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Does Trazodone Cause Hair Loss?

Knox Beasley, MD

Reviewed by Knox Beasley, MD

Written by Rachel Sacks

Published 12/09/2022

Updated 04/03/2024

You’ve been prescribed trazodone to treat depression symptoms. Like all medications, it comes with a risk of side effects. So does trazodone cause hair loss? In most cases, no — but it’s possible.

You might think your Google search “trazodone side effects hair loss” is ridiculous — an oral medication for your brain having an unintended effect on your hair? Well, it’s not that far-fetched.

If you’ve started taking trazodone and noticed hair thinning around your temples or crown, you might be experiencing one of the rarer side effects of trazodone.

What’s the connection between trazodone and hair loss? Will trazodone cause hair loss, and if so, can it be reversed? Read on for answers.

Trazodone is a medication sometimes used to treat depression. It’s in a class of drugs called serotonin modulators, which work by increasing serotonin in the brain.

Other types of antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).

Nowadays, trazodone is typically used off-label to treat insomnia and sleep disturbances. (Off-label means a medication is prescribed for something it’s not FDA-approved for.) A 2017 systematic review determined that, in low doses, trazodone is an effective way to treat insomnia.

Trazodone comes in tablet form and is typically prescribed at a low dose to start. Your healthcare provider might adjust your dose over time.

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While trazodone can lead to hair loss, it’s an unlikely side effect. Research has shown that trazodone may result in hair loss, but only in very rare instances. Meanwhile, other mood stabilizers and psychopharmacology medications — such as lithium — have a much higher risk of hair loss than trazodone.

We’ll go over some of trazodone’s more common side effects shortly.

How Does Trazodone Cause Hair Loss?

If you’re one of the rare people affected by trazodone-induced hair loss, you’re dealing with something called telogen effluvium.

Telogen effluvium is a type of diffuse hair loss characterized by the excessive, non-scarring shedding of hair.

Hair grows in three phases: the anagen (growth) phase, the catagen (regression) phase and the telogen (resting) phase.

Telogen effluvium happens when something — trauma, stress or even medication — shortens the telogen phase, prompting hair to fall out before it’s supposed to.

The good news is this type of hair loss is usually temporary.

Learn more about the hair growth cycle in our blog.

While hair loss from trazodone is exceptionally rare, the medication comes with an array of other potential side effects you should be aware of.

Some of the more common side effects of trazodone include:

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Appetite changes

  • Weight gain or weight loss

  • Tiredness

  • Nervousness

  • Dry mouth

  • Rash

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Stuffy nose

  • Muscle pain

The medication’s disclaimer notes a few more serious side effects too. These include chest pain, a fast heart rate, loss of consciousness, seizures, blood pressure issues and unusual breathing.

If you notice any of these things, seek medical attention right away.

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If you’re losing hair and suspect it’s due to trazodone, don’t stop taking your medication. Immediate discontinuation (quitting cold turkey) could lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Instead, contact your healthcare provider.

Your provider can help you sort out why you’re losing your hair. And if they determine it’s because of trazodone, they’ll work with you to get you off the medication.

Any time you’re thinking about going off antidepressant meds, seek medical advice first. You should also never alter the dosage on your own.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep treating your mental health and grow back your once-full head of hair.

If you’re experiencing telogen effluvium as a side effect of trazodone, there’s good news: Telogen effluvium is usually never permanent, and in most cases, resolves itself once the thing causing hair loss is stopped or removed.

The bad news is that you might have to find a new antidepressant medication.

Once you taper off the medication (under the guidance of your healthcare provider) and find an appropriate alternative, your hair should start to regrow on its own.

That said, if you’d like to help your hair grow back more quickly, there are several things you and your provider can discuss. Here’s what might help.

Try Medication

To treat the type of hair loss medications can cause, your healthcare provider may suggest the hair regrowth medication minoxidil.

Minoxidil (the active ingredient and generic form of Rogaine®) comes as both an oral and topical application.

Available as minoxidil foam and minoxidil liquid solution, the topical version is approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) as a hair loss treatment. But oral minoxidil — although promising — hasn’t received its approval yet.

Minoxidil’s exact mechanism of action still isn’t fully understood. However, it seems to improve blood flow to the scalp and stimulate hair follicles to enter the growth phase.

A 2019 review of topical minoxidil used in clinical trials found that the medication improved hair growth in those with hair loss.

