Calcium channel blockers have received significant attention regarding their potential to impact COVID. Several studies suggested that use of calcium channel blockers (CCBs), especially amlodipine and nifedipine, can reduce mortality from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A 2021 meta-analysis suggested that the benefits were mainly in those with hypertension.
I was interested in a new study addressing whether use of calcium channel blockers affect long COVID symptom, especially hair loss.
Authors from Japan performed a mutlicenter cohort study,examining patients ≥18 years old diagnosed with COVID-19 from November 2020 to March 2022 and hospitalized at participating medical facilities. The study included 1066 patients (361 female, 620 male). Hypertension was the most common comorbidity (n = 344; 32.5%).
Interestingly, females with hypertension were significantly less likely to develop long COVID symptoms than those without hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.27-0.98; p = 0.043). In females, calcium channel blocker administration, rather than having hypertension, was associated with a 7 fold reduction in the frequency of hair loss (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.03-0.67, p = 0.015).
Other long COVID symptoms were also reduced by calcium channel blockers including a 7 fold reduction in memory impairment (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.02-0.82, p = 0.029), a 6 fold reduction in sleeping disorders (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.04-0.67, p = 0.012), a 4 fold reduction in tinnitus (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.05-0.98, p = 0.047), a 3 fold reduction in sputum (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.10-0.92, p = 0.035), and 3 fold reduction in fever (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.12-0.93, p = 0.036).
This is an interesting study which again highlights potential benefits of calcium channel blockers in the treatment of COVID 19 related health issues. More studies are needed to understand how calcium channel blockers affect hair related issues caused by the virus.