I am 69 years old.   18 months ago I had my first Atrial Fibrillation (A.Fib) attack.   The third time they added a beta blocker (Cardizem) to my list of medications (a calcium channel blocker) and it does seem to have slowed down my racing heart.   The problem is that I recently noticed thinning hair when it was once abundant.   Do I have to grim and bear it?   It’s quite painful to me as a woman.   Thanks in advance for your reply.

Finding the reason for unexpected hair loss can be quite challenging.   In most cases, physicians can determine the type of alopecia by the balding pattern.  

Certain medications have been known to cause a type of baldness known as diffuse alopecia.    This condition is characterized by thinning hair all over the scalp.  

Cardizem (also known as diltiazem) and the beta blockers used to treat high blood pressure and atrail fibrillation such as metoprolol, nadolol, propranolol among others have all been reported to cause hair loss.   In most cases, normal hair growth continues once the medication is stopped.   However, keeping your heart running at a normal pace is far more important, so please do not stop taking any medication unless directed by your physician.

Therefore I suggest speaking to your doctor about your hair loss concerns and explore alternative drug options for your condition that will be friendly both to your heart and your hair.   Keep in mind that  even if you do switch to a different drug,  it could take several months before hair regrowth occurs.

Associate Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and the Hair Loss Learning Center
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