FDA: 46 new cancer cases in children with eczema treated with pimecrolimus and tacrolimus in the post-market period

The FDA said 46 cancer cases and 71 infection cases have been reported in patients aged 16 and younger from 2004 to 2008 with Novartis' Elidel and Astellas' Protopic.

Both drugs -- also known as pimecrolimus and tacrolimus respectively -- already carry strong warnings about cancer and infection, but officials should consider expanding them to include the new post-marketing reports.


Pimecrolimus. Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

Patients with atopic dermatitis were at 1.5 times greater risk of getting cancer in a large UK study of 4.5 million people. The cancers included lymphoma, melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancer. http://bit.ly/bGjdpO

What is the molecule that tacrolimus binds to in order to exert its therapeutic effect?

(A) NFkB
(B) calcium
(C) ipraimmunophilin
(D) NFAT
(E) calcineurin
(F) calmodulin
(G) AP-1

Answer: E.

French drug review journal is sued for calling for the tacrolimus based ointment Protopic to be banned - BMJ http://goo.gl/dqRHK

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