Elidel, does it work for Rosacea Bumps ?

Written by on May 16, 2007 in steroids with 4 Comments

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.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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4 Reader Comments

  1. Cyndi says:

    Elidel is pimecrolimus and Protopic is a tacrolimus cream. This article is
    confusing the two. Elidel does not help for me but I am interested in some
    one who has tried Protopic.

    • Whit says:

      I have been using Protopic once daily for 20 days and have seen a slight improvement. I still have a small area of acne like bumps on my face from steroid induced rosaceau.

  2. Ruth says:

    My sister and I both have had rosacea for many years, treated with Metrogel 1%. We both developed another skin ailment (we are twins) and were prescribed Protopic for that problem. My doctor suggested I try it on my face instead of using Metrogel. Both my sister and I have used it for a month and our skin has vastly improved. We have much smoother skin with smaller pores, no little pebbly like bumps, or red splotches. And I had a few scars from bad rosacea outbreaks in the past that have almost faded.

  3. Bronwen says:

    I have found the best thing for my rosacea is the New Zealand product called Honevo, made from Manuka honey. It is a natural product, very soothing and works to control my redness within a couple of weeks. Check out their website: honevo.co.nz.

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