FDA approves 1st treatment for alopecia

The FDA approved the nation's first drug fighting severe hair loss with the approval of Eli Lilly and Incyte's systemic, daily pill June 13. 

The Janus kinase inhibitor, Olumiant, blocks specific enzymes from attacking hair follicles in alopecia patients, according to the FDA. The autoimmune disorder severely affects more than 300,000 Americans each year. 

In a phase 3 trial, about a fifth (17 percent to 22 percent) of 1,200 alopecia patients with more than 50 percent of hair loss grew up to 80 percent of coverage 36 weeks after taking Olumiant, according to a press release.

The FDA said Olumiant should not be used with other JAK inhibitors, and common side effects include headaches, acne and upper respiratory tract infections.

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