I have explained in a previous posts that psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin by leaving red, scratchy plaques and papules on the skin. Psoriasis is hard to treat since it comes and goes based on treatment. It has also been associated with some risk of cancer if left untreated. Well there is a new drug that is being tested for psoriasis called Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate) and it has an interesting side effect that might put Bosley out of business.
What is Xeljanz?
Xeljanz is a prescription treatment for adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response or intolerance to methotrexate. Now you can use the prescription drug by itself or in combination with methotrexate. Xeljanz can’t be used if you have any infection in your body. The major side effects include upper respiratory tract infections, headaches, diarrhea and the common cold.
How Does Xeljanz Help?
A recent dermatology study treated plaque psoriasis patients with Xeljanz at a daily dose of 10 mg for two months and then with 15 mg dosage of the prescription drug daily for three more months. After 2 months of treatment, the patients’ psoriasis showed some improvement but what was amazing was the growth of scalp and facial hair. So you see, a drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is being tested to treat another disease. You get the benefits of two treatments in one pill.
Good Side Effect
One of the patients suffered from alopecia universalis due to plaque psoriasis. Alopecia universalis is an autoimmune disease which results in well-defined circular bald patches on the scalp and has total loss of ALL body hair. Yes bald all over! Guess what the patient got from Xeljanz: lots of hair and all over the body. After three months of therapy, the patient had completely regrown scalp hair and also had clearly visible eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair, as well as armpit and other hair. Women might want to be careful with this.
Hair loss does not make one physically ill but is said to have emotional and psychological consequences. It plays to self confidence and vanity in a sort of way. Some individuals get accustomed to a lack of facial hair but being completely bald even in your armpits has to have a psychological effect. Of course, there will be more studies to confirm these side effects and there might be talk of an ointment or cream. Imagine the possibilities and how many hair transplant firms would go out of business.
Would you try it for baldness?