US FDA approves first oral tablet called baricitinib for treatment of alopecia

In a first, the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved an oral tablet called baricitinib for the treatment of alopecia.

Alopecia, which is an autoimmune disease affecting more than 300,000 people in the United States each year, which leads to emotional distress and causes temporary or permanent patchy hair loss that can affect any site of the body bearing hair.

Some famous personalities who have been diagnosed with alopecia include Hollywood actress Jada Pinkett Smith and MP Ayanna Pressley.

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After approval, FDA official Kendall Marcus in a statement, “Access to safe and effective treatment options is critical for the significant number of Americans affected by severe alopecia.”

“Today’s approval will help address a significant unmet need for patients with severe alopecia.”

Known by the trade name Olumiant, baricitinib belongs to a class of drugs called Janus kinase inhibitors and is manufactured by the American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

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The oral tablet, which works by interfering with the cellular pathway that leads to inflammation, has been approved for use in alopecia based on the results of two randomized clinical trials involving a total of 1,200 adults.

During the clinical trial, participants were divided into three groups and almost 40% of those on the highest dose grew back 80% of their hair after 36 weeks.

Not only that, but around 45% of people in the highest dose group also saw significant eyebrow and eyelash regrowth.

Baricitinib, which was approved for the treatment of hospitalized Covid patients during the pandemic, is also used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 6:07am on Friday June 24th, 2022