Alopecia: A US-approved hair loss medication

Updated: 15.06.2022 – 16:19

Originally Corona Medicine
A promising anti-hair loss drug approved in the USA

Our hair falls out every day.  In some cases, however, hair loss can become pathological.  A new drug in the US promises to remedy.

Photo: Getty Images / Doucefleur

Our hair falls out every day. In some cases, however, hair loss can become pathological. A new drug in the US promises to remedy.

A drug for severe hair loss, alopecia, has now been approved in the United States. In the pivotal study, up to 80 percent of hair grew.

Hair loss – especially during mass outbreaks – is a huge burden for men, but also for many women during or after menopause. If 100 or more hairs fall out every day, it is called pathological hair loss, alopecia. The newly approved drug in the USA now gives hope to those affected. So far, it has been used to treat arthritis and Covid-19.

New anti-hair loss drug approved in the USA

Patients with hair loss may be helped soon. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a cure for severe cases of alopecia. Baricitinib approval “will help meet the significant unmet need for patients with severe alopecia areata,” said FDA Director Kendall Marcus.

Baricitinib regulates inflammatory reactions and is currently available to treat patients with arthritis and corona in hospitals. This drug has been studied for approval in 1,200 people with severe alopecia.

The approval of the drug is based on the results of two clinical studies involving a total of 1,200 adults with severe alopecia. Of those who received a daily dose of four milligrams of the drug, 40 percent of hair on their heads grew to 80 percent.

Like most drugs, this currently approved drug is not without side effects – the most common in clinical trials were upper respiratory tract infections, headaches, acne, high cholesterol and elevations in an enzyme called creatine phosphokinase. There are other therapies for severe hair loss, but they are considered experimental and are not approved in the United States. According to the FDA, baricitinib is the first drug to act in alopecia throughout the body and not only locally. Whether and when it will be approved in Europe is still open.

Severe hair loss is an autoimmune disease

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes excessive hair loss. In the United States alone, more than 300,000 people are affected each year. Family history is common.

The disease was last in the spotlight due to the case of American actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Pinkett’s husband, Will Smith, slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars for joking about his wife’s baldness.



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