Ciclopirox gel for seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp

Department of Dermatology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
International Journal of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 1.31). 09/2003; 42 Suppl 1(S1):19-22. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-4362.42.s1.5.x
Source: PubMed


Seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disorder that usually occurs in patients with pre-existing seborrhea. The etiology of seborrheic dermatitis is uncertain. Typically, sites dense with sebaceous glands support growth of the lipophilic yeast Malassezia furfur. Ciclopirox (Loprox) gel is a hydroxypyridone, broad-spectrum antifungal agent proven effective against the yeast M. furfur.
A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, vehicle controlled study of 178 subjects evaluated the efficacy of ciclopirox gel in treating seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.
One hundred and seventy-eight subjects were randomized to apply either ciclopirox gel 0.77% twice daily, or vehicle twice daily for 28 days. Subjects' signs and symptoms of severity (erythema, scaling, pruritus and burning) were rated on a scale of 0-3 (none to severe); for inclusion, a minimum score of 4, for the sum of the individual ratings was required. Efficacy evaluations were performed at baseline, days 4, 8, 15, 22, 29, and at end-point (final visit, up to day 33). The primary efficacy variable was clinical response assessed by a global improvement, based on a scale of 0-5 (100% clearance to flare of treatment area). Changes in signs/symptoms severity scores within the target lesion were also evaluated.
Global evaluation scores demonstrated that significantly more ciclopirox-treated subjects achieved over 75% improvement compared with vehicle at days 22, 29, and endpoint (P < 0.01). Change-from-baseline mean score for total signs and symptoms was significantly greater in ciclopirox subjects compared with vehicle subjects at the same time points as above (P < 0.001), as well as day 15 (P < 0.01). Twenty-nine percent of subjects rated ciclopirox as having excellent cosmetic acceptability. There were only mild adverse events, with the most common being burning sensation in 13% of ciclopirox subjects and 9% of vehicle subjects.
Ciclopirox gel is effective and safe in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.

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