- In severe atopic dermatitis (AD), immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine are used. However the latter treatment is expensive especially in countries where a healthcare insurance system is lacking, and that the patient has to pay himself for treatment.
- 9 cases of children with AD and having received Azathioprine were retropsectively analyzed. This was defined as disease severity which cannot be controlled with topicals. The dosage range was between 25mg and 150mg daily. The average length of treatment was 7 months (1 to 20 months range).
- Results showed that less topical treatment and decreased intake of antibiotics (for infected AD) were observed in 6 (of the 9) patients. 3 patients (of the 9) experienced side effects: nausea in 2 patients and leucopenia.
- Provided that screening tests are done and side effects are monitored Azathioprine is a much cheaper alternative. It is generally well tolerated and effective. However this is a retrospective study and some of the data (effectiveness, side effects), may have been omitted and no mention is done of the Thiopurine Methyltransferase (TPMT) enzyme deficiency screening test.
Source of information: Lybaek D et al. Azathioprine in the treatment of children with severe atopic dermatitis. 19th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. Gothenburg (Göteborg) – Sweden (Sverige)
Source of information: here