Good news! According to Medical News Today, a new medicine by Lilly got approved by the FDA for people suffering from severe alopecia areata. Check out the rest of this blog to know more about it.
"People with alopecia areata, dermatologists and other healthcare providers have been looking forward to this day when there is an FDA-approved systemic medicine for this often-devastating disease. Alopecia areata causes unpredictable hair loss that can be patchy or complete, and it affects people of all ages and ethnicities."- Brett King, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.D., associate professor of dermatology and lead investigator of the BRAVE-AA program
There are approximately 6.8 million people in the United States who suffer from alopecia areata and 147 million worldwide. Alopecia can happen to anyone, both male and female. However, those who are affected most often are African Americans under the age of 30 and less common to Asians. About 40% of women suffer from hair loss. We have written a blog post about it here.
About Olumiant and how to use it?
Olumiant is a tablet that can be taken as daily medication. It is discovered by Incyte, a global pharmaceutical company based on Wilmington, Delaware and is licensed to Lilly. It contains the active substance baricitinib which belongs to a group of medicines called Janus kinase inhibitors, which help to reduce inflammation. The Olumiant is also used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
What does the Olumiant do?
According to the US Food and Drug Administration the oral tablets are for those with moderate to severe alopecia areata. It is a “systemic treatment” that means rather than treating a specific location in the body, it will treat the entire body instead. Since alopecia is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own hair follicles, what the Olumiant does is it will block the activity of one or a family of specific enzymes, interfering with the pathway that will lead to inflammation.
The most common side effects associated with Olumiant include:
Upper respiratory tract infections
High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
Increase of an enzyme (also called creatinine phosphokinase)
Urinary tract infection
Liver enzyme elevations
Inflammation of hair follicles (folliculitis)
Lower respiratory tract infections
Genital yeast infections (Candida infections)
Low number of certain types of white blood cells (neutropenia)
Shingles (herpes zoster)
"I am so happy that adults with severe alopecia areata can now take OLUMIANT, a once-daily pill. The results of clinical trials are remarkable, as one in five adults taking OLUMIANT 2-mg/day and one in three taking OLUMIANT 4-mg/day achieved significant hair regrowth resulting in 80% or more scalp coverage, and eyebrow and eyelash improvements were also achieved for patients taking OLUMIANT 4-mg/day with substantial eyebrow or eyelash hair loss." - Brett King, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.D
How long has it been tested?
Originally, Olumiant was approved in 2018. It was used as a treatment for certain adult patients with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis. It was also approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in certain hospitalized adults. Eli Lilly and Company received FDA approval for Olumiant.
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