Karan Lal, DO: JAK Inhibitors, FDA Approval of Abrocitinib for Adolescents with Atopic Dermatitis


In another interview segment, Karan Lal, DO, MS, spoke on the side effects of JAK inhibitors and on the FDA approval of abrocitinib for younger atopic dermatitis patients.

During another interview segment on HCPLive, Karan Lal, DO, MS, spoke about his recent presentations at the South Beach Symposium dermatology conference, as well as new developments in the dermatology space.

Specifically, Lal discussed the side effects of JAK inhibitors and the recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of abrocitinib for adolescent atopic dermatitis (AD) patients.

Lal is both the director of pediatric dermatology and cosmetic surgery at Affiliated Dermatology Scottsdale and the social media chair for the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

During his interview, Lal described his experience hearing from Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine, who recently co-authored research into JAK inhibitors’ safety profile versus that of traditional systemic immunosuppressive therapies.

“He published this paper that recently came out, looking at the adverse events that are considered major in the realm of JAK inhibitors and compared the side effects to methotrexate cyclosporine and steroids,” Lal said. “And he found that in this study…that patients that were treated with JAK inhibitors had a lower incidence of malignancy, major adverse cardiac events, and venous thromboembolism compared to traditional immunosuppressants like methotrexate cyclosporine on steroids.”

Lal also explained that the new research on AD patients treated with upadacitinib and abrocitinib and compared to a control group indicated those treated with the JAK inhibitors had a lower incidence of major cardiac events.

“So this (was a) JAK inhibitor fear that I had, and a lot of people still have, you know,” he explained. “I definitely have changed my practice.”

The conversation shifted to a discussion about the recent FDA approval of abrocitinib for patients with AD ages 12 to 18 with refractory, moderate-to-severe AD.

“I think it's great,” Lal said. “I mean, options are always good to have. Before, we just had upadacitinib that was FDA-approved for 12-and-up and now we have abrocitinib.”

Lal noted that he felt positive about the use of both of these treatments for younger patients struggling with AD.

“Both these drugs have exhibited superior efficacy in treating atopic dermatitis,” he said. “And the good news is that these drugs work with itch very quickly. And they work especially well in my practice, for patients who have a combination of dupilumab failure and allergic contact dermatitis.”

To find out more about this discussion, view the interview segment listed above.

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