Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus for Atopic Eczema (TA82)

Technology Appraisal Guidance No. 82

Source: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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.


The guidance shown above constitutes Section 1 of the full document. A copy of the full document and a summary of the evidence is available on the Internet at http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta82

Copies of the document can also be obtained by contacting 0845 003 7783 or emailing publications@nice.org.uk and quoting reference number N0686. 

This guidance represents the view of the Institute which was arrived at after careful consideration of the available evidence. Health professionals are expected to fully take it into account when exercising their clinical judgement. This guidance does not, however, override the individual responsibility of health professionals to make appropriate decisions in the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.

© Copyright National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. All rights reserved. This material may be freely reproduced for educational and not for profit purposes within the NHS. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of the Institute.

Enquiries concerning the guidance should be addressed to: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, MidCity Place, 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NA. email: nice@nice.org.uk

Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus for Atopic Eczema.
Issue Date: August 2004
Review Date: August 2007


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