Tofacitinib (Xeljanz) for Alopecia Areata: How fast does hair re-growth occur?

Speed of Regrowth in AA

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. A number of treatments are available and these have been reviewed in previous articles. Among the newer options are the so called JAK inhibitors which includes tofacitinib (Xeljanz) and ruxolitinib (Jakafi/Jakavi). While not FDA approved yet for treating alopecia, they are increasing used off-label.  

I'm often asked how quickly regrowth can occur in alopecia areata patients treated with tofacitinib. The answer is that regrowth rates are variable but patients who respond well show regrowth by the first month and have significant regrowth by month 3. Patients who are not showing these types of regrowth patterns may be non-responders or may need higher doses.  If significant regrowth is not present by month 3, I may discuss the option to increase from 5 mg twice daily (i.e. 10 mg daily) to 15 mg or 20 mg daily.  The decision on whether to increase the dose depends on a number of factors including whether the patient has experienced any side effects to date. 



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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