Short-term efficacy of tacrolimus ointment and impact on quality of life

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Abstract

Background

Topical calcineurin inhibitor (TCI) was reported to be an effective therapeutic agent for patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), for not only improving clinical findings but also for reducing pruritus. Recently in Japan tacrolimus ointment (0.03%) as a TCI was approved for use in children aged ≥2 years. There have been no reports, however, on the impact of TCI on quality of life (QOL) in pediatric AD in Japan. The purpose of the present study was therefore to evaluate the efficacy of tacrolimus ointment (0.03%) in the short-term and the impact on patient QOL.

Methods

A total of 30 pediatric patients with AD, whose skin problems were not sufficiently controlled by mid-high potency topical glucocorticosteroids, were enrolled. Efficacy was assessed on score of cutaneous findings, pruritus, sleeping disorder, and QOL.

Results

Three patients discontinued because of skin burning (n = 1), generalized herpes infection (n = 1), and feeling of lack of efficacy (n = 1), leaving a final total of 27 patients who were evaluated. Significant improvements in clinical findings, pruritus, and sleeplessness were observed within 1 week of treatment and consequently each QOL category was also improved. These improvements continued for the duration of the study.

Conclusions

Tacrolimus ointment therapy is rapidly effective for not only clinical symptoms (cutaneous findings, pruritus and sleeplessness) but also in QOL of AD pediatric patients aged 2 years.

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