NICE technology appraisal guidance
Issued: August 2004
TA82

Tacrolimus and pimecrolimus for atopic eczema

This is an extract from the guidance. The complete guidance is available at guidance.nice.org.uk/ta82

1 Guidance

1.1 Topical tacrolimus and pimecrolimus are not recommended for the treatment of mild atopic eczema or as first-line treatments for atopic eczema of any severity.

1.2 Topical tacrolimus is recommended, within its licensed indications, as an option for the second-line treatment of moderate to severe atopic eczema in adults and children aged 2 years and older that has not been controlled by topical corticosteroids (see Section 1.4), where there is a serious risk of important adverse effects from further topical corticosteroid use, particularly irreversible skin atrophy.

1.3 Pimecrolimus is recommended, within its licensed indications, as an option for the second-line treatment of moderate atopic eczema on the face and neck in children aged 2 to 16 years that has not been controlled by topical corticosteroids (see Section 1.4), where there is a serious risk of important adverse effects from further topical corticosteroid use, particularly irreversible skin atrophy.

1.4 For the purposes of this guidance, atopic eczema that has not been controlled by topical corticosteroids refers to disease that has not shown a satisfactory clinical response to adequate use of the maximum strength and potency that is appropriate for the patient's age and the area being treated.

1.5 It is recommended that treatment with tacrolimus or pimecrolimus be initiated only by physicians (including general practitioners) with a special interest and experience in dermatology, and only after careful discussion with the patient about the potential risks and benefits of all appropriate second-line treatment options.