Conflicts of interest: The authors received study grants from Fujisawa GmbH, Munich, Germany, to perform the study. There were no conflicts of interest.
A multicentre, randomized, double-blind, controlled study of long-term treatment with 0·1% tacrolimus ointment in adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis
Version of Record online: 11 MAY 2005
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 152, Issue 6, pages 1282–1289, June 2005
How to Cite
Reitamo, S., Ortonne, J.P., Sand, C., Cambazard, F., Bieber, T., Fölster-Holst, R., Vena, G., Bos, J.D., Fabbri, P., Groenhoej Larsen, C. and the European Tacrolimus Ointment Study Group (2005), A multicentre, randomized, double-blind, controlled study of long-term treatment with 0·1% tacrolimus ointment in adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. British Journal of Dermatology, 152: 1282–1289. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06592.x
- Issue online: 11 MAY 2005
- Version of Record online: 11 MAY 2005
- Accepted for publication 18 December 2004
- atopic dermatitis;
- long-term treatment;
- randomized controlled trial;
- 0·1% tacrolimus
Background Atopic dermatis (AD) is a chronic disease that often requires long-term treatment. Topical corticosteroids are the usual therapy for patients with AD, but prolonged usage can result in skin atrophy and other side-effects.
Objectives In a randomized, double-blind, comparative study, to compare the efficacy and safety of a 6-month treatment period with 0·1% tacrolimus ointment vs. a corticosteroid ointment regimen in adults with moderate to severe AD.
Methods Treatment was applied twice daily for a maximum of 6 months. Patients in the tacrolimus treatment group (n = 487) applied 0·1% tacrolimus ointment to all affected areas over the whole body. The patients treated with the corticosteroid regimen (n = 485) applied 0·1% hydrocortisone butyrate ointment to affected areas on the trunk and extremities and 1% hydrocortisone acetate ointment to affected areas on the face and neck. The study primary endpoint was the response rate, i.e. the proportion of patients with at least 60% improvement in the modified Eczema Area and Severity Index (mEASI) between baseline and month 3.
Results By month 3, more patients in the 0·1% tacrolimus group responded to treatment (72·6% vs. 52·3% in the corticosteroid group, P < 0·001). The patients treated with 0·1% tacrolimus also showed greater improvement in mEASI, EASI, affected body surface area and physician and patient assessments of global response. Patients applying 0·1% tacrolimus ointment experienced more skin burning (52·4% vs. 13·8% in the corticosteroid group; P < 0·001). In most patients, skin burning was mild to moderate in severity and decreased rapidly after the first week of treatment. There was no increase in the incidence of infections or malignancies over time in either treatment group.
Conclusions Long-term treatment with 0·1% tacrolimus ointment is significantly more efficacious than a corticosteroid ointment regimen in adults with moderate to severe AD.