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Hair loss and sinemet?

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Unread 10-19-2007, 08:03 AM   #1
Judith
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Default Hair loss and sinemet?

I have been bothered by considerable hair loss and decided to ask my neurologist about it, since I had read in a New York Times report on PD that hair loss was a side effect of Sinemet. My neurologist said he didn't think hair loss was related to Sinemet, although I have since found a few very brief mentions of it on line, including one from the Sinemet product monograph put out by Merck Frosst Canada.

The neuro, who is generally very sensitive to his patients, brushed my question off with a comment about his own hair loss and advised me to see my family physician (I am not scheduled to see him until March). I am wondering, have any of you (women, especially) experienced unexplained hair loss? If so, do you blame sinemet or an agonist?

I welcome any thoughts on whether to pursue this issue with my neurologist.

Thanks, Judith
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Unread 10-19-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
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Hair loss is usually attributed to hypo-thyriod. I had a serious problem with it in the last 80s before I had my hypo-thyroid dxd.

I've never read anything about Sinement being the culprit. Will have to look that one up.
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Unread 10-19-2007, 10:59 AM   #3
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Judith - I also experience hair loss; have attributed it to agonists.
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Unread 10-19-2007, 12:00 PM   #4
vlhperry
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Default Hi Judith,

No history of hair loss. Have always had very thick wavy hair. Had it all shaved up when I had DBS. I really miss it when it used to be long.

Vicky
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Unread 10-19-2007, 02:40 PM   #5
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Default Discussed this a few years back...

...not on this board but in this community. Mirapex was suspected by several of us patients as being responsible for removing all the fuzz on our arms and legs, even the guys, and for thinning the other hair on the trunk in (cough)various places. Off Mirapex for two years and now on Requip, mine is slowly growing back in. Everywhere. I can read now, too.

Jaye
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Unread 10-20-2007, 07:00 AM   #6
kk13
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Default Hair loss

Having the same problem. Suspect either Sinemet or one of the agonists. Slowly trying by trial and error to reduce/eliminate each drug, one at a time, to find the culprit. Problem is that this is a very long process, especially if you're taking many different meds.
Hope this helps a little.
Keith
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Unread 10-20-2007, 03:40 PM   #7
Judith
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Default Thanks to all of you...

for relating your experiences.

Carolyn, I was once treated for hypothyroidism but didn't lose hair then. Seems that the thyroid pills I took kick started my thyroid so I didn't need to continue, but I will be sure to have it checked.

Vicky, hope your hair grows back quickly.

Carey and Jaye, I found your info and experience very interesting. Evidently the hair loss is reversible. That's good to hear. I'm not on an agonist now, just sinemet and unfortunately reducing or eliminating it doesn't seem like an option.

Keith, I can appreciate that it would take a long time to figure it out, while you wait to see if hair grows back. Good luck!

Here's something about agonists and hair loss: http://www.neurosy.org/medicine/inte...alopecia.shtml. I can't get the full text of the article without subscribing and I can only find information about this one article. This site mentions an additional report describing hair loss caused by Sinemet. I haven't been able to locate it.

Judith
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Unread 10-20-2007, 04:29 PM   #8
Jaye
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Poll Try googling on "levodopa" and "alopecia"...

...which returned 23,900 results for me, the first of which was

Quote:
Alopecia and levodopa.
Alopecia and levodopa. A Marshall and M J Williams. Full text. Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. ...
www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/ articlerender.fcgi?artid=1795918 - Similar pages
which gave me
which yielded
The second result on the page of Google links led to this at http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/citation/58/5/829
Quote:
This article has been cited by other articles: (Search Google Scholar for Other Citing Articles)

M. T. Grauer and J. P. Sieb
Alopecia induced by dopamine agonists
Neurology, December 24, 2002; 59(12): 2012 - 2012.
[Full Text] [PDF]
Quote:
Abstract
Alopecia is a rare but important side effect of anti-parkinsonian medications. Our patient was a 72-year-old man with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) who received levodopa and anti-cholinergic drugs and whose head had become almost completely bald. As bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation produced improvement in his motor symptoms, his drug dosages were reduced postoperatively. At 8 months after surgery, hair again covered his entire head. Our study presents a new aspect of the benefit of STN stimulation with regard to drug-induced non-motor symptoms in patient with PD
Judith, there's tons of stuff out there on alopecia and levodopa/and/or/agonists, a lot of it in abstracts, but you can still find out a lot.

