The efficacy of tapering treatment with 0.1% tacrolimus ointment in adult patients with atopic dermatitis in Korea

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Background: Tacrolimus ointment is a topical immunomodulator. Preliminary studies suggest that 0.1% tacrolimus is effective and has a proactive effect on atopic dermatitis with fewer complications than topical corticosteroids. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of tapering treatment with 0.1% tacrolimus ointment and its impact on quality of life in adult patients with atopic dermatitis in Korea. Korean adults with atopic dermatitis. Methods: A total of 53 patients aged 15 to 54 years with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis applied 0.1% tacrolimus ointment for 12 weeks. The 0.1% tacrolimus ointment was applied along with a topical corticosteroid once daily during the 2-week induction phase and twice daily during the 2-week transitional phase. During the 8-week maintenance phase, the corticosteroid was discontinued and the 0.1% tacrolimus ointment alone was applied twice daily for 2 weeks and twice weekly for 6 weeks. Efficacy and quality of life were evaluated by the SCORAD and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), respectively. Results: SCORAD and DLQI values were significantly improved after 12 weeks of treatment. Symptoms were markedly improved after 2 weeks of applying the 0.1% tacrolimus ointment and the improvements were well maintained after tapering. Continuous improvement was observed throughout the study. Transient skin burning and itching occurred in about 43% of the patients, but gradually decreased in about 30% after continuous application. Conclusion: Tapering treatment with 0.1% tacrolimus ointment is safe and effective, and may replace the long-term use of topical corticosteroids, avoiding corticosteroid-associated adverse effects while maintaining clinical control and improving the quality of life of adult atopic dermatitis patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-319
Number of pages6
JournalKorean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Quality of life
  • Tacrolimus
  • Treatment efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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