treat gastrointestinal problems are Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Pantoprazole, etc. Each of these medications has a rare or vague connection to hair loss. 0.01% to 1% of the patients who take these medicines for 3 to 4 months experience a hair fall.

Final Thoughts

Omeprazole hair loss is a rare condition and not much severe in most cases. Once the patients cease the drug, the regrowth of hair resumes. Other drugs, similar to Omeprazole, also exhibit the same symptom. Consult with your doctor or healthcare professional about the side effects of these medicines to avoid any undesired circumstances.

Dr Hafeez Arshad

This is Dr. Hafeez. I have done my M.Phil in Pharmacology. I am a healthcare professional. My core competencies focus on writing different types of research articles/blogs regarding health sciences.

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