Then there's http://www.amedeo.com/, which will send you a feed on abstracts of current articles on almost any medical condition you are interested in, for free. You get links to these at least a day before they come out in press.

And at http://www.amedeogroup.com/ there is access to full journal articles after the journals are a year or two old, or in some cases less, notably The New England Journal of Medicine, whose articles are free after six months. In browsing just now, I found one journal whose staff will help a patient see an article.

Have fun,
Jaye
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Unread 10-20-2007, 04:44 PM   #9
lou_lou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judith View Post
I have been bothered by considerable hair loss and decided to ask my neurologist about it, since I had read in a New York Times report on PD that hair loss was a side effect of Sinemet. My neurologist said he didn't think hair loss was related to Sinemet, although I have since found a few very brief mentions of it on line, including one from the Sinemet product monograph put out by Merck Frosst Canada.

The neuro, who is generally very sensitive to his patients, brushed my question off with a comment about his own hair loss and advised me to see my family physician (I am not scheduled to see him until March). I am wondering, have any of you (women, especially) experienced unexplained hair loss? If so, do you blame sinemet or an agonist?

I welcome any thoughts on whether to pursue this issue with my neurologist.

Thanks, Judith
I found this - perhaps it may help -

Baldness Induced By Dopamine Treatments May Be Reversible
ST. PAUL, MN -- March 11, 2002 -- Two women with Parkinson's disease who developed alopecia (baldness) while being treated with the dopamine agonists pramipexole or ropinirole found that the hair loss stopped after the drugs were discontinued and replaced with a new treatment.

The study is published in the current issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that may be caused when a small group of brain cells that control body movement die. These cells, the subtantia nigra, normally produce a chemical called dopamine. Loss of dopamine causes the nerve cells to fire out of control, leaving people unable to control their movements normally.

In both cases reported, the women had been started on pramipexole and subsequently switched to ropinirole as dopamine therapy. In the first case, the patient's hair loss stopped within two weeks after she switched to ropinirole. The patient noticed new hair growth one month after switching drugs. After a year of treatment on ropinirole, the alopecia has not returned.

In the second instance, the patient experienced hair loss after being given an increased dosage of pramipexole, which she had been receiving for a year. When her dose was reduced back to previous levels, the hair loss continued. In this case, hair loss continued even after she switched to ropinirole. Ropinirole was finally stopped and she was started on carbidopa/levodopa. Within a week, the hair loss stopped and some of her hair grew back over the next six months.

"For some patients hair loss is unacceptable and detracts substantially from their quality of life. In one case, the patient was distraught and refused to leave her house without wearing a hat," according to the paper's author, Alessandro Di Rocco, MD, Beth Israel Medical Center-Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "If treating physicians can help patients deal with alopecia and other cosmetic symptoms resulting from therapy, without compromising the quality of their treatment, we can do a lot toward helping them maintain a high quality of life throughout their illness," said Dr. Di Rocco.

Parkinson's disease is not fatal and the progression varies from person to person. For some, the disease can progress slowly over 20 or 30 years and for others, the progression is faster.


SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology
http://www.docguide.com/news/content...256B790075CBA8
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Unread 10-20-2007, 10:35 PM   #10
Judith
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Jaye and Tena, Thanks for this information.

I thought I was pretty good at Internet searching, but didn't know about Google Scholar, Amadeo's Free Journals, and other tools. Great stuff!

I've printed off a bunch of stuff and will mail to my neurologist. Should be interesting to see how it is received!

Judith
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