Can Ruxolitinib reverse Vitiligo? 

treatment for vitiligo

Ruxolitinib, which is conventionally used to treat a group of blood disorders can help you combat vitiligo. Topical Ruxolitinib indeed has the potential to change the way the chronic skin disorder has been treated. Not only is it effective at re-pigmenting the white lesions caused by vitiligo but has an excellent safety profile.

During a clinical trial conducted by The Tufts Medical Center, Boston, 157 people with vitiligo were randomly given a daily application of Ruxolitinib and were monitored for two years. As per the study result, half of the patients who used the highest dose of Ruxolitinib saw a significant improvement of nearly 50% in their facial vitiligo. Researchers at The Tufts Medical Center are optimistic that people with vitiligo may even see a better response with continuous Ruxolitinib usage over an extended period if they combine it with phototherapy and sunlight exposure. 

We can only hope that this treatment ultimately becomes a game-changer for the millions worldwide who are affected by vitiligo.

What is Ruxolitinib? 

To get technical for a minute, Ruxolitinib is part of a class of medications called Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors. These drugs disrupt the inflammatory pathway simply by blocking the signaling of molecules that lead an anti-inflammatory effect. Side effects of the same included mild acne, redness, and irritation. 

FDA Approval Status

Although these findings are a ray of hope for millions of people with vitiligo, there is still a long way to go before topical Ruxolitinib is available to the general public as the FDA requires completion of two Phase 3 studies before approving a medication. As of now, Ruxolitinib is likely to be approved for treating Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) before being available to those with vitiligo.

The shortcoming of the study 

Though nationwide, this two-year-long study (coordinated out of Tufts Medical Center in Boston) is the largest randomized controlled vitiligo study ever conducted, sample size (157 patients, aged 18 to 75 with vitiligo) of the study isn’t big enough. More studies are needed to be conducted with a different geographical sample to proclaim Ruxolitinib as an effective vitiligo remedy. 

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