Alopecia: FDA approves Olumiant for hair loss treatment

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FDA approves Olumiant for the treatment of severe alopecia. Image credit: Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) originally approved Olumiant (baricitinib) in 2018 to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The approval of Oluminant reportedly marks the first time the FDA approved a “systemic treatment” for this form of alopecia.

Olumiant is available in tablet form and is a daily medication.

There are several forms of alopecia, including alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin disease that causes bald patches. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), the immune system attacks the hair follicles, which leads to hair falling out.

The National Organization for Rare Disorders reports that alopecia areata affects around 2.5 million Americans. While many people experience mild cases of alopecia and only have one or two bald patches, others develop more severe cases and have a significant amount of hair loss.

People can develop alopecia at any time in their lives, but the AAD indicates that most people who have it first see symptoms by the time they are 30 years old.

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTER Stay informed on skin remedies with our newsletter

Open your inbox to care tips, research, and treatment updates on skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and more. Enter your email Your privacy is important to us Alopecia treatment options While there is no cure for alopecia, there are some treatments available that can stimulate hair growth.

Corticosteroids can either be injected into the affected area or applied as a topical treatment. Doctors often prescribe topical corticosteroids to younger people with alopecia.

Another treatment is immunotherapy. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, this treatment “causes an allergic rash (allergic contact dermatitis) that looks like poison oak or ivy, which alters the immune response.”

Finally, there is another type of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. JAK inhibitors treat a variety of inflammatory diseases.

The FDA has now approvedTrusted Source another such drug, called Olumiant, traditionally used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, for the treatment of alopecia areata.

How Olumiant works CytokinesTrusted Source, which are proteins involved in cell signaling, play a role in autoimmune diseases.

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