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Tofacitinib for the treatment of alopecia areata and variants in adolescents.

BACKGROUND: There are no reliably effective therapies for alopecia areata (AA).

OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the benefit and adverse effects of the Janus kinase 1/3 inhibitor, tofacitinib, in a series of adolescent patients with AA.

METHODS: We reviewed the records of 13 adolescent patients with AA treated with tofacitinib. Severity of disease was assessed using the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT). Adverse events were evaluated by laboratory monitoring, physical examinations, and review of systems.

RESULTS: Thirteen patients, aged 12 to 17 years, with AA were treated with tofacitinib. Nine patients experienced clinically significant hair regrowth. Median percent change in SALT score was 93% (mean 61%; 1%-100%) at an average of 6.5 months of treatment. Adverse events were mild.

LIMITATIONS: Limitations include the retrospective nature of the data, small sample size, and lack of a control group.

CONCLUSION: Tofacitinib is a promising therapy for AA in adolescents. The use of tofacitinib and other Janus kinase inhibitors for the treatment of AA in this age group should be further evaluated in prospective clinical trials.

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