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Tofacitinib Study Shows Regrowth for Alopecia Universalis Patient


To be blunt, the term no person wants to hear when visiting a hair loss specialist for a diagnosis of their condition is “Alopecia Universalis” because up until relatively recently the chances of reversing the baldness were very small.

Over the past few years, however, medical teams around the world have been experimenting with a new suite of drugs named JAK inhibitors, which were originally developed to treat a variety of diseases from bone cancer to rheumatoid arthritis. As with many drugs, these have shown promise at treating certain other ailments – including the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata and its variants.

Successes in the US

Alongside recent successes in the US, scientists in Brazil are now heralding JAK inhibitors as a potential future Alopecia cure following the treatment of two people who had been totally bald since first being diagnosed with Alopecia Universalis – which leads to total hair loss on the head and body – a decade ago.

The team, at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, used the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib, which is usually used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, on their two patients for two months, after all previous efforts to grow back their patients’ hair using other drugs had failed. According to livescience.com, the medical team followed the patients for nine months after treatment to see if there were any adverse side effects. Nothing serious was reported. Continues below.


Though not all of the patients’ hair grew back – as the photographs above clearly show – there is little doubt that the study can be hailed as a success, especially given the length of time the patients had been without hair.

The researchers are now calling for a full study into the use of tofacitinib as a possible treatment for Alopecia Universalis. Other studies show the drug to be effective on people with Alopecia Areata, too, and there has even been a suggestion that JAK inhibitors may hold the keys to new treatments for the genetic hair loss conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

Question mark over safety

The big question mark, however, centres around the long-term safety of these drugs. Known side-effects include an increased risk of serious infections as well as tears in the stomach and intestines. It has been suggested that while such side-effects may be deemed acceptable for drugs designed to treat serious ailments, they may never get government clearance to be used to treat hair loss, which many people view as a cosmetic condition.

The next few years could certainly see the hair loss battlefield changing dramatically, but it would be incorrect to think that experts’ hands are currently tied. Clinically-proven genetic hair loss treatments are already available and readily in use by both men and women. Whilst Belgravia has also had many hair growth successes with clients using its bespoke Alopecia Areata treatment courses.

A specialist hair loss clinic is the best place to start, where a professional diagnosis is usually followed by a full explanation of everything currently available that can help people with their hair loss condition.

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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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