RUXOLITINIB 

Main uses in hair loss: none (experimental for alopecia areata)

Other names: Jakafi, Jakavi


WHAT IS RUXOLITINIB?

Ruxolitib is a type of cancer drug. It is not a new drug and in fact is already on the market to treat an uncommon bone marrow cancer called myelofibrosis as well as a few other conditions. The drug belongs to a group of medications that inhibits signals within immune cells called the JAK kinase.


Is Ruxolitinib used for treating alopecia areata?

Not yet. An experimental study has suggested it could be helpful. However, further studies are needed to determine if the cancer drug ruxolitinib is safe and effective for patients with alopecia areata before determining if it should or should not be prescribed to larger numbers of patients. Certainly, results from the first three patients are encouraging.


WHAT ARE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF RUXOLITINIB?

Ruxolitinib is currently prescribed by cancer physicians and patients who use the drug need to be carefully monitored.

Many side effects are possible, so speak to your physician as well as your pharmacist before starting. A short list of side effects includes:

  • It can cause a drop in blood counts, and can increase the chance of bleeding and bruising.
  • Some patients are more prone to infections while on the medication.
  • Irritation of the heart
  • Irritation of the liver
  • Weight gain
  • Elevated cholesterol levels 




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