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Causes of hair loss

Dear expert team,

Since an exacerbation at the end of March 2012, which was probably caused by ABPA, I (25, female, CF) have to take several additional drugs. Around May 2012 I noticed that I am losing decidedly more hair than earlier. I initially blamed the itraconazole I had started taking, since hair loss is one of the side effects mentioned in the package insert; however, I have stopped taking itraconazole more than six weeks ago and the hair loss has not gotten better.

I am therefore wondering whether another one of the new drugs could be the cause of the hair loss: cortisone p.o., Singulair® (Montelukast sodium), Spiriva® (tiotropium bromide), Viani® (fluticasone/ salmeterol) (earlier: Viani mite®). What else could be the cause, or can itraconazole have such a long-lasting effect?

I have tried iron tablets and other home remedies from the pharmacy, which have not helped, of course. It is not yet so bad that one sees it much, but I would like to avoid that in advance.

Many thanks for your help.
Dear questioner,

Hair loss is indeed a rather common problem with several possible causes. Drugs can certainly play a role, but so can vitamin deficiency, chronic infections in general (which you do have with your CF), etc. I therefore think it is very important that you talk to your CF team about this, who will send you to your general practitioner if necessary.

Kind regards,
Dr. med. Markus Hofer
Adult CF clinic
Zurich University Hospital