9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alopecia areata (AA) is a relapsing, chronic, immune-mediated disease characterized by nonscarring, inflammatory hair loss that can affect any hair-bearing site. AA clinical presentation is heterogeneous. Its pathogenesis involves immune and genetic factors and several pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in AA pathogenesis, including interleukin-15 and interferon-γ, as well as Th2 cytokines, such as IL-4/IL-13, that signal through Janus kinase (JAK) pathway. AA treatment aims to stop its progression and reverse hair loss, and JAK inhibition has been shown to stop hair loss and reverse alopecia and has exhibited promising results in treating AA in clinical trials. Baricitinib, an oral, reversible, selective JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor, was shown to be superior to placebo on hair growth after 36 weeks of treatment in adults with severe AA in a phase 2 trial and recently in two phase 3 trials (BRAVE-AA1 and BRAVE-AA2). In both studies, the most common adverse events were upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infection, acne, headache, and elevated creatine kinase levels. On the basis of these trial results, baricitinib was recently approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adults with severe AA. Nevertheless, longer trials are needed to determine the long-term efficacy and safety of baricitinib in AA. Current trials are ongoing and are planned to remain randomized and blinded for up to 200 weeks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-770
Number of pages10
JournalDrugs
Volume83
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

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