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Pediatrics. 2006 Jan;117(1):e118-28. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Safety and tolerability of 1% pimecrolimus cream among infants: experience with 1133 patients treated for up to 2 years.

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1
Clinical Research and Development, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland. carle.paul@novartis.com

Abstract

Pimecrolimus is a calcineurin inhibitor developed for the topical treatment of atopic dermatitis. During the clinical development of 1% pimecrolimus cream, 1133 patients 3 to 23 months of age with mild to severe atopic dermatitis were treated for up to 2 years. The objective of this review is to discuss the safety and tolerability of 1% pimecrolimus cream among infants, on the basis of the combined results from all studies (4 pharmacokinetic studies and 6 clinical trials) conducted among these patients. Pimecrolimus blood concentrations measured for 35 patients were consistently low (< or =1 ng/mL in >80% of samples), irrespective of the disease severity and extent, and remained low during intermittent treatment for up to 1 year. The level of systemic exposure to pimecrolimus among infants was comparable to that observed for older pediatric patients enrolled in the same studies and treated in the same way with 1% pimecrolimus cream, which indicated that young pediatric patients are not at higher risk of significant percutaneous absorption of topically applied pimecrolimus, despite their large skin surface area/body mass ratio. The 6 clinical trials included a total of 1098 infants, who were treated for periods ranging from 4 weeks to 2 years. Most of these patients (60%) had moderate to severe disease at baseline. The most frequently reported adverse events were common childhood disorders such as nasopharyngitis, pyrexia, upper respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and bronchitis. During the double-blind (DB) studies or DB phases of studies, the incidence rates for the most frequently reported adverse events were similar for patients who received 1% pimecrolimus cream and patients who received the vehicle, except for the incidence of teething, which was higher among the pimecrolimus-treated infants (relative risk: 2.02; 95% confidence interval: 1.32-3.27). Treatment with 1% pimecrolimus cream was not associated with an increase in the overall incidence of nonskin infections, compared with the vehicle (relative risk: 1.015; 95% confidence interval: 0.88-1.18). The incidence density (ID) rates for total bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral skin infections during the DB studies or DB phases of studies were comparable for patients treated with 1% pimecrolimus cream and patients who received the vehicle. The ID rate of herpes simplex virus infections was 0.8 cases per 1000 patient-months of follow-up monitoring among patients treated with 1% pimecrolimus cream and 1.7 cases per 1000 patient-months of follow-up monitoring among patients who received the vehicle. Considering all 1098 infants treated with 1% pimecrolimus cream in DB trials and open-label studies, the ID rate of clinically diagnosed eczema herpeticum was 1.3 cases per 1000 patient-months of follow-up monitoring. Burning and erythema were the most frequently reported application site reactions, with ID rates of 2.0 and 1.2 cases per 1000 patient-months of follow-up monitoring, respectively. No sign of immunosuppression was found among infants treated intermittently with 1% pimecrolimus cream for up to 2 years; they demonstrated normal immune responses to vaccinations and did not show increases in the incidence of systemic infections or skin infections over time.

PMID:
16361223
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2005-1188
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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