Recommendations for pimecrolimus 1% cream in the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis : from medical needs to a new treatment algorithm
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
European journal of dermatology. - Montrouge
, p. 758-766
University of Antwerp
Pimecrolimus 1% cream is an effective, non-corticosteroid, topical anti-inflammatory treatment for atopic dermatitis (AD). The aim of this article was to review published clinical data that have examined how pimecrolimus can address the medical needs of AD patients. Clinical studies have demonstrated that early treatment with pimecrolimus decreases the progression to disease flares, rapidly improves pruritus and significantly enhances quality of life. Patients find the formulation easy to apply, which may result in improved adherence with the treatment regimen. Pimecrolimus, in contrast to topical corticosteroids (TCSs), does not induce skin atrophy or epidermal barrier dysfunction and is highly effective for the treatment of AD in sensitive skin areas. Furthermore, pimecrolimus reduces the incidence of skin infections compared with TCSs and is not associated with other TCS-related side effects such as striae, telangiectasia and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression. An additional benefit of pimecrolimus is its substantial steroid sparing effect. On the basis of these data, a new treatment algorithm for patients with mild-to-moderate AD is proposed in which pimecrolimus is recommended as a first line therapy for patients with established mild AD at the first signs and symptoms of disease. Pimecrolimus is also recommended for mild-to-moderate AD after initial treatment with a TCS. After resolution of lesions, maintenance treatment with pimecrolimus may effectively prevent subsequent disease flares. In conclusion, the clinical profile of pimecrolimus suggests that it may be considered the drug of choice for the treatment of mild-to-moderate AD in children as well as adults and particularly in sensitive skin areas.