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AAD: Newer Therapies Show Promise for Atopic Dermatitis

Expert discusses topical calcineurin inhibitors, engineered emollients and systemic therapies

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- An array of new targeted therapies may bring relief to the many children and adults in the United States who experience chronic atopic dermatitis, according to research presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology held Mar. 6 to 10 in San Francisco.

Lawrence F. Eichenfield, M.D., of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, presented an update on topical calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, and cited several recent studies showing that the intermittent use of topical calcineurin inhibitors can control flare-ups in patients whose disease was initially controlled by topical corticosteroids or tacrolimus.

Eichenfield also discussed the use of barrier creams and engineered emollients that include water-based emulsion with N-palmitoylethanolamide, MAS063ADP with glycyrrhetinic acid, and ceramide-dominant products; and the risks and benefits associated with newer immunosuppressive agents and biologic therapies.

"Newer immunosuppressives such as mycophenolate mofetil can be very useful in providing relief for patients with more severe cases of atopic dermatitis and have been studied for use in the pediatric population," Eichenfield said in a statement. "In addition, dosing of azathioprine is now based on an individual's genetics and metabolic activity to process the medication, allowing it to be used with less chance of dangerous side effects. Newer studies of the latest biologic therapies, such as efalizumab, show some benefits, but in general more research needs to be done to confirm the safety profile of all systemic therapies for this condition."

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