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May 22, 1995

Amiodarone and Reversible Alopecia

Author Affiliations

Fairmont, WVa

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(10):1106. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430100144018

In December 1985, amiodarone was approved in the United States for treatment of life-threatening arrhythmias, to be used only when other drugs were ineffective. The fortunes of amiodarone have oscillated more than any other drug. Introduced some 20 years ago in the United Kingdom as an antianginal agent, amiodarone has its second coming as an antiarrhythmic agent and for the treatment of congestive heart failure.1

Amiodarone causes a variety of pulmonary, thyroid, neurologic, ocular, hepatic, and dermatologic side effects.2 Recently, cases of amiodarone-induced alopecia have been reported in the literature,3 and I came across such an adverse drug reaction last year in my practice.

Report of a Case.  In addition to enalapril, lavastatin, and furosemide, amiodarone (400 mg/d) was included in the treatment regimen of a 53-year-old man for control of congestive heart failure with ventricular arrhythmias. In 1993, he had undergone implantation with an automatic implantable