There are several prescription medications that cause hair loss, but it seems as if the doctors never disclose the information until after the side effects are prominent. When we first start to notice hair loss the best thing to do is to immediately address the issue. The first thing that we should do is talk with a doctor and let them know about the problem because one of the first signs that something is going on in our bodies is hair loss. If you are taking medications it is wise to read the side effects that is always attached to the prescription bag. Below we are discussing Coumadin and Rythmol which are blood thinners. They both can cause alopecia (hair loss).
Coumadin, or warfarin, is a drug used to treat blood clots. Coumadin can be a life-saving medication for people who have blood clots near their lungs or heart, but taking the medication may lead to unpleasant side effects. Side effects can include flu-like symptoms, itching, chest pain, yellowing of the eyes or skin, numbness, prickling, or burning of the skin, fever, skin ulcers and purple spots developing on the skin, which may signal necrosis, or death of skin in that area. Hair loss is also possible when taking Coumadin.
Talk to your doctor to determine if hair loss could be the result of an illness. Autoimmune diseases, diabetes and poor nutrition can all cause hair loss.
Take 30 mg of Coenzyme Q10 daily. While this treatment has not been studied extensively, Dr. Stephan Moll, director of the Thrombophilia Program at the Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, states that it shows promise in treating hair loss related to Coumadin therapy. (http://www.livestrong.com/article/273648-how-to-prevent-hair-loss-when-taking-coumadin/)
Rythmol (propafenone) is a class Ic anti-arrhythmic medication used to treat illnesses associated with rapid heartbeats such as atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. The most common side effects reported with Rythmol include constipation, dizziness, heartbeat abnormalities, nausea, unusual taste in the mouth, and vomiting. Another reported side effect of Rythmol includes alopecia (hair loss). Coumadin (warfarin sodium) is used to help prevent and treat blood clots in the legs, lungs, and those clots associated with heart-valve replacement or an irregular, rapid heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. The most common side effect of warfarin is hemorrhage (bleeding). Other side effects of Coumadin may include: headache, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, itching, and rash. Another infrequently reported side effect with Coumadin includes alopecia (hair loss). A search of the prescribing information for both Rythmol and Coumadin did not specifically identify reports of weight gain. These are not all the possible side effects of these medications. For a complete list, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD (http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-questions/side-effects/do-coumadin-and-rythmol-cause-hair-loss-and-or-weight-gain)
If the hair loss persists or worsens, you may wish to contact a dermatologist. Also, depending on the reason for taking warfarin, an alternative therapy may be possible. For some conditions aspirin and/or other antiplatelet medications may be appropriate and for others low molecular weight heparin, which is administered as an injection under the skin, may be appropriate.
Additional information and perspective on this issue is available on the FVL Support site and on the Warfarinfo site. Dr. Stephan Moll, who is the Director of the Thrombophilia Program at UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina, addresses this question athttp://www.fvleiden.org/ask/22.html. Mr. Al Lodwick, a pharmacist who specializes in anticoagulation management, also addresses this issue and provides some patient stories athttp://www.warfarinfo.com/hair-loss.htm. (http://www.clotcare.com/faq_warfarinhairloss.aspx)