Which medications in the drug class Immunosuppressant agents are used in the treatment of Pruritus and Systemic Disease?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020
  • Author: David F Butler, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Immunosuppressant agents

These agents may prevent release of inflammatory cytokines from mast cells.

Pimecrolimus (Elidel)

Pimecrolimus is the first nonsteroid cream approved in United States for mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. It is derived from ascomycin, a natural substance produced by the fungus Streptomyces hygroscopicus var ascomyceticus. It selectively inhibits the production and release of inflammatory cytokines from activated T cells by binding to the cytosolic immunophilin receptor macrophilin-12. The resulting complex inhibits phosphatase calcineurin, thus blocking T-cell activation and cytokine release. Cutaneous atrophy has not been observed in clinical trials, a potential advantage over topical corticosteroids. Pimecrolimus is indicated only after other treatment options have failed. Use short-term and for intermittent use only.

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