As a hair condition that's yet to have a concrete cure developed, alopecia areata is a nightmare to treat at the best of times. While a plethora of alopecia pills, creams, lotions and other treatments promise to help matters; nothing's yet been proven. Let's take a look at the latest contender in the hunt for alopecia areata's cure - ruxolitinib.
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Ruxolitinib/Jakafi - The Androgenic Alopecia Cure?
With most alopecia strains stemming from the body's inability to differentiate between foreign cells and its own, the key to approaching new alopecia medicines has always been with identifying the cells that are destroying hair follicles. One of the most promising new options to be considered comes in the form of myelofibrosis treatment drug, ruxolitinib.
Ruxolitinib for alopecia, otherwise known by its brand name Jakafi in the US, has been successfully prescribed to treat myelofibrosis, cancer and other inflammatory diseases. Known as a Janus kinase inhibitor (JAK inhibitor), ruxolitinib works in a similar fashion to Xeljanz - another drug that's recently been tested in the battle against alopecia Universalis.
Ruxolitinib/Jakafi Test Results
When taken to test, Ruxolitinib's hair growing abilities have initially proven to be incredibly promising. Three male test subjects who we're battling a disappearing barnet were trialled on the hair loss pill - prescribed a twice daily dosage.
From as early as three months, one of the men had substantial regrowth with the other two following shortly after. After five months of taking the drug, all three test subjects had regrown a full head of hair - pretty impressive, eh? Considering these test subjects came from a point of having little to no hair, the results are incredibly substantial.
Ruxolitinib/Jakafi Side Effects
As with most hair loss medication, the good doesn't come without the bad. While they mightn't seem like the worst in the business, ruxolitinib comes with its fair share of side effects... and they're not pretty. Ready? Possible side effects include black stool, blood in urine/stool, bladder pain, bleeding gums and large discoloured patches on the skin... told you it wasn't pretty.
That being said, the prescription of ruxolitinib for hair loss is still very much so in its infancy - so there's a lot more research to be done. It's worth noting, while ruxolitinib is readily placed to become the main tool in the fight against alopecia - unfortunately, this doesn't necessarily mean it can be used to treat other hair loss conditions.
On That Note
There we have it! Among the new treatments for alopecia on the market, ruxolitinib and tofacitinib are among the most exciting developments in years with promising signs of full regrowth. While it may be a while before the medication goes mainstream, it'll likely be sooner rather than later - judging by the incredible results.