International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 193-197

A comment on JAK inhibitors for treatment of alopecia areata

1 Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb, Zurich-Wallisellen, Switzerland
2 Department of Dermatology of the Fluminense Federal University, Antonio Pedro University Hospital, Niteroi, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Ralph Michel Trueb
Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb, Bahnhofplatz 1A, CH-8304 Zurich-Wallisellen
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_62_18

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A meta-analysis of published trials on the treatment of alopecia areata (AA) came to the conclusion that most have been reported poorly and so small that any important clinical benefits are inconclusive, and considering the possibility of spontaneous remission, especially for those in the early stages of the disease, the options of not being treated or depending on individual preference, and of wearing a wig may be alternative ways of dealing with the condition. And yet, from clinical practice, we know that depending on patient age, surface area, disease duration, and comorbidities an empiric treatment algorithm can be designed that is successful in a significant proportion of patients. More recently, it has been suggested that Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors may represent the drug of choice for AA, based on robust scientific background and preliminary clinical study results. The fact is that a sophisticated treatment of AA cannot be reduced to one drug, while in many patients, depending on disease duration and surface area, either intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy, intralesional triamcinolone acetonide or subcutaneous methotrexate will achieve remission rates in the range of the efficacy of the JAK inhibitors. Moreover, at this time point, affordability of the JAK inhibitors for long-term treatment, sustainability of treatment result, and long-term safety are major issues with regard to the treatment of AA with JAK inhibitors.

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