Question of the Month

Q:  First of all, thank you SO much, Dr. Redmond, for your kindness and caring. I have noticed a drastic thinning of my hair in the past several months. I have been on Estratest since my hysterectomy 8 years ago. I have noticed no problems from it and had no hair problems at all. My cardiologist put me on Lotrel for high blood pressure. It was during this time that my hair problem began. I insisted on stopping the Lotrel in November and I seem to have stopped losing as much hair. What is your opinion?

A:   Many times the wrong medication gets blamed for hair loss. Estratest contains not only estrogen but testosterone and testosterone is the enemy of hair. Androgenic alopecia is due to the effect of testosterone and so taking testosterone can cause it, or make it worse. Estrogen on the other hand is good for hair.

Blood pressure medicine is unlikely to affect hair. Minoxidil (Rogaine) was originally a blood pressure medicine.

The only reason for women to consider taking testosterone in any form is to improve low sex drive. However most do not want to pay the price of losing hair. This is discussed in detail on my website articles on hair loss and on sexual conditions.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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