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Eczema cream alternative to steroids: study

Allergy newsOct 14, 2005

The Eczema cream Elidel, made by Novartis, cleared the skin condition from the faces of patients allergic to or intolerant of steroids, the conventional treatment, a study showed.

According to a statement issued by Novartis, 46.5 percent of patients treated with Elidel after six weeks were clear or almost clear of facial Eczema compared to 16.2 percent of the group treated with an inactive placebo.

“This study demonstrates that Elidel provides a safe and effective option that can be used intermittently to treat sensitive skin when steroids are inappropriate or to provide a break from frequent use of steroids,” Neil Shear, a doctor at the University of Toronto Medical School, was quoted as saying.

Elidel Description:

Pimecrolimus(pim-e-KROW-li-mus) cream is used for mild to moderate atopic dermatitis. This is a skin condition where there is itching, redness and inflammation, much like an allergic reaction. Pimecrolimus helps to suppress these symptoms which are a reaction caused by the body’s immune system. It can be used for short-term or long-term periodic treatment. Elidel is often used when other types of treatment are either not working or when you cannot tolerate other types of treatment.
For more information check: Elidel

Novartis said topical steroids have been used against Eczema for up to 50 years, but their long-term use has been associated with a range of side effects.

In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Elidel, along with another drug Protopic, should carry a strong advisory about cancer risk. Novartis said on Friday it is in labelling discussions with the FDA.

Protopic (Tacrolimus)  
Tacrolimus ( ta-KROE-li-mus) ointment is used for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. This is a skin condition where there is itching, redness and inflammation, much like an allergic reaction. Tacrolimus helps to suppress these symptoms which are a reaction caused by the body’s immune system. It can be used for short-term or long-term intermittent treatment. It is often used when other types of treatment are not working or not tolerated by the patient.
For more information check: Protopic

“Novartis remains confident in the safety and efficacy of Elidel in its approved indications,” Novartis said.

What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition. The symptoms of eczema include dry, sensitive skin, intense itching; red, inflamed skin; a recurring rash; scaly areas of skin; rough, leathery patches. People with eczema may experience times when their skin flares and when their skin is clear.

Eczema: an uncomfortable itch.
Persistent itching and discomfort are symptoms of eczema. Sometimes you have itching so intense that you scratch your skin until it bleeds. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this chronic condition, but Elidel® can significantly relieve the itching and redness of mild or moderate eczema.

Elidel® fights eczema right at the site.

Many people with mild or moderate eczema are treated with a variety of medications.

When you and your doctor find other treatments don’t work for you, there’s concern about their risks, or you simply can’t tolerate them, there’s steroid-free Elidel. It can go anywhere on your skin, including your face. And you can use Elidel for repeated courses as directed by your doctor. Even on children as young as two.

Elidel targets the key cells involved with eczema right at the site of the problem*. And while there is no cure for eczema, Elidel can significantly relieve the itching and redness.
Features of Elidel

  • Elidel can significantly relieve the itching and redness.
  • Elidel contains no steroids.
  • Elidel can be used for repeated courses as directed by your doctor.

  • Elidel is safe to use anywhere on the skin - including the face, neck and around the eyes.
  • Elidel does not cause certain side effects, such as thinning of the skin, stretch marks, spider veins, or skin discoloration.
  • Elidel is an odor-free, nongreasy cream, not an ointment; it absorbs quickly and easily.
  • Elidel shouldn’t stain clothing or sheets.

*The exact mechanism of action of Elidel is not known.
More information about Elidel

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Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 7, 2011
Last revised: by Dave R. Roger, M.D.

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