New topical atopic dermatitis (AD) treatments may provide an alternative to topical corticosteroids (TCS), better treatment outcomes for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, and an alternative to systemic antihistamines whose efficacy in AD is unproven and whose general use in AD management is discouraged by the American Academy of Dermatology. This according to a recent examination of trends in AD treatment over time. Visits for AD were identified in the 2003-2012 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS). Investigators identified TCS, antibiotics (Abx), antihistamines (AH), topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCI), and systemic immunosuppressants (SI) prescribed at AD visits. They found:
- There were 990,000 annual visits for AD from 2003-2012 (3.2 visits/1000 people/year).
- TCS were the most frequently used medication (59% of visits).
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCI) were the second most prescribed medication for AD among dermatologists (23% of visits), while antihistamines were second among all other physicians (16-44% of visits).
- Unlike other medications, use of TCIs decreased over time.
He A, Feldman SR, Fleischer Jr AB. Trends in atopic dermatitis management: Comparison of 1990-1997 to 2003-2012. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018;17(2):135-140.