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Topical calcineurin inhibitors in atopic dermatitis: Systematic review and meta-analysis


A critical appraisal and meta-analysis of the extant literature evaluating the efficacy of topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) versus topical corticosteroids (TCs) or placebo in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) was conducted. A PubMed search of trials from 1997-2006 was conducted; 19 studies were analyzed, including 10 with tacrolimus and 9 with pimecrolimus. These involved a total of 7,378 patients (2,771 on tacrolimus, 1,783 on pimecrolimus, and 2,824 were controls). Both TCIs were more effective than placebo vehicle. Two long-term (6-month) trials comparing pimecrolimus with vehicle demonstrated a decrease in flares and a steroid-sparing effect. Tacrolimus (0.1 and 0.3%) was as effective as moderate potency TCs and more effective than a combined (potent/mild) steroid ...

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