Drug Typically Used for Arthritis Possibly Treats Vitiligo Too

A recent experiment which tested a middle-aged woman suffering from progressive vitiligo, was shown to have resulted in most of her patched skin turning back to its original color. This was all thanks to an oral drug, tofacitinib, usually meant for treating severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis.

About the drug in question for treating vitiligo

The drug in question, tofacitinib, “belongs to a family of drugs known as Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors that have been approved… by the US Food and Drug Association (FDA)” according to recent reports. This drug is typically prescribed to those who are diagnosed with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, when it comes to degenerative diseases such as vitiligo, tofacitinib has also been proven to treat alopecia, a condition which results in hair loss.

The experiment conducted for testing vitiligo

One 53-year-old woman was tested to see if her progressive vitiligo can be treated with the use of the arthritis drug, tofacitinib. The experiment was conducted by having her take 5mg of the oral drug once a day, the dosageeventually being increased by 5mg about a month later. Taking a dose of approximately 10mg of tofacitinib proved show success after two months as the woman’s white patches were showing partial repigmentation. According to researchers of the study, “After 5 months, the white patches she had been most concerned with on her face and hands were nearly all gone. Only a few white spots remained on other parts of her body”. It appears with this experiment/trial, that this discovery is definitely, and truly a breakthrough, when it comes to an autoimmune disease, such as vitiligo, finally having a potential medication to help treat the horrendous depigmentation.

Any long-term and adverse effects at the moment?

During, and after, the experiment, there appeared to be no long-term, adverse effects when the woman was on the tofacitinib trial, for her vitiligo. However, because only one woman was used during the trail there would need to be a lot more people recruited for further findings. This is to make sure the findings are more concrete and is safe, as well as truly an appropriate treatment for vitiligo, for sufferers of the autoimmune disease to benefit from.

For more information on this experiment/trial, please go to JAMA Network.



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