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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Oct;47(4):562-70.

Tacrolimus ointment for the treatment of atopic dermatitis is not associated with an increase in cutaneous infections.

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  • 1Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of cutaneous infection in patients with atopic dermatitis treated with tacrolimus ointment.


Data for 1554 patients with atopic dermatitis, treated with tacrolimus ointment in 5 clinical trials, were analyzed.


In 3 controlled studies, the 12-week adjusted incidence of all cutaneous infections in patients treated with the vehicle, 0.03%, and 0.1% tacrolimus ointment, respectively, was 18.0%, 24.8%, and 17.7% for adult patients, and 20.9%, 19.6%, and 23.6% for pediatric patients. The incidence of any individual cutaneous infection was not significantly higher in the tacrolimus group than in the vehicle group, with the exception of folliculitis in adults. In two open-label studies, there was no evidence of an increased risk of cutaneous infections with long-term use of 0.1% tacrolimus ointment (up to 1 year), based on the incidence of adverse events, incidence by cumulative length of exposure, or hazard rates.


Treatment with tacrolimus ointment (0.03% or 0.1%) does not increase the risk of cutaneous bacterial, viral, or fungal infections in patients with atopic dermatitis.

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