There’s also finasteride, which comes in oral or topical form. This medication blocks the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a common culprit of some types of hair loss.

To pull out all the stops, consider our two-in-one topical finasteride & minoxidil spray.

Use Hair Loss Shampoo

One easy thing you can do is incorporate a hair growth shampoo into your shower routine. Our thickening shampoo is formulated with saw palmetto. This ingredient is considered a DHT blocker.

In one study, researchers tested a topical saw palmetto solution over 50 weeks on 60 women and men with androgenetic alopecia (female and male pattern baldness).

At the end of the trial, strand thickness and overall hair mass increased by 30 percent in the group that used saw palmetto. Another group that used saw palmetto and an oral gelatin cysteine supplement saw an increase of 50 percent.

While more research needs to be done, those stats are clearly promising.

Take Biotin

Biotin is a B vitamin thought to encourage healthy hair in people who are biotin-deficient. It’s found in foods like eggs, milk and bananas. It’s also available in supplement form.

Hims has a biotin gummy with vitamin D. This is helpful because being low in vitamin D may also lead to hair shedding and thinning hair.

Quit Smoking

Chances are, you know smoking is bad for your health and can lead to cancer. But researchers have also discovered a link between smoking and hair loss.

Pollution from smoke can damage your strands. Beyond that, smoking can wreak havoc on the DNA of your hair follicles.

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Trazodone is a medication that can be used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in psychiatry patients. Perhaps even more commonly, it’s used to treat sleep issues.

If you’re concerned about trazodone and potential hair loss, here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Common side effects of trazodone include constipation, weight gain or loss, and nausea.

  • A very rare trazodone side effect is hair loss — like, really rare. But it’s possible.

  • Luckily, this type of hair loss can usually be remedied through medications like minoxidil, supplements and lifestyle changes.

If you’d like to discuss hair loss with a healthcare professional, now’s a good time to schedule an online consultation.

14 Sources

  1. Trazodone. Medline Plus. Retrieved from
  2. Fagiolini, A., Comandini, A., Dell’Osso, M., (2012). Rediscovering Trazodone for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. CNS Drugs. Retrieved from
  3. Jaffer, K., Chang, T., Vanle, B., (2017). Trazodone for Insomnia: A Systematic Review. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. Retrieved from
  4. Mercke, Y., Sheng, H., Khan, T., Lippmann, S., (2000). Hair loss in psychopharmacology. Ann Clin Psychiatry. Retrieved from
  5. Asghar, F., Shamim, N., Farooque, U., et al., (2020, May). Telogen Effluvium: A Review of the Literature. Cureus, 12(5): e8320. Retrieved from
  6. Hoover, E., Alhajj, M., Flores, J., (2020, July 27). Physiology, Hair. StarPearls. Retrieved from
  7. Badri, T., Nessel, T.A. & Kumar, D.D. (2020, May 4). Minoxidil. StatPearls. Retrieved from
  8. Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S. & Leerunyakul, K. (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. 13, 2777–2786. Retrieved from
  9. Rossi, A., Mari, E., Scarno, M., et al. (2012, October). Comparative Effectiveness and Finasteride Vs Serenoa Repens in Male Androgenetic Alopecia: A Two-Year Study. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 1167-1173. Retrieved from
  10. Biotin (2020). Medline Plus. Retrieved from
  11. Ablon, G. (2015). A 3-Month, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair. Dermatology Research and Practice. Retrieved from
  12. Khan, Q., Fabian, C., (2010, March). How I Treat Vitamin D Deficiency. Journal of Oncology Practice, 6(2):97-101. Retrieved from
  13. Trueb, R., (2003). Association between smoking and hair loss: another opportunity for health education against smoking? National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from
  14. Evron E, Juhasz M, Babadjouni A, Mesinkovska N, A: Natural Hair Supplement: Friend or Foe? Saw Palmetto, a Systematic Review in Alopecia. Skin Appendage Disord 2020;6:329-337. Available from:
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Knox Beasley, MD

Dr. Knox Beasley is a board certified dermatologist specializing in hair loss. He completed his undergraduate studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and subsequently attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. 

Dr. Beasley first began doing telemedicine during his dermatology residency in 2013 with the military, helping to diagnose dermatologic conditions in soldiers all over the world. 

Dr. Beasley is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Originally from Nashville, TN, Dr. Beasley currently lives in North Carolina and enjoys spending time outdoors (with sunscreen of course) with his wife and two children in his spare time. 





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