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Treatment of pruritic diseases with topical calcineurin inhibitors

Authors Sonja Ständer, Funda Schürmeyer-Horst, Thomas A Luger, Elke Weisshaar

Published 15 June 2006 Volume 2006:2(2) Pages 213—218

Sonja Ständer, Funda Schürmeyer-Horst, Thomas A Luger, Elke Weisshaar*


Clinical Neurodermatology, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Münster, Germany, *Department of Social Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Dermatology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Germany


Abstract: The introduction of topical calcineurin inhibitors resulted in a significant improvement in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. In addition, rapid amelioration of pruritus could be observed. In case reports, other pruritic dermatoses such as chronic irritative hand dermatitis, rosacea, graft-versus-host-disease, and lichen sclerosus were also treated successfully with pimecrolimus and tacrolimus. Twenty patients were treated with tacrolimus and pimecrolimus in a surveillance study to evaluate efficacy in pruritus and prurigo. Eighteen of 20 patients responded to therapy. Best results were obtained in localized and generalized pruritus while in prurigo nodularis only a subgroup of patients showed an improvement of pruritus. Further controlled studies are necessary to confirm these results.


Keywords: Pimecrolimus, tacrolimus, pruritus, itch, vanilloid receptor

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