Hair loss and Suboxone aren’t linked as far as most literature suggests. Suboxone is not thought to cause hair loss.
Pharmacists tested Suboxone repeatedly as they developed the drug, and they created lists of common and uncommon side effects. Hair loss does not appear on any of these lists.
On average, people lose between 50 and 100 hairs every day. If you notice more hair in your brush or the shower drain in the days following Suboxone use, it’s common to blame your medication.
In reality, your hair loss could be triggered by a number of factors, including acute physiologic changes that occur as a person discontinues opioid use. This is more likely to be the culprit, particularly if you are first detoxing from opioids or starting Suboxone.
Suboxone Side Effects
Hair loss is not usually attributable to Suboxone. Common Suboxone side effects include the following:
- Back pain
- Blurred vision
- Mouth or tongue pain
There’s no evidence that people who start taking Suboxone put their hair at risk. But there’s plenty of evidence that people who use drugs or start recovery lose their hair at a faster rate, and this could be the explanation if you do notice you are losing hair while your body undergoes the stress of these chemical changes.
Can Withdrawal or Stress Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, absolutely! Hair loss is very associated with stress. high levels of stress hormones cause the body to release cortisol, which can lead to acute hair loss as well as many other changes to the body.
Hair moves through three phases, including resting, growth, and death. Chronic stress can keep your hair locked in a resting phase, so it doesn’t grow.
Hair loss could also be caused by nutritional problems. If you took drugs instead of attending to your diet, you could have core nutritional problems that cause hair loss. While this damage is reversible, it can be causing your hair growth problems in the short term.
What to Do About Hair Loss During Opioid Rehab
First of all, have patience! It can take a hair anywhere from 3-6 months to regrow. As your body begins to heal from the stress and potentially nutritional deficits associated with chronic opioid use, your hair will likewise slowly recover .
Working on your recovery can mean helping your head of hair to come right back. Talk to your team about what you’re seeing and the steps you can take to get better.
- Do You Have Hair Loss or Hair Shedding? American Academy of Dermatology Association. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/shedding. Accessed June 2022.
- Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (Opioid Dependence). U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605002.html. January 2022. Accessed June 2022.
- Losing Hair From Stress? What You Should Know About Hair Loss and Chronic Stress. UPMC HealthBeat. https://share.upmc.com/2018/12/losing-hair-from-stress/. December 2018. Accessed June 2022.
- Diet and Hair Loss: Effects of Nutrient Deficiency and Supplement Use. Dermatology Practical and Conceptual. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/. January 2017. Accessed June 2022.
Medically Reviewed By: Elena Hill, MD, MPH
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