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Can Suboxone cause hair loss?

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Hair loss and Suboxone aren't linked. 

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.[1] 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 the trauma of your opioid use disorder and the changes you've made during recovery.

Read on to find out more about why hair loss and recovery sometimes go together. 

Suboxone & Side Effects

Fill your Suboxone prescription, and your pharmacist will give you a handout filled with common and rare Suboxone side effects. You won't see hair loss listed. 

Common Suboxone side effects include the following:[2]

  • Back pain
  • Blurred vision 
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Mouth or tongue pain 
  • Stomachache 

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. 

Can Withdrawal or Stress Cause Hair Loss?

When you were misusing drugs, your health didn't come first. Your substance use did. 

The amount of damage done during addiction, and the stress you felt when you tried to quit, could be responsible for your hair loss. 

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.[3]

Meanwhile, your hair does keep falling out right on schedule. When you brush or touch your hair, you may come away with strands in your hands. And in time, you could see bald patches on your scalp. 

Stress could be caused by the following:

  • Active addiction: Living with an opioid use disorder is remarkably stressful. You must buy, keep, and use drugs continually. And often, you must keep your habits away from others, including the police. All of that stress could stop your hair from growing.
  • Entering rehab: It's never easy to quit using drugs, and you may feel overwhelmed by your new life. That stress could also keep your hair from growing. 

Your 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 allow your hair to fall out.[4] While this damage is often reversible, it can be causing your hair growth problems in the short term.

What to Do About Hair Loss During Opioid Rehab 

You may not notice that your hair is falling out until a few months after the stress ends. That means you could lose your hair when you're well on the road to recovery. 

Once your stress ends, your hair might begin to grow back.[1] Addressing a nutritional problem could also help your hair to grow back. 

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.


  1. Do You Have Hair Loss or Hair Shedding? American Academy of Dermatology Association. Accessed June 2022. 
  2. Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (Opioid Dependence). U.S. National Library of Medicine. January 2022. Accessed June 2022. 
  3. Losing Hair From Stress? What You Should Know About Hair Loss and Chronic Stress. UPMC HealthBeat. December 2018. Accessed June 2022. 
  4. Diet and Hair Loss: Effects of Nutrient Deficiency and Supplement Use. Dermatology Practical and Conceptual. January 2017. Accessed June 2022.

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