Last Monday (13) was a happy day for people struggling with hair loss in the United States. This is because the country has approved the first systematic treatment for alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
Therefore, treatment is with baricitinib, also known as Olumiant, the trade name. The hair loss remedy is safe for adult patients with severe alopecia areata. The treatment is aimed at the whole body, such as the eyebrows, eyelashes and armpits, and not at a specific location.
According to the FDA, the US health regulatory agency, the efficacy and safety of baricitinib have already been studied in several studies. In this way, one study even proved that patients return at least 80% of their scalp coverage after 36 weeks of treatment.
In addition, another survey showed that 22% of patients (out of 184) who received 2 milligrams of Olumiant and another 35% (out of 281) who received 4 milligrams of the drug achieved adequate scalp coverage.
However, only 5% of patients (out of a total of 189) who received placebo or inert substances had the same result. “Access to safe and effective treatment options is critical for a significant number of Americans affected by severe alopecia,” said Kendall Marcus, director of the FDA’s Department of Dermatology and Dentistry.
Alopecia areata is one of the factors that causes hair loss. Therefore, it is estimated that more than 300,000 people suffer from this condition in the United States each year.
In the United States, the drug has already been approved for use in 2018. However, it was for adult patients in the treatment of moderate and severe rheumatoid arthritis. Also, in the U.S., Olumiant is approved for the treatment of Covid-19 in some hospitalized adults.
In the case of Brazil, baricitinib is also registered for the treatment of moderate and severe active rheumatoid arthritis and moderate and severe atopic dermatitis. Earlier this year, the drug received approval as the first drug to treat Covid-19 in the Unified Health System.
Alopecia became a topic after the 2022 Oscars in the United States. This is because one of the guests, Jada Pinkett Smith, suffers from this condition and because of that she became the ass of comedian Chris Rock.
So, after hearing a comment comparing his wife to the protagonist of The Edge of Honor (1997), in which Demi Moore shaved her hair, Will Smith, the nominee for the evening, got up, went on stage and hit her. Rock’s face.
Returning to his place in the audience, he shouted “don’t say my wife’s name” with swear words, shocking everyone present, but also the spectators.
In addition, several people have talked about hair loss caused by alopecia, which can be caused by genetic influences, local inflammatory processes or systemic diseases.
One of the most common types of alopecia is areata, which is an autoimmune disease (when cells attack only the body). It affects about 2% of the world’s population at various levels. For example, a person may have small defects on the scalp or chin, circular lesions or even complete absence of hair all over the body.
The condition is not contagious and does not pose a danger to health, except for hair loss itself. According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD), cases of complete loss of body hair as a result of alopecia are a minority, making up only 5%.
Now, with the approval of baricitinib as a treatment for hair loss, people suffering from alopecia have a new alternative.