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Dermatology. 2003;207(1):37-42.

Occlusive treatment of chronic hand dermatitis with pimecrolimus cream 1% results in low systemic exposure, is well tolerated, safe, and effective. An open study.

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Department of Dermatology and Venereology, J.-W. Goethe University School of Medicine, Frankfurt, Germany.



Pimecrolimus cream 1% (Elidel, SDZ ASM 981) is a novel, non-steroid inflammatory cytokine inhibitor, effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Here, we evaluate the treatment of chronic hand dermatitis with pimecrolimus cream 1%.


To determine pimecrolimus blood concentrations, and evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy following application of pimecrolimus cream 1% to subjects with chronic hand dermatitis.


In this open-label, multiple-topical-dose, non-controlled, pharmacokinetic study, pimecrolimus cream 1% was applied twice daily to dorsal and palmar areas (affected and unaffected) of both hands. Evening applications (except day 8) were immediately followed by overnight occlusion (> or =6 h). Full pharmacokinetic profile (days 1, 8 and 22), trough concentrations (days 3 and 15), physical examinations, laboratory measurements and adverse events were recorded. Efficacy was assessed via Investigators' Global Assessment (IGA), total key signs and symptoms and the subject's overall self-assessment.


Twelve patients completed the study. The majority of pimecrolimus blood concentrations (73.6%) remained below the limit of quantitation (0.1 ng/ml). The maximum concentration observed was 0.91 ng/ml and the maximum area under the concentration-time curve from 0-12 h post dose was 7.6 ng.h/ml. Treatment was well tolerated locally and systemically. No serious adverse events occurred; 4/13 subjects showed a total of 6 adverse events at the application site: burning (n=4), and pruritus (n=2). No clinically relevant or drug-related changes were observed. Clear efficacy of the treatment was shown by all 3 assessment methods. Disease state at day 22 had improved in 11 (85%) subjects compared with baseline (IGA).


Twice daily topical treatment of moderate to severe chronic hand dermatitis with pimecrolimus cream 1% results in low pimecrolimus blood levels, is well tolerated, safe, and effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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