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FDA Approves World’s 1st Treatment For Alopecia

The FDA approved the nation’s first drug-fighting severe hair loss with the approval of Eli Lilly and Incyte’s systemic, daily pill June 13. The Janus kinase inhibitor, Olumiant, blocks specific enzymes from attacking hair follicles in alopecia patients, according to the FDA.

Alopecia is the medical term for bald. Areata means patchy. This patchy baldness can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp, beard area, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, inside your nose, or ears. Alopecia totalis: The person loses all hair on the scalp, so the scalp is completely bald. The autoimmune disorder severely affects more than 300,000 Americans each year. Approximately 6.8 million people in the United States and 147 million worldwide have or will develop alopecia areata at some point in their lives.

In a phase 3 trial, about a fifth (17 percent to 22 percent) of 1,200 alopecia patients with more than 50 percent of hair loss grew up to 80 percent of coverage 36 weeks after taking Olumiant, according to a press release.

The FDA said Olumiant should not be used with other JAK inhibitors, and common side effects include headaches, acne, and upper respiratory tract infections.

You may find useful information on Does Spironolactone Cause Hair Loss?


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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