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Efficacy and tolerability of topical pimecrolimus and tacrolimus in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
BMJ 2005; 330(7490):516BMJ

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the efficacy and tolerability of topical pimecrolimus and tacrolimus compared with other treatments for atopic dermatitis.

DESIGN

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

DATA SOURCES

Electronic searches of the Cochrane Library, Medline, and Embase.

STUDY SELECTION

Randomised controlled trials of topical pimecrolimus or tacrolimus reporting efficacy outcomes or tolerability.

DATA SYNTHESIS

4186 of 6897 participants in 25 randomised controlled trials received pimecrolimus or tacrolimus. Both drugs were significantly more effective than a vehicle control. Tacrolimus 0.1% was as effective as potent topical corticosteroids at three weeks and more effective than combined treatment with hydrocortisone butyrate 0.1% (potent used on trunk) plus hydrocortisone acetate 1% (weak used on face) at 12 weeks (number needed to treat (NNT) = 6). Tacrolimus 0.1% was also more effective than hydrocortisone acetate 1% (NNT = 4). In comparison, tacrolimus 0.03% was more effective than hydrocortisone acetate 1% (NNT = 5) but less effective than hydrocortisone butyrate 0.1% (NNT = -8). Direct comparisons of tacrolimus 0.03% and tacrolimus 0.1% consistently favoured the higher strength formulation, but efficacy differed significantly between the two strengths only after 12 weeks' treatment (rate ratio 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.65 to 0.99). Pimecrolimus was far less effective than betamethasone valerate 0.1% (NNT = -3 at three weeks). Pimecrolimus and tacrolimus caused significantly more skin burning than topical corticosteroids. Rates of skin infections in any of the comparisons did not differ.

CONCLUSIONS

Both topical pimecrolimus and topical tacrolimus are more effective than placebo treatments for atopic dermatitis, but in the absence of studies that show long term safety gains, any advantage over topical corticosteroids is unclear. Topical tacrolimus is similar to potent topical corticosteroids and may have a place for long term use in patients with resistant atopic dermatitis on sites where side effects from topical corticosteroids might develop quickly. In the absence of key comparisons with mild corticosteroids, the clinical need for topical pimecrolimus is unclear. The usefulness of either treatment in patients who have failed to respond adequately to topical corticosteroids is also unclear.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL. darren.ashcroft@manchester.ac.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15731121

Citation

Ashcroft, Darren M., et al. "Efficacy and Tolerability of Topical Pimecrolimus and Tacrolimus in the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis: Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials." BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), vol. 330, no. 7490, 2005, p. 516.
Ashcroft DM, Dimmock P, Garside R, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of topical pimecrolimus and tacrolimus in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2005;330(7490):516.
Ashcroft, D. M., Dimmock, P., Garside, R., Stein, K., & Williams, H. C. (2005). Efficacy and tolerability of topical pimecrolimus and tacrolimus in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 330(7490), p. 516.
Ashcroft DM, et al. Efficacy and Tolerability of Topical Pimecrolimus and Tacrolimus in the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis: Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials. BMJ. 2005 Mar 5;330(7490):516. PubMed PMID: 15731121.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Efficacy and tolerability of topical pimecrolimus and tacrolimus in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. AU - Ashcroft,Darren M, AU - Dimmock,Paul, AU - Garside,Ruth, AU - Stein,Ken, AU - Williams,Hywel C, Y1 - 2005/02/24/ PY - 2005/2/26/pubmed PY - 2005/3/30/medline PY - 2005/2/26/entrez SP - 516 EP - 516 JF - BMJ (Clinical research ed.) JO - BMJ VL - 330 IS - 7490 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy and tolerability of topical pimecrolimus and tacrolimus compared with other treatments for atopic dermatitis. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: Electronic searches of the Cochrane Library, Medline, and Embase. STUDY SELECTION: Randomised controlled trials of topical pimecrolimus or tacrolimus reporting efficacy outcomes or tolerability. DATA SYNTHESIS: 4186 of 6897 participants in 25 randomised controlled trials received pimecrolimus or tacrolimus. Both drugs were significantly more effective than a vehicle control. Tacrolimus 0.1% was as effective as potent topical corticosteroids at three weeks and more effective than combined treatment with hydrocortisone butyrate 0.1% (potent used on trunk) plus hydrocortisone acetate 1% (weak used on face) at 12 weeks (number needed to treat (NNT) = 6). Tacrolimus 0.1% was also more effective than hydrocortisone acetate 1% (NNT = 4). In comparison, tacrolimus 0.03% was more effective than hydrocortisone acetate 1% (NNT = 5) but less effective than hydrocortisone butyrate 0.1% (NNT = -8). Direct comparisons of tacrolimus 0.03% and tacrolimus 0.1% consistently favoured the higher strength formulation, but efficacy differed significantly between the two strengths only after 12 weeks' treatment (rate ratio 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.65 to 0.99). Pimecrolimus was far less effective than betamethasone valerate 0.1% (NNT = -3 at three weeks). Pimecrolimus and tacrolimus caused significantly more skin burning than topical corticosteroids. Rates of skin infections in any of the comparisons did not differ. CONCLUSIONS: Both topical pimecrolimus and topical tacrolimus are more effective than placebo treatments for atopic dermatitis, but in the absence of studies that show long term safety gains, any advantage over topical corticosteroids is unclear. Topical tacrolimus is similar to potent topical corticosteroids and may have a place for long term use in patients with resistant atopic dermatitis on sites where side effects from topical corticosteroids might develop quickly. In the absence of key comparisons with mild corticosteroids, the clinical need for topical pimecrolimus is unclear. The usefulness of either treatment in patients who have failed to respond adequately to topical corticosteroids is also unclear. SN - 1756-1833 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15731121/full_citation L2 - http://www.bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=15731121 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -