The Food and Drug Administration approved an oral tablet to treat severe alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss.
The FDA says baricitinib, which is sold under the brand name Olumiant, is the first approved drug to treat the entire body, rather than a specific location affected by alopecia.
“Access to safe and effective treatment options is crucial for the significant number of Americans affected by severe alopecia,” said Kendall Marcus, M.D., director of the Division of Dermatology and Dentistry in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Today’s approval will help fulfill a significant unmet need for patients with severe alopecia areata.”
The FDA says 300,000 people in the U.S. suffer from alopecia each year.
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith has been vocal about her battle with alopecia. She showed off a shorter hairstyle at the Academy Awards. Her husband, Will Smith, slapped comedian Chris Rock after he joked about her hairstyle.
Months after the infamous slap, Pinkett Smith said she hoped her husband and Rock could "heal" and "reconcile."