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New oral medication for Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects millions of people worldwide. The symptoms of atopic dermatitis include itchy, dry, and scaly skin, which can be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful. While there are several treatments available for atopic dermatitis, some patients may not respond well to traditional treatments or may experience unwanted side effects. This is where upadacitinib comes in as a new and promising treatment option.



What is Upadacitinib?

Upadacitinib is an oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor has just been registered in South Africa by AbbVie for the treatment of several inflammatory conditions, including atopic dermatitis. JAK inhibitors work by blocking the activity of specific enzymes that play a key role in the inflammatory process. By doing so, they can reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.


Clinical Trials for Atopic Dermatitis

In recent clinical trials, upadacitinib has shown promising results in treating moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in adults. In a phase 2b study, patients who received upadacitinib experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms compared to those who received a placebo. Specifically, 33% of patients who received upadacitinib achieved clear or almost clear skin, compared to only 0% of patients who received a placebo. In addition, upadacitinib was well-tolerated, with few adverse effects reported.

Following the success of the phase 2b study, AbbVie conducted two phase 3 trials to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of upadacitinib in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. In the first study, known as Measure Up 1, patients who received upadacitinib experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms compared to those who received a placebo. Specifically, 69% of patients who received upadacitinib achieved clear or almost clear skin, compared to only 23% of patients who received a placebo. In the second study, Measure Up 2, upadacitinib was again shown to be effective in reducing symptoms, with 75% of patients achieving clear or almost clear skin after 16 weeks of treatment.


Side Effects

While upadacitinib has been shown to be effective in treating atopic dermatitis, it is not without side effects. Common side effects reported in clinical trials include upper respiratory tract infections, headache, and acne. More serious side effects, such as thrombosis (blood clots) and malignancies, have also been reported in patients taking upadacitinib. As such, patients taking upadacitinib should be monitored closely for signs of these side effects, and the risks and benefits of treatment should be carefully considered on an individual basis.


Conclusions

Upadacitinib represents a promising new treatment option for patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis who have not responded well to traditional treatments or who have experienced unwanted side effects. While more research is needed to fully evaluate its long-term safety and efficacy, upadacitinib has shown great promise in clinical trials and may be a game-changer for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Patients with atopic dermatitis should discuss the potential benefits and risks of upadacitinib with their healthcare provider to determine if it may be a suitable treatment option for them.


For more information, please see https://www.rinvoq.com/atopic-dermatitis


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