Hair loss as a side effect of statins?

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A 63-year-old woman wants to discontinue the simvastatin (Zocor) 10 mg she is taking for hypercholesterolemia because she believes the medication is causing her to lose her hair. Is there any evidence supporting this side effect of Zocor?
—Jyoti Khatri, MD, Omaha

Although most articles describing the side effects of the statins do not include hair loss (e.g., Circulation. 2006;114:2788-2797. Accessed May 12, 2009), the prescribing information for Zocor lists alopecia as a rare but reported adverse reaction to statin use. I have stopped simvastatin use in a female patient for this reason.
—Peter F. Cohn, MD
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