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▼Pimecrolimus cream for atopic dermatitis

Abstract

▼Pimecrolimus (pronounced pi-me-kro-ly-mus) cream (Elidel - Novartis) is a new topical immunosuppressant licensed for the treatment of patients aged 2 years or over with mild or moderate atopic dermatitis. It is the second topical treatment in this class, the first being ▼tacrolimus ointment (Protopic - Fujisawa) which we reviewed in October 2002.1 Pimecrolimus is the first such treatment to be licensed for first-line use in atopic dermatitis. It can be used either as short-term treatment for actively inflamed lesions, or as intermittent long-term treatment to prevent the progression of early symptoms and signs to flares.2 The company claims that "when used at the first sign of redness and itch" pimecrolimus cream is "the only treatment clinically proven to prevent progression to flare", and that many people using it have "eliminated or reduced steroid use". Here, we consider the place of pimecrolimus cream in the management of atopic dermatitis.

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  • Relevant BNF section: 13.5.3

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