Printer Friendly

Corticosteroids far outpaced minoxidil use for alopecia.

FROM JOURNAL OF DRUGS IN DERMATOLOGY

Alopecia areata sends "hundreds of thousands" of patients to the doctor every year in the United States, and 6 in 10 of those visits end with a corticosteroid prescription, investigators reported in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

In contrast, "minoxidil appears either underreported or underutilized in this population of patients, which suggests the need to educate both dermatologists and patients on the potential usefulness of this medication in alopecia areata," wrote Michael Farhangian and his associates at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

About 2% of individuals develop alopecia areata during their lives, but there are no consensus guidelines for disease in the United States. To better understand treatment patterns here, the investigators analyzed data on about 2.6 outpatient visits for alopecia areata between 2001 and 2010. The data came from two national ambulatory health care surveys (J Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14[9]:1012-4).

Patients with alopecia areata most often sought care from dermatologists (85%), the researchers reported. Providers prescribed topical and injected corticosteroids far more often (61%) than other drugs, such as minoxidil (5.9%), topical tacrolimus (5.7%), topical retinoid (3.3%), oral steroids (1.8%), or anthralin (1.8%).

The British Association of Dermatologists recommends corticosteroids for localized alopecia areata, but long-term use can lead to skin atrophy, hypopigmentation, and telangiectasia, the researchers warned. "This risk may be increased in patients who are prescribed both topical and injected corticosteroids, as was observed in 9.9% of patients," they added.

Frequencies of minoxidil and tacrolimus use were nearly identical even though tacrolimus has been found ineffective in alopecia areata, according to the researchers.

"Patients may be hesitant to use minoxidil since it is only [Food and Drug Administration] approved for androgenetic alopecia and not for alopecia areata," they wrote. Minoxidil also is available over the counter, which could explain its scarcity in the data set, they added.

Galderma Laboratories helped fund the work through an unrestricted educational grant. Mr. Farhangian declared no competing interests. Senior author Dr. Steven Feldman reported relationships with Galderma, Janssen, Taro, Abbott Labs, and a number of other pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Feldman also reported holding stock in Causa Research and Medical Quality Enhancement Corporation. Another coauthor reported relationships with several pharmaceutical companies.

VITALS

Key clinical point: Topical and injected corticosteroids were by far the most commonly recorded treatment for alopecia areata in the United States.

Major finding: Providers prescribed topical or injected corticosteroids during 61% of visits--far more often than minoxidil (5.9%), topical tacrolimus (5.7%), or other drugs.

Data source: Retrospective analysis of about 2.6 million visits for alopecia areata in the United States between 2001 and 2010.

Disclosures: Galderma Laboratories helped fund the work through an unrestricted educational grant. Mr. Farhangian declared no competing interests. Senior author Dr. Steven Feldman reported relationships with Galderma, Janssen, Taro, Abbott Labs, and a number of other pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Feldman also reported holding stock in Causa Research and Medical Quality Enhancement Corporation. Another coauthor reported relationships with several pharmaceutical companies.

dermnews@frontlinemedcom.com
COPYRIGHT 2015 International Medical News Group
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:MEDICAL DERMATOLOGY
Author:Karon, Amy
Publication:Dermatology News
Date:Nov 1, 2015
Words:509
Previous Article:Turn down the androgens for female pattern hair loss.
Next Article:Cosmeceutical critique: patchouli.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |