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Response of vitiligo to once- vs. twice-daily topical tacrolimus: a controlled prospective, randomized, observer-blinded trial.

Author(s): Radakovic S, Breier-Maly J, Konschitzky R, Kittler H, Sator P, Hoenigsmann H, Tanew A

Affiliation(s): Division of Special and Environmental Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. sonja.radakovic@meduniwien.ac.at

Publication date & source: 2009-08, J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol., 23(8):951-3. Epub 2009 Jun 2.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: A few studies on the treatment of vitiligo with topical tacrolimus have been published and showed promising results. However, most of these trials were uncontrolled. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the response of vitiligo to once- or twice-daily treatment with 0.1% tacrolimus in a controlled, randomized, observer-blinded study. METHODS: Seventeen patients with generalized vitiligo were enrolled in this study. In each patient, two lesions were selected and randomized to treatment with either once- or twice-daily application of 0.1% tacrolimus for a total period of 6 months. In 10 patients, a third patch was left untreated to serve as a control. RESULTS: Fifteen patients with 40 target lesions completed the study. Twice-daily treatment induced excellent (> 75%) repigmentation in two lesions, moderate (> 25-50%) and poor (1-25%) repigmentation in four lesions each, and no response in five lesions. Once-daily treatment resulted in moderate repigmentation in two lesions and poor repigmentation in five lesions, whereas no effect was observed in the remaining eight lesions. One out of 10 control lesions developed moderate spontaneous repigmentation, the other nine remained unchanged. Besides the frequency of tacrolimus application, the treatment outcome was determined by the localization of the affected areas with the facial region showing the best response. CONCLUSIONS: Tacrolimus ointment appears to be an effective treatment option for facial vitiligo. A guarded prognosis is advisable for vitiliginous lesions on other localizations. Treatment must be applied twice daily for optimum response.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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