(HealthDay News) – Sequential therapy with oral tacrolimus and topical tacrolimus may be an effective treatment for severe atopic dermatitis (AD), according to a pilot study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

To examine the safety and efficacy of sequential therapy with oral and topical tacrolimus, Terrence Colin Keaney, MD, from the University of Miami, and colleagues enrolled 12 patients with AD covering at least 50% of their body. Over a 14-week period, patients received sequential therapy with oral and topical tacrolimus. At each study visit, the Eczema Area and Severity Index, Physician Global Assessment, and pruritus scores were measured.

The researchers found that, in the Eczema Area and Severity Index score, patients recorded a 67% improvement. In the Physician Global Assessment there was a 45 percent improvement recorded, and in the pruritus score a 69% reduction was noted.

“In this pilot study, treatment of severe AD with oral tacrolimus succeeded in providing quick disease control followed by a successful smooth transition to maintenance with topical tacrolimus 0.1% ointment,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Astellas Pharma, which funded the study.

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