Last Monday (13) was a happy day for people struggling with hair loss in the United States. That’s because the country approved the first systematic treatment for alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
Thus, treatment is done with baricitinib, also known as Olumiant, trade name. The hair loss remedy is safe for adult patients with severe alopecia areata. The treatment targets the entire body, such as the eyebrows, eyelashes and armpits, rather than a specific location.
According to the FDA, the US health regulatory agency, the efficacy and safety of baricitinib has already been studied in several studies. In this way, one study even proved that with 36 weeks of treatment, at least 80% of scalp coverage in patients returns.
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. hairy.
However, only 5% of patients (out of a total of 189) who received placebo, that is, 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 Division of Dermatology and Dentistry.
Loss of hair
Alopecia areata is one of the factors that causes hair loss. As such, it is estimated that more than 300,000 people suffer from the condition in the United States each year.
In the United States, the drug was already approved for use in 2018. However, it was for adult patients in the treatment of moderately and severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Also, in the US, 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 for the treatment of Covid-19 in the Unified Health System.
Alopecia became a topic after the 2022 Oscars ceremony in the United States. That’s because, one of the guests, Jada Pinkett Smith, suffers from the condition and became the butt of comedian Chris Rock because of it.
So, upon hearing the comment comparing his wife to the protagonist of “The Edge of Honor” (1997), a film in which Demi Moore shaved her hair, Will Smith, a nominee of the night, got up, went to the stage and gave a slap to Rock’s face.
As he returned to his seat in the audience, he shouted “keep my wife’s name out of your mouth” amid profanity, shocking everyone present as well as viewers.
With this, several people 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 the body itself). It affects about 2% of the world population at different levels. For example, the person may have small flaws in the scalp or beard, circular lesions or even the complete absence of hair throughout the body.
The condition is not contagious and does not present health risks, in addition to hair loss itself. According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD), cases of total hair loss on the body as a result of alopecia are a minority, representing only 5%.
Now, with the approval of baricitinib as a hair loss treatment, people suffering from alopecia have a new alternative.