Maintenance tacrolimus for eczema boosts quality of life


Bruce Jancin, Skin & Allergy News Digital Network

AMSTERDAM – Twice-weekly proactive maintenance therapy with 0.1% tacrolimus ointment in adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis resulted in dramatic improvement in self-reported quality of life in a 12-month observational study.

This prospective study was designed to assess patients’ own experiences in real-world clinical practice. For example, patients had to pay for their own medication, unlike in randomized clinical trials, where they get it for free. Study participants also didn’t check in for regularly scheduled office visits or receive pep talks to boost medication adherence. They simply reported their outcomes to investigators through mailed questionnaires instead, Dr. Elisabeth A. Holm explained at the annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

A previous clinical trial by other investigators showed that twice-weekly maintenance therapy with topical tacrolimus kept adult atopic dermatitis in remission for extended periods and reduced the incidence of eczema exacerbations (Allergy 2008;63:742-50). But Dr. Holm, a dermatologist at Copenhagen University, wondered what happens when maintenance topical tacrolimus is employed as a proactive treatment strategy in real daily life, particularly in light of a Danish study that found that dermatology patients never filled one in three prescriptions for new medications (J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2008;59:27-33).

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