Emerging drugs for the treatment of vitiligo

Priyanka Karagaiah, Yan Valle, Julia Sigova, Nicola Zerbinati, Petar Vojvodic, Davinder Parsad, Robert A. Schwartz, Stephan Grabbe, Mohamad Goldust, Torello Lotti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Introduction: Vitiligo is a relatively common autoimmune depigmenting disorder of the skin. There has been a great advance in understanding the pathological basis, which has led to the development and utilization of various new molecules in treating vitiligo. This review aims at a comprehensively describing the treatments available and the emerging treatment aspects and the scope for future developments. Areas covered: This study comprehensively summarizes the current concepts in the pathogenesis of vitiligo with special focus on the cytokine and signaling pathways, which are the targets for newer drugs. JAK kinase signaling pathways and the cytokines involved are the focus of vitiligo treatment in current research, followed by antioxidant mechanisms and repigmenting mechanisms. Topical immunosuppressants may be an alternative to steroids in localized vitiligo. Newer repigmenting agents like basic fibroblast growth factors, afamelanotide have been included and a special emphasis is laid on the upcoming targeted immunotherapy. Expert opinion: The treatment of vitiligo needs to be multimodal with emphasis on targeting different limbs of the pathogenesis. Topical and oral JAK inhibitors are the most promising new class of drugs currently available for treating vitiligo and acts best in conjunction with NB-UVB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-24
Number of pages18
JournalExpert Opinion on Emerging Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Biologics
  • JAK inhibitor
  • treatment
  • vitiligo

Cite this

Karagaiah, P., Valle, Y., Sigova, J., Zerbinati, N., Vojvodic, P., Parsad, D., Schwartz, R. A., Grabbe, S., Goldust, M., & Lotti, T. (2020). Emerging drugs for the treatment of vitiligo. Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs, 25(1), 7-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/14728214.2020.1712358