Starting Baricitinib Early for Severe Alopecia Areata Beneficial, Data Show

27 Apr 2023 • In the nearly 1 year since the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor baricitinib was approved for adults with severe alopecia areata (AA), mounting long-term efficacy and safety data suggest that the earlier candidates take the drug in the course of their disease, the better.

The efficacy and safety of baricitinib (Olumiant) for AA was studied in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (BRAVE-AA1 and BRAVE-AA2) with patients who had at least 50% scalp hair loss as measured by the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) for more than 6 months.

  • Patients in these trials received either a placebo, 2 mg of baricitinib, or 4 mg of baricitinib every day.
  • The primary measurement of efficacy for both trials was the proportion of patients who achieved a SALT score of 20 or less, or at least 80% scalp hair coverage at week 36.
  • The researchers found that 36%-39% of individuals in the 4-mg arm achieved a SALT score of less than 20, compared with 19%-23% of individuals in the 2 mg arm. Similar outcomes were observed for eyebrow and eyelash hair loss.
  • The most common adverse events were upper respiratory tract infections, headache, nasopharyngitis, acne, urinary tract infections, and an increase in blood creatine kinase.

"For patients with nearly complete or complete scalp hair loss, with or without substantial eyelash or eyebrow hair loss, 4 mg once daily is recommended" Dr. Raj Chovatiya said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology "Once an adequate response is achieved, it's recommended to reduce from 4 to 2 mg daily."

Source: Medscape | Read full article

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