For some patients with severe alopecia areata, a low dose of the Janus kinase 1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib can achieve complete or near-complete hair regrowth, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The study included 8 patients with severe alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, or alopecia universalis who were followed for 5 to 31 months (mean=13.9, SD=8.5) while receiving low-dose ruxolitinib monotherapy (10-25 mg twice a day). At baseline, the mean alopecia episode duration was 2.8 years, and 6 patients were non-responsive or not satisfied with their response to the Janus kinase 1/3 inhibitor tofacitinib.
Complete or near-complete hair regrowth occurred in 5 patients, with a 98% improvement in the Severity of Alopecia Tool score. Of these responders, 4 responded with the lowest dose of ruxolitinib at 10 mg twice a day. Hair regrowth did not occur in the remaining 3 patients. Overall, adverse events were mild and included upper respiratory infections, weight gain, acne, bruising, and fatigue.
Future studies need to further examine the effects of the different Janus kinase inhibitors on alopecia areata, increase sample size, and include a control group for comparison.
Overall, the study results demonstrate that complete or near-complete hair regrowth is possible with lower dosages of ruxolitinib for some patients with severe alopecia areata.
Disclosures: One author expressed a potential conflict of interest with numerous pharmaceutical companies. See source article for more information.
Liu LY, King BA. Ruxolitinib for the treatment of severe alopecia areata [published online September 6, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.08.040