Clinical Pharmacology Consulting Services, Inc.
Clinical Pharmacology is the scientific discipline that involves all aspects of the relationship between drugs and humans. It is a multidisciplinary science that encompasses professionals with a wide variety of scientific skills including medicine, pharmacology, and pharmacy. Our primary goal is improving patient care, directly or indirectly, by developing better medicine regimens and promoting the safer and more effective use of drugs. One way by which a pharmacist can improve the quality of life of patients is medication management. Specifically, to look for deficiencies caused by medicines, and in particular, chronic medication therapy.
While pharmaceuticals have lifesaving benefits, many can have serious side effects. Millions of Americans suffer from an almost completely ignored epidemic of drug-induced nutrient depletion that can cause grave and complicated health problems. Some scientists have estimated that 25% of pharmaceutical side effects are the direct result of these drug-induced nutrient deficiencies. In other words, a drug can deplete you of one or more nutrients or other helpful substances, and this lack of nutrients causes additional side effects. The drug can deprive the substances you need for adequate daily functioning. Thus, nutrient depletion caused by the drugs—rather than the drugs themselves—is often directly responsible for many of the side effects associated with pharmaceuticals.
Among the most common drugs linked to nutrient depletion are oral contraceptives, cholesterol-lowering statins, anti-hypertensives, acid reflux medications, antibiotics and more. These and many other over-the-counter and prescription medications can interfere with your body’s ability to digest, absorb, synthesize, or make use of certain nutrients, leading to nutrient deficiency-related “side effects.”
The only solution to averting drug-induced nutritional deficiencies is to replace the depleted nutrients through nutritional supplements, dietary sources, or both. A thorough medication review coupled with individualized symptomatology will shed some light on ailments caused by drug-induced vitamin and nutrient deficiency.
This brings me to another common problem, Alopecia. The word “alopecia” is the medical term for hair loss. Alopecia does not refer to one specific hair loss disease as any form of hair loss is an alopecia. Alopecia can certainly be caused by medications or by any number of conditions, from genetics to the environment. While androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness, AGA for short) is by far the most common form of hair loss, clinicians also see many people with other forms of alopecia. Several hundred diseases have hair loss as a primary symptom.
Probably the most common non-AGA alopecias seen are telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, ringworm, scarring alopecia, and hair loss due to cosmetic overprocessing. Other, more rare forms of hair loss may be difficult to diagnose, and some patients may wait months, even years to seek therapy in the first place. Many undergo consultation with numerous clinicians and various tests and even when a correct diagnosis is made, the clinician can offer no known treatment for the condition.
Androgenetic alopecia or common male pattern baldness (MPB) accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men. By the age of thirty-five two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss, and by the age of fifty approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair. Approximately twenty five percent of men who suffer with male pattern baldness begin the painful process before they reach the age of twenty-one. Contrary to societal belief, most men who suffer from male pattern baldness are extremely unhappy with their situation and would do anything to change it. Hair loss affects every aspect of the hair loss sufferer’s life. It affects interpersonal relationships as well as the professional lives of those suffering. It is not uncommon for men to change their career paths because of their hair loss, as stated by “The American Hair Loss Association”.
Women actually make up 40% of American hair loss sufferers. Hair loss in women can be absolutely devastating for the female’s self image and emotional well being. It is considered far more acceptable for men to go through the same hair loss than women. Since hair loss doesn’t appear to be life threatening, most physicians pay little attention to this condition.
Many commonly prescribed drugs can cause hair loss, therefore it is worth analyzing your drug therapy. The key to retard hair loss and thinning and promote hair growth is early prevention. Our general approach to hair loss is extremely customized and individualized. We follow an evidence based protocol and formulate and recommend therapies based on your specific parameters. Our prescription formulation has been safe and effective.
Please contact Dr. Moojan Donaldson, Pharm.D. at (831)521-3939 for an evaluation.