Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss – Remedies for The Hair Loss

Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss - Remedies for The Hair Loss
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One of the first lines of treatment for diabetes is metformin. This is due to the fact that it has few negative side effects and many positive ones.

One of the initial medications used to treat diabetes is metformin. Though some of the conditions metformin is used to treat, like PCOS, may result in hair loss.

If you’re wondering if metformin causes hair loss, we have the answer in this article, along with effective ways to help treat and prevent hair loss regardless of the cause!

What is Metformin?

Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss - Remedies for The Hair Loss

Although it can be used for other conditions as well (more on that in a moment), metformin is one of the drugs for type 2 diabetes that is most frequently prescribed.

The brand name for metformin is Glucophage, and its generic name, metformin, is the one that is most frequently prescribed.

You take metformin orally in the form of tablets with doses ranging from 500-2,550 milligrams daily.

As a member of the biguanide drug class, metformin works to lower the amount of sugar your liver produces while enhancing insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering high blood sugar.

Regular and extended-release (XR) metformin are both available. Some patients may experience less stomach upset when taking the extended-release tablets, which are only taken once daily as opposed to 2-3 times with regular metformin.

Metformin doesn’t cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which is one of its major benefits.

Type 2 diabetics who take metformin in addition to other diabetes medications are able to do so because it does not result in low blood sugar.

While metformin is most commonly used for type 2 diabetes, it’s also used to help treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women and is frequently caused by insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances. Its symptoms include irregular periods, hair thinning, acne, and others.

Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss?

The metformin side effect of hair loss is unknown. However, some of the conditions metformin is used to treat (especially PCOS) might cause hair loss, which makes it possible to have hair loss while taking metformin.

Other medications, as well as the natural aging process and others, may also cause hair loss in some people.

It’s crucial to remember that in those cases, metformin might not be the culprit behind hair loss.

Metformin can occasionally lead to vitamin B12 deficiency, which can have hair loss as a symptom.

Other signs of vitamin B12 deficiency can include:

  • Lack of energy (lethargy)
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling faint
  • Headaches
  • Pale skin
  • Irregular heartbeat (palpitation)
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Metformin is used “off label” to treat PCOS, particularly in symptomatic women with insulin resistance and symptoms like acne and hair loss. PCOS in patients with a lean body mass can also be treated with metformin.

High testosterone levels, which can result in hair loss and thinning, are frequently linked to PCOS. If you’re taking metformin for PCOS, any hair loss is likely due to the hormonal imbalance from PCOS.

Changing Hormones

Hair loss is common during the postpartum period after you have a baby. If you’re taking metformin during your postpartum period, then hair loss is likely due to the fluctuating hormones during the months after delivery.

Medications That Can Cause Hair Loss

Some medications come with the potential to cause hair loss, such as:

Certain Antidepressants

Antidepressants, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil, may result in hair loss.

Anticonvulsant Drugs

Pregabalin and valproic acid are two seizure medications that have been linked to hair loss in the past.


Drugs for treating high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats, such as propranolol, metoprolol, and atenolol, may in some people result in hair loss.

Cholesterol-lowering Medications

You may be taking metformin in addition to a cholesterol medication because high cholesterol and diabetes are frequently linked.

The good news is that hair loss as a side effect of statins—the most popular type of cholesterol medication—is thought to be incredibly rare, affecting only 1% of those taking them.

Metformin, Vitamin B12, and Hair Loss

A vitamin B12 deficiency caused by metformin use is thought to occur in 3–40% of patients taking the drug, according to estimates.

Although the exact mechanism by which metformin can result in a B12 deficiency is unknown, one theory suggests that it may do so by interfering with the binding of intrinsic factor, a protein that aids in the absorption of vitamin B12 by your intestines.

Vitamin B12 injections are the remedy for a vitamin B12 deficiency. Due to the possibility of impaired absorption caused by the absence of the intrinsic factor needed to absorb vitamin B12 in your intestines, oral vitamin B12 treatment is insufficient for treating a B12 deficiency.

Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss - Remedies for The Hair Loss

How Do You Prevent Hair Loss from Diabetes?

The good news is that hair loss is not a typical symptom of diabetes. However, some studies have found an association between diabetes and increased hair loss in certain populations.

In general, promoting good blood sugar control is the best way to lessen the effects of diabetes and its complications.

