What Else Can Tirzepatide Do?

In addition to the possibility of hypoglycemia, this drug has been known to cause hair loss, which sounds bad. But to be fair, a slender model can fake having hair by wearing a wig, while an obese model with the world’s greatest mane will probably not get the job.

Ozempic (generically semaglutide) is known to cause hair loss, and Mounjaro is made from the same basic ingredient plus another very similar one. And in fact, clinical trials showed that tirzepatide users lose more hair than semaglutide users. But while a certain amount of formal investigation has been done, a lot of concerned Americans are getting their information on this subject from social media platforms of questionable repute.

For Healthline, Beth Ann Mayer described the state of knowledge so far. According to experts she consulted, it is quite possible that the hair loss experienced by some patients is not caused by medications of this kind. However drastic weight loss, by whatever means it is achieved, can lead to hair loss.

As it turns out, cutting weight causes a lot of wear and tear on the body, which in some cases will react with telogen effluvium, or “a diffuse shedding of hair that occurs approximately three months after a major stressor.” Those are the words of dermatologist Dr. Susan Massick of Ohio State University.

Another dermatologist, Dr. Raman Madan of Northwell Health, gave the writer an explanation that curiously echoes Grandma’s tale of when her sister had diphtheria back in 1900 or thereabouts. The doctor shaved the little girl’s head because her luxuriant hair was stealing the energy that was needed to heal the rest of her body.

The modern-day Dr. Madan explained that the body takes essential resources away from the hair. (So, why shouldn’t that be a two-way street? Maybe the old-time doctor was not crazy.) When this happens, the hair goes into a “resting phase.” Mayer wrote,

Madan explained that there are three phases of hair loss:

Anagen hair loss occurs when the hair is growing. “This phase can last for years,” Dr. Madan says.
Catagen hair loss is a transition where the hair stops growing and separates from the follicle, a phase that lasts about two weeks. Telogen is the resting phase before it falls out, which Madan says can run for about two to three months.

In other words, sudden weight loss sends a lot of hairs into the resting phase, but new ones do not start growing to replace them. For now, the received opinion seems to be that, depending on how long it takes for a person’s weight to stabilize, the hair will eventually grow back and regain its previous glory.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Ozempic Causing Hair Loss? Why Some People Are Shedding More Than Pounds,” Healthline.com, 05/04/23
Image by Amy/CC BY 2.0

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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