Official Title

Effectiveness and Safety of Tofacitinib in Patients With Extensive and Recalcitrant Alopecia Areata
  • Phase

    Phase 4
  • Study Type

  • Study Participants

The objective of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of Tofacitinib in treating patients with extensive and recalcitrant Alopecia Areata (AA), along with to evaluate the economic impact of the patients that may be from changing in their quality of life. There are patients with severe AA who may have little or no improvement from the treatment by diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) or topical steroid with minoxidil but instead having positive response from the treatment with Janus kinase(JAK) inhibitor such as Tofacitinib or Ruxolitinib. For the best of my knowledge, there was no previous study in using Tofacitinib to treat severe AA before in Thailand.
Alopecia areata (AA) or spot baldness, is a condition in which hair falls off from areas of the body. It often happens on the scalp, causing a few bald spots and it may result in psychological stress even though people are generally healthy. AA is believed to be an autoimmune disease progressing from a breach in the immune privilege of the hair follicles that causes hair to fall out in small patches, it may remain unnoticeable until the patches eventually connect and then become noticeable. It can develop slowly, and also recur after years between occurrences.

By standard AA treatment guideline, DPCP is the first treatment protocol and may follow with anthralin or minoxidil. This oldy but goody treatment gives a good result of 75% in spotty hair loss and 25% in total baldness. The new invention of treatment has been introduced in the past 2 years by using JAK inhibitor, an oral medicine such as Tofacitinib and Ruxolitinib. This treatment gives a good outcome so far in this short period of time, 54-81.9% of patients had over 50% increase of hair grows over the original protocol. The theory is that JAK inhibitors would inhibit interferon-gamma and interleukin-15 signal between white blood cell and hair follicle which reducing the rate of destroying hair follicles.

The investigators propose the study to assess the safety and efficacy of Tofacitinib for extensive and recalcitrant AA and to evaluate the economic impact effecting the AA patients. Tofacitinib is an expensive medicine and needed to be taken up to 6 months to finish the course to have a best outcome so it is not a popular choice of AA treatment at present time unless it can show a promising result in recalcitrant AA.
Study Started
Jan 12
Primary Completion
Jan 30
Study Completion
Jan 30
Results Posted
Mar 10
Last Update
Mar 31

Drug Tofacitinib

Tofacitinib is an oral medicine in Janus kinase inhibitor 3 group which has been approved by FDA in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has ability to inhibit nerve signal Interferon-ɣ and Interleukin-15 between white blood cell(WBC) and the nucleus of hair follicle cell causing the production of WBC type CD8+NKG2D+ T cell to slow down which this type of WBC is one of the cause of hair loss.

  • Other names: Xeljanz

Tofacitinib Experimental

All participants will take Tofacitinib 5 mg twice daily for 24 weeks to treat extensive and recalcitrant alopecia areata.


Inclusion Criteria:

Thai volunteers age between 18 and 60 years old.
Volunteers must be patients who suffer from severe AA more than 50% of the entire scalp.
Volunteers must be patients who are able to complete the monthly treatment at least in the first 6 months.

Exclusion Criteria:

Patients who suffer from other hair diseases such as: Telogen effluvium, Trichotillomania, Tinea capitis
Patients who have other diseases that can have an impact on hair loss or temporary hair loss condition with in 6 months prior to the study such as: thyroid problems, liver disease, malnutrition, hearth disease, neurological disease, gastrointestinal disorders, sexually transmitted disease, cancer, psychiatric disease.
Patients with AA who received treatment with either steroid, Anthralin or DPCP application within 1 month before the selection or patients who had oral or injection from steroid or other medication for hair loss treatment within 3 months before the selection.
Woman with pregnancy



All Events

Event Type Organ System Event Term Tofacitinib

Number of Responders vs Non-Responders Using SALT Score

The Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) is a measurement procedure used by dermatologists to determine the percentage of scalp hair loss. The SALT system divides the scalp into 4 areas: Top has 4 sections of 10% total are 40%, back has 4 sections of 6% total are 24% and the 2 sides, left and right, each has 2 sections of 4% and 2 sections of 5% total of 18% and 36% combined. In the beginning, the area of hair loss would be measured by checking each area for hair loss and determining the bald spots combined per SALT scale then keeping the record as SALT baseline (SALT). The total SALT score is measured 0-100%, with higher values representing greater hair loss.


Side Effects From Tofacitinib

Patients came back for follow-up every month during a total of 24 weeks of treatments and at weeks 28,36 and 48.












Upper respiratory tract infection


Weight gain


Age, Continuous

years (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 8.75

Baseline SALT score

score (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 14.24

Race/Ethnicity, Customized

Region of Enrollment

Sex: Female, Male

Overall Study