A drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can be used to treat vitiligo, a skin pigment condition, as well, according to researchers.
A team of medical experts at the Yale School of Medicine gave a Connecticut woman with vitiligo a 60-day treatment of tofacitinib citrate and observed that it yielded excellent results, leading to a significant improvement in the skin condition.
Tofacitinib citrate is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. During the clinical study, the medical experts tested the drug on a 53-year-old woman who was suffering from vitiligo. The woman had white spots covering her body, including face and hands.
The woman received tofacitinib citrate for two months. At the end of that period, the researchers observed that the repigmentation of the skin had started to appear. By the end of five months, the repigmentation of the hands and the forehead appeared to be nearly complete.
The results seem promising, especially considering the fact that the drug had no side effects on the woman and the previous drugs that she given had no effect at all.
“While it’s one case, we anticipated the successful treatment of this patient based on our current understanding of the disease and how the drug works,” said lead study author Dr. Brett King, in a statement. “It’s a first, and it could revolutionize treatment of an awful disease.”
The complete study result has been published in the journal JAMA Dermatology.