The many recent posts that I have made on subjects related to Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib have resulted in a good number of comments, with most of them very skeptical about the potential of these anti-inflammatory drugs to improve or cure androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness — MPB) in a similar manner to what they have been able to do for alopecia areata.
I have generally been optimistic about the potential of these drugs to also have a positive impact on MPB reversal for a lot of patients, since I think that MPB also has an inflammatory component to it, especially in those who get itching and dandruff type symptoms in tandem with their hair loss. This is just a hunch, but the below discovery of mine has made me feel good about my guess.
This week, I read an interesting article posted on a hair loss forum thread regarding a much older anti-inflammatory drug called Benoxaprofen. Apparantly, Benoxaprofen led to regrowth of hair in two men suffering from MPB. One of these two was 75 years old and had been balding since the age of 45! This article was published in 1982, which unfortunately was also around the time when Benoxaprofen was banned due to major side effects.
I am hopeful that the newer anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib will result in far fewer side effects than was the case with Benoxaprofen. I would not want to try either of them until we have good data on the results and side effects experienced by the many patients with alopecia universalis or alopecia totalis who will now surely take thee drugs in various studies. It is not worth getting hair back if the side effects make you miserable or even at minor risk of death.
For those who are very certain that the biological mechanisms behind MPB have absolutely no similarities to alopecia areata as many hair loss researchers might have said, just remember that it was only recently that scientists started discovering other aspects behind MPB beyond just the age old conclusion of it all being just due to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This conclusion was a bit too simplistic, since Finasteride and other stronger DHT inhibitors such as Dutasteride rarely give truly great results in my opinion. The newer research has resulted in some pretty hard to believe findings, such as the strong relationship between fat cells, PGD2, PGE2, Wnt7b and hair loss, for example. There have also been new recent developments when it comes to scientists finally figuring out how Minoxidil works after decades of uncertainty and, quite likely, mostly incorrect hypotheses.
It should also be noted that scientists have found a strong correlation between MPB and heart disease, and heart disease has an inflammatory component to it according to many reports.