Off-label studies on tofacitinib in dermatology: a review

Kyle Tegtmeyer, Jeffrey Zhao, Nolan J. Maloney, Giancarlo Atassi, Molly Beestrum, Peter A. Lio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Tofacitinib citrate is an oral Janus kinase 1/3 inhibitor approved for rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and active psoriatic arthritis. Tofacitinib is being increasingly used off-label for dermatological conditions, with varying efficacy across recent studies. A review of these studies will be a helpful resource for dermatologists considering the use of tofacitinib for conditions refractory to first-line therapies. Materials and methods: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Web of Science,, and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform were all searched for articles and trials mentioning the term ‘tofacitinib’, then manually reviewed to identify published data on off-label uses of tofacitinib. The article was structured according to the quality of the evidence available. Results: Tofacitinib appears to show strong efficacy for numerous dermatologic conditions. Randomized controlled trial data is available for atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, and plaque psoriasis. Case report and case series data is available for numerous other dermatologic conditions. Conclusion: While tofacitinib has a wide array of immunoregulatory properties, making it a possible candidate for treating many dermatologic conditions refractory to other treatments, further testing is needed to better characterize its efficacy and utility moving forward, as well as its safety and adverse effect profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-409
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dermatological Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Tofacitinib
  • inflammatory
  • off-label
  • psoriasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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