A New Treatment Option for Alopecia Areata

On December 4, 2023, Health Canada approved Pfizer’s Litfulo (ritlecitinib). Litfulo is a once-daily oral capsule used for the treatment of patients over 12 years old with severe alopecia areata.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system produces inflammation at the body’s hair follicles. This results in partial to complete loss of body hair. Litfulo reduces the excess signaling to the immune system and lowers inflammation in the hair follicles.

Similarly, Olumiant (baricitinib), developed by Eli Lilly, was also approved as a once-daily oral treatment for severe alopecia areata in adults earlier this year. This is in addition to its current use for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

The introduction of new treatments like Litfulo and the approval of using existing treatments in new conditions is exciting for us at Charlton, as a growing variety of treatments can be considered for patients with the greatest needs. It is important to note that the best treatment option for each individual can vary, and this decision should be made in collaboration with your specialist.

Parvinder Sahota is a clinical pharmacist and a recent graduate from the University of Toronto. He enjoys learning about the ever-evolving field of autoimmune conditions and their treatment options.  

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