Inflammation and other harmful effects of persistently high blood sugar levels can be reduced by maintaining blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

Some ways to help control your blood sugar levels and prevent possible hair loss include:

  • Taking diabetes medications as prescribed.
  • Staying physically active – aim for at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week at a minimum.
  • Checking blood sugar levels regularly, either at home and/or with regular blood tests through your healthcare provider.
  • Eating a healthy diet low in added sugars and moderate in fiber-rich carbohydrates, as well as eating plenty of protein and healthy fats.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, there are some treatments available such as:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine) – an over-the-counter topical treatment applied to your scalp.
  • Finasteride (Propecia) – a prescription medication for men to help slow hair loss.
  • Spironolactone – this medication is commonly used to treat symptoms of In order to stop hair loss and thinning caused by PCOS, which also causes acne and thinning hair, androgen is blocked.

Natural Remedies for Hair Loss

1. Rosemary Oil

In particular for women, applying rosemary essential oil to the scalp may be beneficial for preventing hair loss. For their impact on hair loss, some studies have compared the effects of rosemary oil and minoxidil.

According to one 2020 study, rosemary oil was as effective as 2% minoxidil (Rogaine) ointment!

To use rosemary oil as a natural remedy for hair loss, try mixing a few drops of rosemary essential oil with a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil) and apply it directly to your scalp after you get out of the bath or shower, or add rosemary to your shampoo.

2. Pumpkin Seed Oil

In a review, after 12 and 24 weeks, respectively, pumpkin seed oil increased male participants’ hair counts from the starting point by 30–40%.

Similar to rosemary oil, pumpkin seed oil can be used topically or internally, as was the case for the study participants.

3. Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is a tree that forms fruit that is used for natural medicinal purposes. Saw palmetto has anti-androgenic properties, which means it can help suppress high levels of male hormones like testosterone, which can lead to hair thinning and loss.

The results of five randomized controlled trials showed that saw palmetto (applied topically and orally) improved hair quality by 60%, hair count by 27%, and hair density by about 83%.

4. Beta-sitosterol

By preventing the synthesis of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a type of androgen (male sex hormone) thought to be the cause of male pattern baldness, beta-sitosterol, a type of phytosterol found in plants, is thought to stop hair loss.

In addition to being present in supplements, beta-sitosterol is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in foods like rice bran, wheat germ, peanuts, corn oil, and soybeans.

5. Stress Relief

Hair loss is known to be exacerbated by high levels of stress. Your hair follicles may enter a resting phase as a result of high levels of stress, which can result in them shedding when you brush or comb your hair.

Some natural stress-relieving techniques can include:

  • Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Deep breathing techniques
  • Lifestyle changes to reduce your stress load

A note on biotin:Your hair, skin, and nails all contain the protein biotin. Although scientific studies have not conclusively demonstrated a benefit of biotin supplementation for hair loss, the practice of taking supplements of biotin to help prevent hair loss and support hair growth is incredibly widespread.

Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss - Remedies for The Hair Loss


Hair loss is not a common side effect of metformin, nor is it a symptom of diabetes. However, some studies suggest that in some populations, diabetes and hair loss may be related.

Hair loss may be a side effect if you take metformin and subsequently develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. Metformin-related vitamin B12 deficiency can occur in about 6-30% of patients taking the drug.

There are several over-the-counter and prescription treatments for hair loss, as well as natural hair loss remedies, including rosemary oil, pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto, and beta-sitosterol. Techniques for managing stress can also help prevent hair loss brought on by stress.


What Does Metformin Do to Your Hair?

Through upregulating DCs’ ability to induce hair growth, metformin can encourage the regeneration of hair follicles in culture, which calls for further investigation in the clinical management of male- or female-pattern baldness.

What Diabetes Meds Cause Hair Loss?

For people with type 2 diabetes or PCOS, metformin is used to treat high insulin and blood sugar levels. In rare cases, there may be a link between hair loss and taking metformin. It’s also possible that metformin inadvertently contributes to hair loss.

How Do You Stop Hair Loss from Diabetes?

The most crucial step in preserving blood vessel health and lowering the likelihood of developing hair loss due to damaged blood vessels is maintaining stable blood sugar levels. This entails maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and taking any prescribed medication to control your blood sugar levels.

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