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Arthritis Watch

Maybe It'll Grow Hair...

Published Online: Saturday, June 1, 2002   [ Request Print ]

Like Murphy?s Law, the Law of Unintended Consequences is rarely a good thing. Sometimes, however, compounds developed to treat a certain condition turn out to have completely unforeseen positive effects on other conditions. Certainly nobody suspected when it was developed that the blood pressure medicine minoxidil would have a second, more famous life as an OTC hair regrowth product.

Now, the same transformation may be happening with sulfasalazine, a drug often prescribed for psoriasis and RA. A team of researchers led by Charles N. Ellis, MD, of the University of Michi-gan in Ann Arbor has shown that sul-fasalazine can also help people with alopecia areata, a condition characterized by recurrent episodes of patchy hair loss.

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