Alopecia: US approved hair loss drug

Updated: 06/15/2022 – 16:19

Originally Corona medicine
Promising hair loss drug approved in the USA

Photo: Getty Images / Doucefleur

We lose our hair every day. However, in some cases, hair loss can become pathological. A new drug in the US promises a remedy.

A drug for severe hair loss, alopecia, has now been approved in the United States. In the pivotal study, up to 80% of the hair grew back.

Hair loss, especially when it occurs massively, is a huge burden for men, but also for many women during or after menopause. If 100 or more hairs fall out every day, it is called pathological hair loss, alopecia. A drug recently approved in the United States is now giving hope to those affected. So far, it has been used to treat arthritis and Covid-19.

New hair loss drug approved in the United States

Patients with hair loss may soon be helped. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug for severe cases of alopecia. Approval of the drug baricitinib “will help meet a significant unmet need for patients with severe alopecia areata,” said FDA director Kendall Marcus.

Baricitinib regulates inflammatory reactions and is currently available for the treatment of arthritis and corona patients in hospital. The drug was being studied for approval in 1,200 people with severe alopecia.

The drug’s approval is based on the results of two clinical trials involving a total of 1,200 adults with severe alopecia. Of those who received a four-milligram daily dose of the drug, 40 percent of the scalp hair grew to as much as 80 percent.

Like most drugs, this now-approved drug is not free from side effects – the most common in clinical trials included upper respiratory tract infections, headaches, acne, high cholesterol, and an increase in an enzyme called creatine phosphokinase. There are other therapies for severe hair loss, but they are considered experimental and not approved in the United States. According to the FDA, baricitinib is the first drug to work in alopecia throughout the body and not just locally. If and when it is approved in Europe it is currently still open.

Severe hair loss is an autoimmune disease

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes excessive hair loss. In the United States alone, more than 300,000 people are affected each year. There is often a family history.

The disease was the latest in focus due to the case of the American actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Pinkett’s husband Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars for making a joke about his wife’s balding.



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