Treatment of recalcitrant atopic dermatitis with the oral Janus kinase inhibitor tofacitinib citrate

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Sep;73(3):395-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2015.06.045. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


Background: Treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD) is often inadequate.

Objective: We sought to evaluate the efficacy of the oral Janus kinase inhibitor tofacitinib citrate in the treatment of moderate to severe AD.

Methods: Six consecutive patients with moderate to severe AD who had failed standard treatment were treated with tofacitinib citrate. Response to treatment was assessed using the Scoring of AD index.

Results: Decreased body surface area involvement of dermatitis and decreased erythema, edema/papulation, lichenification, and excoriation were observed in all patients. The Scoring of AD index decreased by 66.6% from 36.5 to 12.2 (P < .05) during 8 to 29 weeks of treatment. There were no adverse events.

Limitations: Small sample size, lack of placebo control group, and the possibility of bias are limitations.

Conclusion: The oral Janus kinase inhibitor tofacitinib citrate may be beneficial in the treatment of moderate to severe AD.

Keywords: Janus kinase inhibitor; atopic dermatitis; tofacitinib.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperidines / administration & dosage*
  • Pyrimidines / administration & dosage*
  • Pyrroles / administration & dosage*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sampling Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Piperidines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Pyrroles
  • tofacitinib
  • Janus Kinases