May 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
A small pilot study revealed that atopic dermatitis, better known as eczema, may be treated effectively with oral and topical tacrolimus. During a 14 week treatment period of topical and oral tacrolimus of 12 patients, atopic dermatis severity scores were reduced by up to 70 percent.
The researchers noted that 42 and 33 percent of the participants suffered nausea/vomiting and diarrhea, respectively. Additionally, one patient (out of 12) had to drop out of the study due to elevated levels of creatinine and uric acid. However, the researchers noted that generally both the oral and topical formulations of tacrolimus were well tolerated.
“This is the first study that has evaluated oral tacrolimus as a possible treatment for atopic dermatitis,” Terrence C. Keaney, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and study colleagues concluded in a presentation. “The results suggest that oral tacrolimus can be effective as a short-term treatment option for severe generalized atopic dermatitis and can be transitioned to topical tacrolimus smoothly.”
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that includes itchy rashes, scaly skin, blisters, and dry and thickened skin. Although the condition is most common in babies and children, adults can develop atopic dermatitis at any time.
While it’s difficult to clearly define how many people are affected by the condition, scientists believe that an estimated 10 to 20 percent of babies and young children experience symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Its prevalence in adults is thought to be approximately seven percent.
The research was reported at a Society for Investigative Dermatology meeting and the National Center of Biotechnological Information published an abstract of the research, but results should be considered preliminary until they are published in a medical peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, authors recommend that a larger, randomized control study is needed.
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