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What limitations of other atopic dermatitis therapies does ruxolitinib cream address?

Featuring Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD, MSCI |

Clinical Associate Professor, Rosalind Franklin University Chicago Medical School Founder and Director, Center for Medical Dermatology and Immunology Research 
Chicago, IL

| Published August 01, 2023

Summary 

Dr. Raj Chovatiya discusses the limitations of other atopic dermatitis therapies and how ruxolitinib cream addresses these issues. Historically, topical therapies for atopic dermatitis have had some shortcomings. Topical corticosteroids, while effective, are considered a "blunt instrument" and may lead to various side effects, such as thinning of the skin, pigmentary issues, loss of subcutaneous fat, and potential systemic absorption of steroids. 

On the other hand, topical calcineurin inhibitors have modest potency and may cause adverse events like stinging and burning. There has also been concern about a potential risk of lymphomas, although this has not been supported in the long term. 

Therefore, there has been a need for a topical therapy that is safe, effective, and non-steroidal. Ruxolitinib cream appears to meet these requirements. It offers potency comparable to some of the stronger topical corticosteroids, and it has a favorable steroid-sparing effect. Furthermore, both clinical trial data and real-world evidence suggest that ruxolitinib cream is a safe option for managing atopic dermatitis. This addresses the limitations of previous therapies and provides a promising treatment alternative for those with the condition. 

Key Points 
  • Ruxolitinib cream addresses limitations of other atopic dermatitis therapies. 
  • Traditional topical therapies for atopic dermatitis have some gaps in their care and there is a general desire for a topical therapy that is safe, effective, and non-steroid-based. 
  • Topical corticosteroids are broadly acting but often associated with side effects like thinning of the skin, pigmentary issues, loss of subcutaneous fat, and potential systemic absorption of steroids. 
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors have modest potency and can cause adverse events such as stinging and burning. 
  • Ruxolitinib cream offers potency comparable to strong topical corticosteroids and a steroid-sparing effect. 
  • Ruxolitinib cream's safety has been supported by both clinical trial data and real-world data.  
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