New Eczema Treatment may Relieve and Minimize Flare-ups of the Disease

May 28, 2009

A new medication for the maintenance treatment of eczema may "prevent flares and prolong flare-free intervals."

A new medication for the maintenance treatment of eczema may “prevent flares and prolong flare-free intervals.”

Though Protopic is already used for moderate to severe eczema, this new twice-weekly approval may prevent exacerbations of the disease in previously affected skin and the occurrence of new flare-ups. The research showed that this new application was useful for adults and children two and older who were “unresponsive or intolerant to conventional therapies such as topical corticosteroids.” This new use is applicable for “patients who experienced at least four flares per year” who already showed a response to ”a maximum of six weeks of twice-daily treatment with Protopic,” according to the research.

Patients who had previously responded to applications of Protopic for flare-ups participated in two phase III studies in 13 European countries, totaling 524 adult and children participants. The application of Protopic two times a week to previously affected areas of the skin versus a flare-only regimen “significantly reduced the number of flares” seen in patients, the research showed.

Information from the International Study of Life with Atopic Eczema, conducted in 2005, found that 55% of patients worried about the possibility of the next flare-up and that they spent about a third of the year “with their eczema in flare.”

"Helping patients to reduce the number of flares they experience will lift many of the burdens patients face on a day to day basis," said Dr. Sakari Reitamo of the Hospital for Skin and Allergic Diseases at Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland. "We are giving patients the opportunity to get on with their lives without the worry of a flare hanging over them."

In addition, the researchers said, the new twice-weekly regimen “will allow physicians to actively manage the sub-clinical inflammation between flares in appropriate patients with moderate to severe disease, in order to prevent flare recurrence and prolong the time that patients are free from flares.”

"Until now, more severe eczema often controlled the lives of patients,” said Reitamo. ”Now, maybe for the first time, this has reversed - patients control their eczema."