Treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) in children tends to stabilize the condition in the short term. 'Maintenance' treatment options in children are limited. To assess the efficacy and safety of twice daily treatment with fluticasone propionate 0.005% (FP) ointment during 4 wk and the efficacy and safety of twice weekly maintenance treatment with FP in preventing exacerbations or remissions of AD during a 16 wk follow-up period. Ninety children (aged 4-10 yr) with moderate to severe AD were included in a randomized, multi-centre study and received FP ointment twice daily during the acute phase. Children whose AD was in remission after 4 wk of treatment, entered the maintenance phase. In addition to twice daily emollient, children were randomly allocated to receive FP or placebo ointment twice weekly on consecutive days. Efficacy was assessed by the objective SCORAD. Eighty-seven (97%) completed the 4-wk acute study period. Extensive remission was achieved in 78 (87%) children, and 75 children entered the maintenance phase. Intermittent treatment with FP resulted in less severe AD and significantly reduced risk of further relapse as compared with placebo. The risk of an exacerbation of AD was more than twice as high in the placebo group as in the FP group (hazard ratio 2.182, 95% CI). AD in girls was better controlled than in boys. This long-term study shows that the addition of twice weekly FP to standard maintenance therapy significantly reduces the risk of relapse in children with moderate severe AD.

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Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Glazenburg, E., Wolkerstorfer, A., Gerretsen, A., Mulder, P., & Oranje, A. (2009). Efficacy and safety of fluticasone propionate 0.005% ointment in the long-term maintenance treatment of children with atopic dermatitis: Differences between boys and girls?. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 20(1), 59–66. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3038.2008.00735.x