The JAK Inhibitors for treating Alopecia Areata

A Week Long Look at the Most Up to Date Research

This week we took a closer look at the JAK inhibitors tofacitinib and ruxolitinib for treating alopecia areata. These drugs are not yet FDA approved for alopecia areata but are increasingly used off label. 

On Monday we looked at 5 studies that showed clear benefits for oral tofacitinib in treating alopecia areata in children (2 studies) and adults (3 studies) and one study that showed a benefit for oral ruxolitinib. About 50-70 % of patients with alopecia areata seem to benefit.

Tuesday through Friday we had examined the topical JAK inhibitor tofacitinib. Topical JAK inhibitors are also not FDA approved and not yet widely available- but preliminary studies suggest it might benefit some patients. Studies have suggested that the topical formulations do not help everyone but have a good safety profile. How exactly to compound them into a cream, lotion or vehicle is an important question for additional study.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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