The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a COVID drug for the treatment of severe Alopecia.
Olumiant (Baricitinib) is an oral pill used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and COVID-19. Baricitinib, made by Eli Lilly and Company, is the first drug to be approved for the treatment of alopecia in the United States.
Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss as the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles as foreign invaders.
The condition made headlines after former A-list actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars for joking about actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s balding hair.
Jada spoke out about her alopecia for the first time in 2018. But some skeptics suspect she is not being truthful about her diagnosis.
300,000 people in the US suffer from alopecia that causes temporary or permanent hair loss.
On Monday, the FDA announced bricitinib was approved for alopecia. Eli Lilly applied for FDA approval in January.
The drug is available in 2mg or 4mg doses.
The FDA approval was based on the results of 2 clinical trials involving 1,200 adults with severe alopecia.
After 36 weeks, the group that took 4 mg daily grew back 80 percent of their scalp hair, according to the research results. Those who took 2 mg grew back 40% of their scalp hair.
“Access to safe and effective treatment options is crucial for the significant number of Americans affected by severe alopecia,” said Kendall Marcus, MD, in a press release.
Baricitinib also acts as an anti-inflammatory drug for patients diagnosed with COVID-19.