Before Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib, there was Benoxaprofen

I have made many recent posts concerning JAK inhibitors Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib. These posts have resulted in numerous skeptical reader comments about the potential of these anti-inflammatory drugs to cure male pattern baldness (MPB). In a similar manner to what they have been able to do for alopecia areata (AA).

I have been somewhat optimistic about the potential of these drugs to at least have a moderate positive impact on MPB reversal for a lot of patients. 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.

Benaxoprofen and Hair Growth

This week, I read an interesting article posted on a hair loss forum thread regarding a much older anti-inflammatory drug called Benoxaprofen. Apparantly, Benaxoprofen 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 was unfortunately 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 are taking these drugs in various studies. It is not worth getting hair back if there are major treatment associated side effects.

Many readers are certain that the biological mechanisms behind androgenetic alopecia have absolutely no similarities to alopecia areata. However, 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 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. Newer hair loss research has resulted in some groundbreaking findings, such as the strong relationship between fat cells, PGD2, PGE2, Wnt7b and hair loss. There have also been new recent developments when it comes to scientists finally figuring out how Minoxidil works after decades of uncertainty and sometimes incorrect hypotheses.

It should also be noted that scientists have found a strong correlation between MPB and heart disease. Not surprisingly, heart disease has an inflammatory component to it according to many reports.

18 thoughts on “Before Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib, there was Benoxaprofen”

  1. I mean, okay. Take whatever anti-inflammatory component the -inib’s have and put it into a pill (or incorporate it into a pill that already inhibits 5ar Type II or II and I), and you have another, possibly better baldness solution. For some people.

    Not for me, of course, as I’ve lost the entirety of my temples and 3/4″ on my hairline in the last 10 months.

    Really though I don’t see this helping too many people. Propecia works for 90% of folks (at least for 2 years), and many of them had inflammation/itching etc. So it’s not like the group fin doesn’t help are going to benefit more than the group it does.

    1. Daniel, if you read those two men’s stories in the link about Benaxoprofen that I provided, they regrew on totally bald spots (including one guy with several decades of total baldness), so I am not sure why you concluded that your 10 month hair loss leaves you no hope of regrowth. Also, unlike the recent Alopecia Areata ‘inib miracle cures, Benaxoprofen actually worked on two people with MPB.

      I would also not compare Fin with these new drugs, since when these new drugs work, they seem to result in almost complete regrowth. Fin generally maintains and, if you are lucky, results in modest regrowth.

  2. Seems like pilofocus might be the best option within the next few years. However a cure in pill form would be amazing. I can’t believe people are still dealing with hairloss in 2014.

    1. I can’t believe it either! Pilofocus could become the best hair transplant technique out there, but I doubt its the best thing we can look forward to in the next few years.

    1. Luis, nothing that I know of. I am much more interested in others such as Christiano, Jahoda, Lauster, various Asian researchers etc…

      Costarelis was in the news recently for saying that these potential alopecia areata cures are unlikely to work for MPB. I wish I could ask him why he was so sure, when the anti-infmmatory drug Benoxaprofen had already worked in the past for two men with MPB, without reducing DHT.

  3. I am not a doctor but like the other unluckily MPB suffers dedicated to thinker about the problem and looking to find a way to reverse this illness.

    1. My research and personal experience have led me to believe that there is a correlation between inflammation and enlargement of prostate (dht), acne (dht) and hair minizuration (dht).

    2. I believe not all MPB are the same, eg. diffuse thinning and partial frontal/ crown baldness are not the same.

    3. I believe that somehow DHT cause the Sebaceous gland be inflaminated and enlarge over time. Hair is flighting for room to grow as gland is occupying more physical space. This results in more oil and less nutritious including oxygen to the hair. I don’t think we MPB suffers produce more DHT on our scalp. If we did we would be bald all over not just the top. The reason more dht is detected on top is because there is less hair and more dht that we sweat out is present there versus sticking to the hairs. The areas with more hairs the dht sticks to hair better and spreads out. Imagine a drop of water gliding and sticking to longer and thicker hairs.

