Title : Evaluating the combined efficacy of oral isotretinoin and topical tacrolimus versus oral finasteride and topical tacrolimus in frontal fibrosing alopecia - A randomized controlled trial
Objective: Treatment of frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is complicated and challenging. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of combining topical tacrolimus with isotretinoin versus finasteride in patients with FFA.
Methodology: Thirty- one patients with FFA were divided randomly into two groups. Therapeutic regimen of the first group (group A, n = 16) was isotretinoin and tacrolimus (Capsule isotretinoin 20 mg daily and topical tacrolimus 0.1% BD). The second group (group B, n = 15) was given finasteride and tacrolimus (Tablet finasteride 2.5 mg daily and topical tacrolimus 0.1% BD). Patients were treated and followed up periodically for 12 weeks. Evaluation of the treatment efficacy was based on Patient Global Assessment and Physician Global Assessment scales. Objective evaluation was based on improving the severity of skin lesions by viewing serial images taken from the affected areas.
Results: Physician Global Assessment (PGA) was significantly better in the group A as compared with the group B at 4 weeks (p = 0.038). Physician satisfaction in the group A was better than the group B at 12 weeks, but this was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Patient Global Assessment and patient satisfaction in the group A was better than the group B at 8 and 12 weeks, but it was not statistically significant (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Although both therapeutic regimens were effective in the treatment of FFA, treatment with tacrolimus and isotretinoin is significantly more effective than tacrolimus and finasteride.
Keywords: Cicatricial alopecia, Finasteride, Frontal fibrosing alopecia, Isotretinoin, Tacrolimus.