elidel vs. protopic, does it work for rosacea bumps ?

This recently published blind study suggests that elidel (pimecrolimus) is no better for rosacea papules and pustules than the vehicle it uses.

A previous study in 2005, Pimecrolimus for treatment of acne rosacea suggested that elidel could indeed be useful for rosacea, but this study was not a double blind study – it was not compared to another inactive topical.

Some preliminary studies suggested that protopic (tacrolimus) may be useful in treating steroid induced rosacea, but again this was not a double blind study. See Tacrolimus ointment for the treatment of steroid-induced rosacea: a preliminary report.

 So here is the abstract for this latest study that is casting doubt on how well elidel can be used to treat rosacea bumps.

Pimecrolimus cream 1% for papulopustular rosacea: a randomized vehicle-controlled double-blind trial.

Br J Dermatol. 2007 Apr;156(4):728-32,Weissenbacher S, Merkl J, Hildebrandt B, Wollenberg A, Braeutigam M, Ring J, Hofmann H

Background: Rosacea remains difficult to treat, despite many therapeutic options. Objectives To investigate the effect of pimecrolimus cream 1% (Elidel((R)); Novartis Pharma, Nuremberg, Germany) in the treatment of papulopustular rosacea.

Methods: Forty patients with rosacea (25 men and 15 women, mean age 58 years) were enrolled in a randomized, vehicle-controlled, double-blind study. For 4-8 weeks, patients applied pimecrolimus cream or vehicle twice daily to the involved areas on the face. Rosacea severity score, subjective severity assessment and quality of life assessment were obtained, along with photographic documentation.

Results: Both treatment groups of 20 patients showed an improvement after 4 weeks. The differences were not significant (P > 0.05) with regard to mean absolute values, mean percentage changes from baseline, or mean absolute values as differences from baseline for the total score or scores of the different clinical signs (erythema, papulation, scaling and pustules). In the subjective severity score and the quality of life assessment, there was also no significant difference between pimecrolimus and the vehicle (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Treatment of rosacea for 4-8 weeks with the topical calcineurin inhibitor pimecrolimus cream 1% was not more efficacious than treatment with the vehicle cream.

Further Reading:

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