    4. We have seen acne and anti- inflammatory procude hair regrowtn in alopecia suffers. Acne is caused by DHT not sure how it cause the sebaceous gland to procude more oil. But acne is simply too oily skin to say it in a simple manner. The latest trend in AA with rheumatoid arthritis all affect autoimmune and inflammation related cause and resulted in hair regrowth. Perhaps like acne MPB is restricted to a certain area hence why the hairs in back are not affected.

    6. As a business executive, I can state that large firms and HT doctors operate a business like any other. The many online forums share this vision and are more a craigslistlist for HT surgeons than anything. They make tons of money promoting like the HT reps. A pill or treatment that result in consistent income is their model. If there was a true cure it would be that it would be sold once and they couldn’t make money of it like they wish. HT surgeons make good money and have often several procedures in the same client. They would be out if business if a (near) cure comes out. So don’t expect these folks to give you a cure in “five years”. Lol seriously!!!!!

    I think this website is different and we should all collaborate towards an inniative to benefits real concerned researchers not only driving by lucrative incentives. I have several other hypothesis but they would require more data to be collected. Hence I think we should have the online community heavily participate in an online survey to find out more similarities between the hairloss suffers. Like, do we all experience and increase in thicker and darker body hairs as we are balding on top….?

    1. Thanks for your interesting post Fbalding.

      I have definitely seen a high correlation between excess body hair and balding scalps. I think the acne and balding correlation also makes sense.

  4. These new drugs might in fact restore the gland to normal size and stop the inflammation. MPB suffers have itchy scalp and the places where balding hair almost feel like it ishurting when pulled. Pimples and redness is also present.

    Propecia reduces the systemic. What if less DHT means less inflammation on the Sebaceous gland seems to work that way for the prostate. So perhaps an these new pills do a better job and stop the inflammation completely with out messing with hormones like propecia.

  5. This may be a tad late, but my skin has increased sebum production ever since I started balding at 15. My body and facial hair has also increased dramatically. I also developed superficial inflammation according to my dermatologist. I have no doubt that these symptoms are related somehow.

  6. I do not think anyone read the article.

    Ruxolitinib may grow 100% hair back for people with male pattern hairloss although it is unproven yet just pure speculation. I am attentively waiting for rats/human studies to determine if this is true or false.

  7. Forgot to mention, the Admin did a Brilliant job in researching to point out the reason why Ruxolitinib might work on people with male pattern hairloss. Thanks.

  8. Hi. My 9 year old son has had Alopecia Areata since age 2 and we have been doing bolus of solumedrol 5mg/kg for 3 days on several occasions. He did it once at age 2 and completely recovered. And last year he had a total hair loss and we did it every 4 months for 1 year and the hair grew back entirely until recently again he is having big patches.
    My question is if doing this treatment for a kid ( almost 10 years old now) is dangerous for his health. On are being followed by a doctor in Brussels and they treat several children but as there are not many cases of children I was wondering if there is enough study of the effects of cortisone on growing children. We are supposed to travel again next week to Brussels for another dose of Solumedrol

  9. Joana, I am sorry to hear about your son’s travails. Please check with a doctor about the safety of these drugs and do not believe any advice about that from commentators here! It seems like this particular drug was banned due to safety issues.

    Maybe you can try and get an appointment with Dr. Brett King or Dr. Angela Christiano in New York if you are ever in the US?

  10. ruxolitinib is allready used for treatment of certain cancers so surely people taking the drug would have noticed if their hair regrew and there would be information about it somewhere. I also has some terrible side affects. But it is my understanding the tests on mice hair was a solution of the drug direct to the skin. Also just to mention that there are drugs for prostate treatment that also are supposed to regrow hair loss, does anyone know much about this.

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