Atopic eczema is predominantly a disease of children and infants, and is often a significant burden for both the sufferer and the family. Pimecrolimus cream 1% (Elidel®) is a topical calcineurin inhibitor that has been developed for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. When applied twice daily, pimecrolimus has been shown to be effective and well tolerated in paediatric patients with mild to moderate atopic eczema, and appears to be particularly suitable for use on the face, the neck and skin folds. Reduction of pruritus or erythema can be seen within 48 hours of initiating treatment, and when used at the first signs or symptoms of recurrence, pimecrolimus can significantly reduce the incidence of flares and the amount of topical corticosteroid used. Long-term pimecrolimus therapy shows that the initial reduction of disease severity (Eczema Area and Severity Index) is sustained and that most patients have minimal residual disease at 2 years. The most common application-site reaction is a mild to moderate, transient, warm/burning sensation occurring in approximately 10% of patients. Blood concentrations of pimecrolimus following topical administration remain low in all patients. Currently there is no evidence for systemic adverse events, immune suppression or alterations in the vaccine response, after short-term or prolonged treatment. In conclusion, pimecrolimus is an effective treatment option for the short-term treatment and long-term control of atopic eczema in paediatric patients.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)