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Anticonvulsants and Biotin deficiencies

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I just recently went up on Topamax and read up on what to expect before I made the big leap. I thought I was pretty prepared. 'course, I wasn't at all. It was so much worse than what I expected but..the good was so much better in the end so..it was all worth it in the end.

As an unexpected bonus, I actually found some documentation that said something in such clear terms that I just about fell out of my chair, if I'd been sitting at least.

You see, since I started Topamax, I'd noticed that my hairline (38yo female) was thinning dramatically and, I'm too scared to look, but it felt like I was starting to get a little lightish patch of hair at the backmost part of the partline.

I'd read here and researched elsewhere and found that Biotin was a good remedy so went to the local vitamin shop aptly called the Vitamin Shoppe. They have a vitamin database where you can print out information about specific vitamins and minerals which was very helpful. Anyways, long story short, this printout was AMAZING. (For now, I'm going to believe it) It made so many things come clear specific to the anticonvulsant meds. You see, nowhere have I read in such clear terms these meds leech the biotin from our systems. That's WHY we get the tingles and the hair loss and the extra weepies and all that..  It's not just how myself or you react to the med it's just that's what it does...

I don't know why but that struck me as so profound.


Here's the snippet of text:

..... increase the risk of deficiency symptoms, such as dermatitis, depression, hair loss,2 anemia, and nausea. Long-term use of anti-seizure medications may also lead to biotin deficiency.3


Here's the link:


ps I'm not espousing the Vitamin Shoppe (I only went there because I was next door) or their database vendor.


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I posted this some time ago, but for whatever it's worth, I did find this list re: vitamins and mineral related to hair growth. I don't vouch for it (it was at a forum about raw food diets), but it doesn't seem unreasonable either:



B vitamins are important for the health and growth of the hair. Foods rich in B vitamins include beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, soy beans, nutritional yeast, bran, nuts and eggs. Take a vitamin B-complex and supplement it with the following additional B-vitamins for best results.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) - 50 mg 3 times daily.

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) -100 mg 3 times daily.

Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) -50 mg 3 times daily.

Biotin - Dosage: 50 mg 3 times daily.

Biotin is very important for hair health. It is needed for healthy hair and skin, and may even prevent hair loss in some men. Eat plenty of foods high in biotin and/ or take it in supplemental form. Good food sources of biotin include brewer's yeast, brown rice, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. You can also use hair care products containing biotin.

Inositol - Dosage: 100 mg twice daily.

Inositol is vital for hair growth.

Vitamin C - Dosage: 3,000-10,000 mg daily.

Vitamin C aids in improving scalp circulation. It is important to maintain capillaries that carry blood to the follicles.

Vitamin E - Dosage: Start with 400 IU daily and slowly increase to 800-1,000 IU daily.

Vitamin E increases oxygen uptake, which improves circulation to the scalp. It improves health and growth of hair. Since hair health is tied to the immune health, vitamin E is believed to stimulate hair growth by enhancing the immune function.

Zinc - Dosage: 50-100 mg daily. Do not exceed this amount.

Zinc stimulates hair growth by enhancing immune function.

Other Nutrients That May Help Hair Health

Coenzyme Q10

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When I was on Topa, I started having significant hair loss (my hair has always been really thick).  My hairdresser noticed and told me to take Biotin and Zinc.  I've been taking it ever since and it has made a huge difference.  I no longer lose hand fulls of hair everytime I wash it.

This last time I went to get some more, they didn't have any but I bought Twin Labs Daily One Caps and I've been taking that as it contains both Biotin and Zinc and I really needed a daily vitamin anyway.  A plus - I can't take regular vitamins because I gag everytime.  These are in capsules.  They still have that vitamin smell, but so much easier to swallow.

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