Incyte’ Cream Opzelura for Vitiligo

Opzelura for Vitiligo

Incyte’ Cream Opzelura for Vitiligo:

Vitiligo is a skin disorder that has a significant impact on your appearance. It is an immune-mediated condition targeting the cells of your skin involved in giving color to your skin.

Most treatments of vitiligo aim to control the wary immune system. Thus, corticosteroids, cyclosporin, and the recently approved JAK inhibitors are primarily used to treat vitiligo.

Other therapies include ultraviolet light and melanocyte activators such as Afamelanotide (Scenesse).

Among the latest of all these therapies are the JAK inhibitors. Opzelura is the brand name of Ruxolitinib, marketed by Incyte Pharma, and is available as a topical treatment.

It is a very effective and safe treatment used to treat vitiligo and is effective in 75% of patients.

Let’s find out more about this incredible cream which can bring back melanin like a magician.


What is Opzelura?

This medicine is prescribed for a particular type of vitiligo called non-segmental vitiligo. This is safe to use for adults and children aged 12 or above.

It contains ruxolitinib which belongs to a class of medicine called Janus kinase inhibitors. Currently, it is unknown if this is safe and effective for children aged less than 12 years. [ref]

It is not advised to combine Opzelura with strong immunosuppressants like cyclosporine or azathioprine, other JAK inhibitors, or therapeutic biologics.

Incyte' Cream Opzelura for Vitiligo Opzelura Cream for Vitiligo Before and After Pics

Opzelura Received FDA-Approval for Non-Segmental Vitiligo.

July 19th, 2022 marked the date when the FDA publicly announced on its website that Opzelura had received its stamp of approval. It was declared safe to use for non-segmental vitiligo patients. [ref]

Safety trials:

There were two clinical trials performed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Opzelura. You can read both trials here NCT04052425  and NCT04057573.

The participants in each trial had non-segmental vitiligo and they were randomly given either Opzelura or a placebo cream two times daily for 24 weeks. After that, all subjects were given treatment with Opzelura for an extra 28 weeks.

The results were impressive as at 24 weeks, subjects treated with 30% Opzelura had 75% improvement in the facial Vitiligo Area Scoring Index while only 10% of the placebo patients saw similar repigmentation.


Side Effects of Opzelura for Vitiligo:

Patients have commonly reported experiencing the following side effects:

  • Acne on the site of application, or that area starts itching/ becomes red
  • Headache
  • UTI
  • Cold
  • Fever

Note: Opzelura must not be used in combination with JAK inhibitors, therapeutic biologics, or potent immunosuppressants.

Patients who have used JAK inhibitors for conditions that cause inflammation have experienced mortality, serious infections, malignancy, and other major CVD events.


How to Use Opzelura for Vitiligo?

A few precautions that you must take before or while using this cream are to reduce the time you spend under the sun or just wear protective clothing to shield you from harmful sunlight.

  • Use Opzelura twice a day on the affected skin, covering up to 10% of your body. You can do this in the morning and evening.
  • Put on a thin layer, following your doctor’s instructions. After applying Opzelura, wash your hands unless you’re treating your hands.
  • If someone else helps you apply it, they should wash their hands afterward.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions when using Opzelura and talk about your issues in detail.

Safety measures before taking Opzelura for Vitiligo:

Make sure your physician knows about the following conditions while prescribing Opzelura for vitiligo:

  1. If you have an infection, are being treated for one, or have had a persistent or recurring infection.
  2. If you have diabetes, chronic lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system.
  3. If you have tuberculosis (TB) or have been in close contact with someone who has TB.
  4. If you have had shingles (herpes zoster).
  5. If you have or have had hepatitis B or C.
  6. If you live in or have traveled to certain areas where fungal infections are common.
  7. If you experience symptoms of an infection, such as fever, sweating, muscle aches, cough, or diarrhea.
  8. History of cancer or are a current or former smoker.
  9. Had heart problems, strokes, or blood clots in the past.
  10. Have high cholesterol or triglycerides.
  11. If you have low white or red blood cell counts.
  12. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  13. Breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Food Problems Faced by Vitiligo Patients

Even though there is no scientific evidence behind this, patients do face problems with certain foods.

There is no officially prescribed diet for vitiligo by dietitians but people report allergies or other worse experiences with foods listed below.

  • Blueberries
  • Alcohol
  • Citrus
  • Curds
  • Grapes
  • Fish
  • Gooseberries
  • Fruit juice
  • Pickles
  • Pears
  • Pomegranate
  • Coffee

In the same manner, some vitamins might prove beneficial for the health of vitiligo patients. These include:

Try some mineral supplements like zinc, iron, and copper for better health.


The bottom line …

Opzelura is a hope for vitiligo patients and it has rather good reviews as well. It proves to bring back melanin after continuous use and you should always consult your physician properly before even applying this cream.

This medicine comes in the form of topical ointment and not an oral tablet which is why it is convenient for patients to use it.

Considering its positive impact on patients’ lives, it should be the first form of treatment recommended to new vitiligo patients.


What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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