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Ruxolitinib Cream Shows Promising Alopecia Areata Regrowth

Researchers in America report that they have treated a woman with the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata using a cream based on the JAK-inhibitor ruxolitinib. They say treatment was so successful that they have fully reversed her hair loss.

In what sounds like a truly remarkable transformation, the doctors at Yale School of Medicine say that the woman – who had no scalp or eyebrow hair for some years before the treatment – now enjoys “a full mane of hair” after using their novel cream.

Multiple hair loss treatments

After 12 weeks of treatment at Yale, the patient had complete restoration of eyebrow hair. Yale Doctors Used Topical Ruxolitinib Cream to Regrow Hair and Eyebrows on Patient (Photos by Dr. Brett King)

Yale Doctors Used Topical Ruxolitinib Cream to Regrow Hair and Eyebrows in 12 Weeks (Photos by Dr. Brett King)

According to the doctors’ report, their 17-year-old patient had previously tried multiple treatments with no success, but responded very well to the new cream that uses the cancer drug ruxolitinib (brand name: Jakafi) in a topical form.

More commonly, the drug is taken as a pill and belongs to a class of medications known as Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors which alter the immune system. As researchers at Columbia University put it after an earlier study on mice: “JAK inhibition regulates the activation of key hair follicle populations such as the hair germ.”

Ruxolitinib (Brand Name: Jakafi)It wasn’t the first time that Dr Brett King, assistant professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine, had enjoyed success with a drug of this type: in 2014 King was able to restore hair on a male patient who had a more extreme form of alopecia called Alopecia Universalis. This condition, which manifests itself in hair loss over the entire scalp and body, was treated orally with the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib.

Indeed the team’s most recent patient might more accurately be described as Alopecia Totalis if, as reported and pictured, her eyebrows were missing.

According to Yale’s website, for the new study “the patient applied the cream twice a day to the scalp and eyebrows. After 12 weeks, she had complete restoration of eyebrows and partial regrowth of her scalp. After switching from the cream to a pill form to continue her treatment, the patient now has a full head of hair.

Concern about side effects

The attraction of using a cream instead of a pill cannot be overstated given the possible health risks that have been associated with taking certain JAK inhibitors in pill form. Tofacitinib citrate for example, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis in adults in 2012 but concerns about possible side effects linger, especially in Europe.

Years of clinical trials are likely to stand between Yale’s findings and the world’s pharmacies, and Belgravia will be monitoring the progress of JAK inhibitors as possible future treatments for Alopecia Areata with interest.

At present, we see many instances of encouraging regrowth in Belgravia clients with patchy hair loss from Alopecia Areata who follow bespoke treatment courses based around topically-applied high strength minoxidil. This should only be applied to the scalp though and should never be used on the eyebrows or anywhere else.

As yet, although there is no truly effective regrowth solution available in terms of a treatment for Alopecia Totalis or Universalis, thanks to this type of research, scientists are hopefully getting closer.

Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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29th April, 2016 at 9:06 pm


Hello From where can I get this cream I have alopecia

5th May, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Sahel, One of our senior hair loss specialists has answered your query, however, the short response is that this cream is not yet available as it is still undergoing clinical trials.

5th June, 2016 at 12:42 am

Willie webster

Where can I find topical. Ruxolitinib

6th June, 2016 at 10:35 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Willie, this is not yet available as it is still being tested in closed clinical trials. If it does pass the rigorous testing required to be made widely available we will publish the information on our hair loss blog so do keep an eye out.

1st July, 2016 at 3:47 pm


What about melasma?what is the effective medicine regardless of price

5th July, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Sir, I'm afraid we do not treat melasma so cannot advise you. You will need to speak to your doctor about this.

9th August, 2016 at 4:17 pm


when will the cream be avaiable...how much will it cost???

9th August, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Hasan, as per my previous response, there is no date set, it all depends on what happens with the clinical trials. Until there is a product approved and ready to go to market, cost information will not become available either.

28th August, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Numan Koyugölge

Dear Madam/Sir, I read the interesting article about alopecia areata patient, who was treated first with topical ruxolitinib and grows her eyebrows back. My question is, how can we get topical form of ruxolitinib? Can i buy or be treated with topical jakavi, as the female patient was treated with? Yours sincerely Numan Koyugölge

30th August, 2016 at 9:48 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Numan, No - ruxolitinib is a prescription medication that is not available to purchase for hair loss yet. It is still in the testing phase and has not yet passed the necessary safety and efficacy tests required to confirm that it is ready to be released to the public for this purpose. Clinical trials are still on-going and they are not recruiting new volunteers. The earliest this drug is likely to be available, should it pass these tests, is 2020.

18th October, 2016 at 12:32 pm


Can you please let me know that by when is this product going to be available on market both the cream as well as tablets? And can you even make sure is this the permanent solution for this alopecia?

18th October, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Vamshi. This information will not be released until further clinical trials are concluded. As soon as any further information becomes available we will post in on the Belgravia blog so do check back for more news.

23rd October, 2016 at 12:31 am


Hi - can I purchase online or travel to approved country that has cream to purchase and how much will it cost.

24th October, 2016 at 10:21 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Linda, this medication is not currently available as it is still only in the early stages of clinical trials. No information about cost and availability will be available until much later in the research process.

3rd November, 2016 at 1:25 pm


Hi, how long has a guess, would it actually be until this product is released worldwide for purchase

4th November, 2016 at 5:41 am


Hi, I am a chronic patient of Alopecia Areata since last 14 years and have tried steroid treatments several times only to discover that it returns after treatment is stopped. I am based out of India and have lost more than 50% of my hair. I wanted to understand how I can try the new treatment available with you. Will I have to visit the centre or I can enroll from India. Also if you can provide a price estimate it will be helpful. In the cases you have seen so far, does the hair fall back after the application of cream is stopped. Regards, Radhika

4th November, 2016 at 10:05 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Michael, it would be a prescription drug and there are no true estimates available however we are hopeful it would be around 2020.

4th November, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Radhika, unfortunately we cannot treat patients based in India and the clinical trials - which we are reporting on but not involved with - are taking place in America. We recommend you speak to a local specialist who should be able to help you. Very best of luck.

12th December, 2016 at 5:23 am


Any updates on the status of the cream?

12th December, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Jay, no, it is still in very early clinical trials. As soon as there is an update we will post it on our blog.

19th March, 2017 at 12:25 pm

George Whitfield

Does the clinical trials work with African Americans. I am 50 and dealing with this, I will try anything.

20th March, 2017 at 11:15 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi George, we understand that people of all races are currently being tested so once the trials are complete, we should have an answer for you.

26th April, 2017 at 1:20 pm


Hi does it help for dhs different type of balding has it been tested for it or is it just for alespsia ?

26th April, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Den, this medication is still in clinical trials. It is being tested for alopecia areata conditions but is thought to be being developed for male and female pattern hair loss too, though no clinical trial data is available on those trials just yet and it is not known if they have even started yet.

20th August, 2017 at 3:49 am

Dr Dharmendra Dave

Hi ! I m a dermatologist, would be interested in knowing how to formulate cream from Tofacitinib tablets. Regards and thanks.

21st August, 2017 at 11:06 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Dr Dave, this is not something we can help you with, unfortunately.

5th December, 2017 at 10:11 am


bonjour,je voudrais savoir si le nouveau traitement peut etre utilisé par

5th December, 2017 at 11:06 am

Sarah Belgravia

Bonjour Elmosta, maintenant la date de sortie estimée est 2020/2021 mais c'est pas possible a confirmer le date exactement. On peut trouver plus d'information ici

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