Medication Used To Stop Organ Rejection Found to Successfully Treat The Most Common, Chronic Skin Disease In Children

October 29, 1998

DENVER-In the first study of its kind in children, tacrolimus, used to fight organ rejection, has been found to combat atopic dermatitis in children, according to research published recently in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

"We've had patients that after four days of treatment were already looking significantly better," said Mark Boguniewicz, M.D., who treats children with atopic dermatitis at National Jewish Medical and Research Center and is the study's lead author.

Although ointments with high concentrations of corticosteroids may get similar results, they can have unacceptable side effects. "There would be concern about the effects to the skin and body, especially with more potent preparations," he said.

"Unlike corticosteroids, tacrolimus doesn't cause thinning of the skin, which can be permanent," Dr. Boguniewicz said. "Some people have tissue paper thin skin and bruise easily from chronic corticosteroid use. The face is a special concern because it's most susceptible to steroid side effects."

Tacrolimus, a drug that can suppress the immune system when given intravenously, was used as a topical skin treatment in this clinical trial involving 180 children, ages 7-16 at 18 centers throughout the United States. The children had moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, which affected 5-30 percent of the body's skin.

Children were supplied with one of three different concentrations of tacrolimus ointment. Improvement or clearing of the condition ranged from 67-70 percent of the children using the tacrolimus ointment, compared to 38 percent that had ointment with no medication.

In topical form the medication appears safe, according to the study, except for a minor burning sensation of the skin that disappears after about four days. "What we see is that the medication works so quickly and heals the skin that it isn't further absorbed," Dr. Boguniewicz said. "That's why there aren't systemic side effects."

The most common chronic skin disease of young children, atopic dermatitis affects about 10 percent of children in the United States. But it affects people of all ages. "It impacts significantly on their quality of life," he said. "It's a cause of school absenteeism and occupational disabilities, hampers social interaction and disrupts sleep."

Atopic dermatitis, characterized by chronic skin inflammation, skin redness, areas of hard, rough skin and severe itching, is complicated by staph bacteria infections on the skin.

A year-long study of tacrolimus is underway at National Jewish. Tacrolimus should be available as a treatment for atopic dermatitis in about one year.
National Jewish Medical and Research Center is ranked as the best hospital in the United States for pulmonary disease treatment by U.S. News & World Report, 1998.

Contact: Jordan Gruener (303) 398-1002

National Jewish Health

Related Corticosteroids Articles from Brightsurf:

Corticosteroids improve survival in critically ill COVID-19 patients
In a tremendous demonstration of global collaboration, clinician-scientists have pooled data from 121 hospitals in eight countries to find that inexpensive, widely available steroids improve the odds that very sick COVID-19 patients will survive the illness.

Association between treatment with corticosteroids, risk of death among critically ill patients with COVID-19
The results of seven randomized clinical trials with 1,703 critically ill patients with COVID-19 were combined to estimate the association between administration of corticosteroids compared with usual care or placebo and the risk of death after 28 days.

A dual antenatal therapy benefits extreme preterm babies better than either alone or none
Researchers, led by Samuel Gentle, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, report that antenatal treatment with both magnesium sulfate and corticosteroids together yields an increased benefit for children born at 22 to 26 weeks of gestation, compared to no antenatal treatment or with either therapy alone.

Behavioral disorders more common in children exposed to maternal antenatal corticosteroids
Maternal antenatal corticosteroid treatment is standard care when there is a risk for preterm delivery.

New method identifies which asthma patients respond to systemic corticosteroids
Physicians will be able to predict which of their patients with severe asthma are likely to benefit from treatment with systemic corticosteroids -- and which might only suffer their side effects -- with help from a dozen clinical variables researchers have identified using machine learning techniques, say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Study reveals a promising alternative to corticosteroids in acute renal failure treatment
In search of an option for the drug known for causing several side effects, scientists describe the anti-inflammatory properties of protein galectin-1 in tests with rats involving ischemia-reperfusion scenarios.

Long-term usage of inhaled corticosteroids may increase risk of bone fractures in patients with COPD
A study published in the February journal CHEST® suggests long-term inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in patients with COPD may increase risk of bone fractures in both men and women.

Corticosteroids aid healing -- if the timing is right
A corticosteroid can improve the healing of damaged tendons, but it must be given at the right time, according to a new study from Linköping University in Sweden.

Interventions for treating tuberculous pericarditis
Researchers from South Africa and Canada have carried out a Cochrane review update to assess the safety and effectiveness of corticosteroids for treating tuberculous pericarditis.

New medicine shows potential to reduce oral steroid use in severe asthma patients
The results of the trial, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrate that patients treated with a potential new medicine and antibody, called benralizumab, were more than four times likely to reduce their usage of oral corticosteroids than those taking a placebo.

Read More: Corticosteroids News and Corticosteroids Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to