Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 12/16/2022
If you have high blood pressure, a healthcare provider may prescribe a medication called amlodipine as a way to get it under control.
High blood pressure is not something you want to mess around with — it can be dangerous and can cause other medical issues to pop up.
Of course, all medications come with their own side effects. Some medications can even cause hair loss — such a bummer, right? But can amlodipine cause hair loss? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.
As mentioned above, amlodipine is a high blood pressure treatment. It can be used on its own or in combination with other medications. It can also be used to treat chest pain (also called angina) and coronary artery disease.
Amlodipine is in a category of medications called calcium channel blockers. These medications lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, ensuring that the heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
Amlodipine comes as a tablet or in liquid form and is usually taken once daily. Often, you’ll be started on a lower dose so you can adjust to any side effects, and then a healthcare professional may increase your dosage as time goes on.
If you are taking amlodipine for blood pressure, your healthcare provider will likely recommend you make other lifestyle changes — like consuming less salt and fat, exercising and more. It is important to follow this medical advice. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious conditions like a heart attack, kidney issues and more.
There are a few side effects that are associated with amlodipine. As a reminder, not everyone experiences side effects — and even those who do may not experience every one. It’s also normal to experience some adverse effects when you first start taking a medication and then see those effects dissipate as your body adjusts to the medication.
Common side effects of this blood pressure medication include:
Upset stomach or stomach pain
Swelling of the hands and feet (also called edema)
Though rare, there are some more serious side effects connected to amlodipine too. If you notice severe chest pain, fainting, an irregular heartbeat or a high heart rate, seek out medical attention immediately. The same goes if you think you may be having an allergic reaction.
You may have noticed hair loss was not mentioned as a potential side effect. So, can amlodipine cause hair loss? The answer is that there has been no evidence to support the idea that amlodipine causes hair loss.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that people on amlodipine can’t experience hair loss — just that taking this medication is likely not what’s causing that hair loss.
Given that this medication is not known to cause balding, you may be wondering why people ask if amlodipine can cause hair loss. The answer is simple: There are other blood pressure medications that are known to have temporary hair loss as a side effect.
More specifically, a medication called propranolol is connected to hair loss. Propranolol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. It is commonly used to treat high blood pressure (like amlodipine is), as well as migraines and certain types of tremors. Like amlodipine, propranolol works by relaxing blood vessels.
Research has shown that propranolol can lead to temporary hair loss. It causes a type of hair shedding or loss known as telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss defined as excessive shedding that can lead to balding or thinning.
To understand why this type of hair loss may occur, you need to know that your strands go through a three-phase process in their lifespan.There’s the anagen phase, when your hair grows. Then there’s the catagen phase when growing stops. This is followed by the telogen phase, when your hair is at rest.
When propranolol may cause telogen effluvium, it means the telogen phase is shortened, which makes your hair release from the follicle. The result? More hair shedding.
But remember, taking amlodipine isn’t associated with telogen effluvium. People just may think it is because other types of blood pressure medications — like propranolol — are associated with hair loss.
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It’s worth repeating. If you are wondering if amlodipine can cause hair loss, the answer is that it is not known to.
That said, other medications may cause hair loss — including other medications used for high blood pressure. So, it’s always helpful to know how you can treat temporary hair loss caused by taking certain medications.
Minoxidil, a topical medication that doesn’t require a prescription, is available in both liquid and foam formulas. Also known by its brand name of Rogaine, this medication is approved by the FDA for hair loss.
Minoxidil stimulates hair follicles, encouraging them to go into the anagen phase. It also encourages blood to flow to your scalp. Both of these things encourage hair growth to replace hair that has been lost.
An easy thing you can do to encourage hair health: Incorporate a hair loss shampoo into your routine.
A study backs this up. It compared a medication called finasteride, which is used for androgenetic alopecia, and an oral version of saw palmetto. Finasteride was most effective, but saw palmetto also helped hair to grow.
A study that looked at supplements containing biotin and a few other vitamins and minerals supports the idea that taking biotin (a B vitamin) can encourage hair growth. Biotin can be found in supplement form or you can increase your intake through diet. Supplements in particular can help if you have a biotin deficiency, although this is very rare.
Foods that include biotin include bananas, eggs and milk, amongst others.
The final word: Amlodipine is not known to cause the loss of hair. This blood pressure medication has other side effects, but it does not seem to impact your hair growth cycle or lead to hair thinning.
Wondering why people think it can? It’s likely because other medications used to treat high blood pressure (like propranolol) may cause hair loss.
Hair loss from medication is not uncommon. If you are concerned about this and would like to investigate treatment options so you can have healthy hair, Hims offers online consultations that make it easy to speak with a healthcare provider.