Say goodbye to your wigs; latest research shows a drug used to treat arthritis can help regrow hair in people with a rare hair loss condition.
Tofacitnib citrate , a drug approved by FDA for treating rheumatoid arthritis, is highly promising for managing alopecia universalis , a medical condition leading to hair loss in the entire body, including the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes , according to a study in the online edition of Journal of Investigative Dermatology .
A 25-year-old patient, hairless for seven years, regrew eyebrows, eyelashes, facial, armpit and scalp hair within eight months of starting the treatment.
"The results are exactly what we hoped for ," senior author of the study, Brett A. King, assistant professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine, in US, said in a news release. "This is a huge step forward in the treatment of patients with this condition. While it's one case, we anticipated the successful treatment of this man based on our current understanding of the disease and the drug. We believe the same results will be duplicated in other patients, and we plan to try."
Though the man was suffering from alopecia universalis, he sought treatment from the Yale Dermatologists for treating psoriasis. Tofacitinib citrate has been known to cure psoriasis as well . The same drug also has reversed another form of alopecia in mice models. This encouraged King and colleagues to examine the effectiveness of tofacitinib citrate in treating alopecia universalis .
The patient was prescribed a 10 mg daily dose of tofacitinib. Nearly 60 days after starting the medication, the man started growing hair on his scalp and face. The man's hair growth improved considerably with another three months after a 15 mg daily dose. Interestingly, the drug was completely safe and effective.
"By eight months there was full regrowth of hair," co-author of the study Brittany G. Craiglow, said. "The patient has reported feeling no side effects, and we've seen no lab test abnormalities, either."
The drug works by turning off the immune system attack on hair follicles, induced by the disease, researchers while explaining the mechanism, said.
As effective treatment for this condition is not available the findings are highly promising according to King.
"There are no good options for long-term treatment of alopecia universalis," King, said. "The best available science suggested this might work, and it has."
Efforts to find out a permanent remedy for baldness and other hair loss problems have been made for a long time. In October last year, a team of scientists regrew new human hair from cells.