Ruxolitinib Hair

Though it is a cancer medication, Ruxolitinib for hair growth is gaining attention in medical research. Hair loss can be a frustrating experience for anyone, particularly when you have attempted to prevent hair loss or identify treatments to reverse the loss. Sometimes, hair loss cannot be prevented, such as in the case of alopecia areata or the effects of genetic pattern baldness. There are a wide range of treatments available for hair loss, many of which have limited effectiveness or require invasive methods to accomplish.

Many people want to find an effective, non-invasive treatment to reverse hair loss in order to regain self-confidence and return to their previous lifestyles. Whether hair loss is the result of ordinary pattern baldness or an autoimmune condition, finding an effective treatment can make a significant difference in the emotional impact of hair loss on individuals.

Though Ruxolitinib is a medication that was not designed to be a treatment for hair loss, it is showing promising results in early studies. Researchers hope that continued research will result in the ability to prescribe the medication as a treatment for alopecia areata as well as other causes of hair loss.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss can be the result of a number of factors. In addition, the factors that contribute to hair loss can impact hair multiple ways to result in loss. There are two types of hair loss that can occur. One is due to breakage of the hair shaft while the other is due to a decrease in hair growth. Most often, hair loss that results in the visible appearance of thinning or baldness is due to a decrease in hair growth.

Hair loss that comes with age, which is due to a decrease in hair growth, is common in both men and women but occurs more frequently in men. This type of hair loss is typically referred to as pattern baldness, but the technical term for this type of hair loss is androgenic alopecia. Hair loss can also occur due to alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune condition that prevents hair from growing. It is characterized by a lack of hair on the scalp and lack of eyebrows.

There are some conditions that can contribute to hair loss. They include anemia, thyroid disease, low vitamin levels and protein deficiency. In addition, some medications or care treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation treatments, have been known to cause hair loss.

How does hair loss affect people?

Hair loss affects different people differently. While some people are not bothered by the loss of hair, others can experience a lowered self-esteem, self-consciousness about their appearances, and even feelings of depression and anxiety. Since hair loss may be a sign of other conditions, such as vitamin deficiency, the effects may be compounded with additional problematic symptoms, such as fatigue. There are no physical effects of hair loss known in medical science.

Can hair loss be prevented?

In some cases, hair loss can be prevented, such as hair loss due to vitamin or protein deficiencies. Proper hygiene, such as washing hair regularly and good nutrition can contribute to a reduced chance of hair loss. Hydration is also important to hair health. Within this context, hair loss is a sign of other problems. When those problems are addressed appropriately, the hair loss stops and the hair can typically grow on its own.

In other cases, such as in chemotherapy treatments or genetic causes, hair loss cannot be prevented, even with proper hygiene and nutrition.

Can hair loss be treated?

In some cases, treatment is not needed to reverse hair growth. In the event that the hair loss is due to poor nutrition or improper hygiene, simple lifestyle changes can result in hair regrowth. However, even in these cases, hair loss may not reverse on its own, requiring treatment to promote hair growth.

If needed, and depending on the cause, there are a number of treatments that can be applied to slow or reverse hair loss. There are treatments available both over-the-counter and by prescription from a dermatologist. Many people begin with over-the-counter treatments and move to prescription strength treatments if they are not successful.

Many over-the-counter medications are ointments or creams applied directly to the scalp. They are designed to stimulate hair growth as well as prevent existing hairs from thinning. Many prescription medications are in pill form and taken orally. Like ointments, these medications are designed to stimulate hair growth and prevent thinning of the hairs still remaining on the body.

Procedures are also available to reverse hair loss. These procedures, which are completed under physician supervision, include scalp reduction or expansion, scalp flaps or hair transplantation. The specific procedure selected depends on the cause of hair loss and the needs of the patient.

What is Ruxolitinib?

Ruxolitinib is a medication in pill form that was originally developed to treat cancer. The medication is not new and is being used primarily to treat myelofibrosis, which is an uncommon bone cancer. Though it is primarily found in pill form, taken orally, Ruxolitinib has also been formulated as a cream by a research team at Yale University for the purpose of studying its effects on treating hair loss.

Why is Ruxolitinib for hair growth gaining attention?

Though Ruxolitinib is a cancer treatment, research, such as a study at the Columbia University Medical Center, have led to promising results in the use of the medication to reverse hair loss in alopecia areata patients. According to the study, of those who achieved hair regrowth, more than 75% got almost all of their hair back. In addition to pill form, a Yale study used a cream made from Ruxolitinib to achieve hair regrowth, which also yielded promising results. It is due to the promising study results that Ruxolitinib is drawing attention in regard to hair loss, even though it was designed to be used as a cancer treatment.

It should be noted that the studies that have been done have tested the medication’s effectiveness in treating alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune condition. The research on the use of Ruxolitinib to reverse hair loss has not included common pattern baldness, which is referred to as androgenic alopecia. However, due to the promising results of studies on alopecia areata, researchers are optimistic about the broader application of Ruxolitinib in reversing hair loss, which would include pattern baldness.

Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of the use of Ruxolitinib for alopecia areata as well as other forms of hair loss. At this time, the use of Ruxolitinib for hair loss is experimental.

How does Ruxolitinib work?

Ruxolitinib is a Janus kinase inhibitor, which prevents Janus kinase enzymes affecting other cells when the enzyme is released by inflamed cells. It is this function that makes it an effective cancer treatment, and it is for this reason it had applications in reversing hair loss in alopecia areata patients. Because of the way the medication works, it is not a cure for alopecia areata, but it is an effective treatment for patients.

What are the side effects of Ruxolitinib?

The side effects of Ruxolitinib exclusive to alopecia areata treatment are currently unknown because research is still underway. However, there are potential side effects associated with the general use of the medication. These side effects include:

  • weight gain
  • elevated cholesterol levels
  • irritation of the heart
  • irritation of the liver
  • increased chance of bruising and bleeding due to lower blood counts
  • blood in urine or stool
  • bladder pain
  • black, tarry stool

As with other medications, the specific side effects experienced are dependent upon the individual patient and the way the medication impacts that patient’s system. Along with these side effects, patients may be at risk for allergic reactions to the medication. Symptoms of allergic reaction include:

  • skin rash
  • fever
  • swelling
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • dizziness

Patients experiencing allergic reaction symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

Though Ruxolitinib is still primarily a medication used to treat cancer, early research is highlighting the potential benefit of the medication in combatting hair loss, particularly for people who have been diagnosed with alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune illness. Further research is needed before the medication is applied more broadly for patients, but researchers are optimistic about eradicating hair loss in the future thanks to Ruxolitinib.