Long-term efficacy and tolerability of tacrolimus 0.03% ointment in infants:* A two-year open-label study
Skin and Allergy Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. International journal of dermatology
(Impact Factor: 1.31).
09/2011; 51(1):104-10. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05015.x
Tacrolimus ointment is effective for treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in children aged ≥2 years (Br J Dermatol, 2004; 150: 554). Here, efficacy and tolerability of tacrolimus 0.03% ointment were evaluated in 50 infants aged <2 years at start of treatment.
Infants with AD previously enrolled in a tacrolimus ointment pharmacokinetics trial were eligible for a 24-month open-label phase II study. Tacrolimus 0.03% ointment was applied to affected areas until clearance. In cases of exacerbation or clinical worsening, patients restarted treatment.
Mean ± SD Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score improved, from 11.2 ± 10.5 baseline to 2.6 ± 4.1 at endpoint (24 months); mean affected body surface area decreased from 25.2 ± 21.1% to 5.1 ± 9.0%, with improvement on all items of the Physicians' Assessment of Individual Signs. The Physicians' Global Evaluation of Clinical Response showed a result of "cleared"/"excellent" for 63.3% of patients; 85.7% of parents/guardians assessed symptoms as "much better." Treatment was well tolerated, with common, nonserious respiratory infections and gastroenteritis the most frequently reported adverse events. The most common application-site events were infections and pruritus. Over 98% of blood samples showed tacrolimus concentrations <1.0 ng/ml; >40% showed concentrations below the lower limit of quantification (0.0250 ng/ml).
Over a period of two years, tacrolimus 0.03% ointment was associated with substantial clinical improvement of AD in infants aged <2 years. Treatment tolerability was similar to that seen in older children.
Available from: PubMed Central
- "Pharmacokinetic studies on pimecrolimus carried out on children with moderate-to-severe AD and whose body surface was affected up to 92%, showed 67% of pimecrolimus blood concentrations below 0.5 ng/ml and 97% of samples did not exceed 2.0 ng/ml . In a recent study carried out on a group of very young children (between 3 and 24 months) given 0.03% tacrolimus 2 times daily for 2 years in exacerbation, the concentration of tacrolimus was < 1.0 ng/ml in 98% of blood samples and in > 40% of blood samples, tacrolimus concentration was below the limit of detection (0.0250 ng/ml) . "
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ABSTRACT: Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCI) are a relatively new class of drugs used in dermatology. There are two drug forms available - tacrolimus 0.03% or 0.1% ointment and 1.0% pimecrolimus cream. The drugs act by inhibiting synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines. The only approved indication for using TCI is treatment of atopic dermatitis. The TCI may be used as an alternative therapy to corticosteroids. Tacrolimus is used to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, pimecrolimus - mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. Topical calcineurin inhibitors do not cause skin atrophy and the drug absorption through the skin is minimal. The TCI have been well-studied, their efficacy was evaluated in a number of vast, long-term studies. The anti-inflammatory potency of tacrolimus ointment is similar to a corticosteroid with moderate activity, while the latter is clearly more active than pimecrolimus cream. Topical calcineurin inhibitors significantly relieve pruritus in atopic eczema.
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ABSTRACT: Bathing and moisturization to control dryness, applications of topical anti-inflammatory agents (including corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors [TCIs]) to control flares, minimization of the risk for infection, and relief of pruritus are the cornerstones of effective therapy for atopic dermatitis. Education of parents and patients is crucial to enhance adherence. Strategies for reduced Staphylococcus aureus colonization may help control re-emergence of flares following cessation of antimicrobial treatment for infection; these include dilute bleach baths and minimizing the risk for contamination of topical agents. In severe, refractory cases, more aggressive therapy with systemic immunosuppressants may be considered, but appropriate laboratory testing must be included as part of patient monitoring during treatment. The value of adjuvant therapy with wet wraps to "cool down" particularly erythematous and pruritic flares is becoming increasingly recognized.
Available from: Adelaide A Hebert
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ABSTRACT: Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), commercially available since 2000-2001, are the first and only topical medications approved for chronic treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) in pediatric patients and remain a welcomed alternative to topical corticosteroids. In January 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a boxed warning requirement based on a theoretical risk of malignancy (including lymphoma) with TCI use. However, in the years since, analyses of epidemiologic and clinical data have failed to demonstrate a causal relationship between TCI use and malignancy or lymphoma risk, especially for pimecrolimus cream. In fact, the observed number of malignancies and lymphomas observed both in post-marketing surveillance and reported to the FDA using its adverse events reporting system is much lower among TCI-exposed patients than the expected number for the general population. Furthermore, among children enrolled in post-marketing pediatric registry studies for both tacrolimus and pimecrolimus followed for up to 5.5 years [10,724 patient-years (PY)] or 6.5 years (16,219 PY), respectively, the observed number of malignancies and lymphomas is very low and similar to the number expected for a sample of similar size in the general population. In addition to reporting these comparative malignancy and lymphoma data, this article provides a historical overview of the boxed warning requirement and critically evaluates the preclinical, clinical, and epidemiological evidence that has thus far failed to substantiate a relationship between TCI use and malignancy. The authors also provide practical clinical advice for optimizing AD management and patient care in the context of the boxed warning.
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