The biggest drawback to being an Alpha is that if they live long enough all Alphas eventually succumb to the Alpha's curse. The curse is an age-born madness. Once the madness has set in, it effects the entire pack. An Alpha who has been overtaken with the madness has to be killed and replaced with a new Alpha in order to save the pack.
- Vulkasin Woolsey had been driven mad by the curse when Lord Conall Maccon challenged and replaced him as Alpha of the Woolsey Pack.
- Conall Maccon was able to prolong succumbing to the Alpha's curse by marrying and staying in contact with his preternatural wife - Alexia Maccon. He stepped down voluntarily as Alpha and moved to the God-Breaker Plague zone to live out the rest of his life her.
- "It differs, depending on the Alpha. There are not many cases recorded, as most don't survive long enough." (Imprudence, Chapter Four)
- "Aren't they all killed, the curse Alphas?' 'Well, yes, under ordinary circumstances. Sometimes by their Betas. Sometimes by a new Alpha challenging for the safety of all. Werewolves who go mad are put down by their own kind, for everyone's sake..." (Imprudence, Chapter Four)