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Is there any migraine med that won’t cause hair loss?

Hi! I am new to this forum. At 58 I have tried many onset migraine meds since my 30’s along with daily meds (I have not tried Botox yet but I prefer to keep this a medication discussion ). I was diagnosed with androgenic alopecia via biopsy in 2020 after severe covid - and without knowing, started topiramate which I later found out was making my hair loss worse. Every time my neurologist wants me to start something new I research it to death only to find hair loss as a side effect - even if clinical studies don’t necessarily indicate, people’s shared experiences do! So i was just about to start Qulipta this week because my dr and pharmacist said hair loss was not a side effect but my research proves otherwise - SO…are there any prescription meds that don’t lead to hair loss? I have worked too hard the last 4 years with my alopecia to regrow hair - I just don’t want to take a huge step back if there is anything else available without that side effect but so many meds (Both new & older) do indicate hair loss. Thanks for any input!

  1. Hi there . Welcome to the community! I appreciate the time you've taken to post your question. Hair loss is unfortunately a common side effect that many people in the community face. I encourage you to check out this article to read more about what people have posted in the past about hair loss (tip: the best info is in the comments! Be sure to expand them at the bottom of the article to see the 100+ comments): And while I don't have any knowledge of a migraine medication that definitely does not cause hair loss, someone else might. So I'm going to tag and . Both have incredible knowledge about migraines. Hopefully they will be along shortly if they have anything else to add.

    Cody (Team Member)

    1. Hi - We are definitely here for you and have been through a lot of what you describe- though it sounds your case was made more complicated by that diagnosis. So sorry to hear that. Please do take a look at the link that Cody provided above. There are a lot of good insights there as well as strategies to regrow hair (biotin is a big helper on this front if you haven't tried it yet). I know you said you wanted to keep the conversation a medication discussion- which I didn't quite follow as I consider Botox to be one of my key migraine medication strategies. Perhaps just a tangle in wording. I've been taking it for 20 years and it hasn't caused any hair loss. I have taken topiramate and steroids for migraine which have caused hair loss. The CGRP family of meds have not caused hair loss for me - but truly the side effects - while troublesome for some- are not a given for all. This is what's tricky.
      You are I are similar in age and I think by now in our lives we come to know what are our hair loss triggers, generally. For me, my primary hair loss trigger is extreme stress. When I'm on a medication (like topamax or steroids) that hair loss is ramped up severely if I have a major life stressor. I think this is due to the way our adrenals connect to stress and hair growth. Thankfully it eventually grows back but it is awful to go through and takes forever. I guess all this to say, there are many different types of CGRP (and general) migraine treatments. We all respond differently to them. So, if you are open to a trial period of the qulipta, perhaps you won't experience hair loss. If you'd rather not risk it, perhaps you may want to explore one of the CGRP options with your doctor. But as you said, if you research deep enough, you'll likely find someone somewhere who will assign hair loss to any drug. I've taken Emgality for years without an issue. But again, you'd probably find others who may say they had hair loss as a result of it. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful- it is a dreadful part of trying new medications. Even worse when we find a medication that works which presents with a troublesome side effect like this. We have to decide between the migraine pain and related symptoms- or hair loss or weight gain, etc. No easy choices. Please know we are here for you as you continue this journey and weigh your options. Thinking of you- Warmly - Holly - team

    2. Bless you, Cody, but mostly I'm just good at searching the archives. 😉 All I know for sure is that we've had folks share they've had hair loss with the CGRP drugs when they first came out -- Aimovig, Emgality, Ajovy. But, as Holly said, every person's experience is different, and they may do great on one medication but have side effects with another in the same family. I wonder if ' dermatologist or the doctor treating their alopecia has other patients with migraine. That's probably the best place to start. -Melissa, migraine team

  2. Thank you so much! Very insightful & helpful - also I am not opposed to botox I just wanted to discuss medication options since that is what I am reading so much more about these days!

    1. What other medication options are you considering? Here for you and so glad you're with us! Warmly - Holly - team

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