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Elidel® Eczema Cream Fast Relief for Infants

Media Release
30 June 2003


Elidel® Eczema Cream Fast Relief for Infants (and Parents)


Relief is in sight for parents driven to distraction by children itching and scratching their way through the night. New research findings show children being treated with Elidel® cream for their eczema, experience fast relief of symptoms, such as itching and disturbed sleep.

Results of the overseas study of infants (aged three months to two years) with mild to very severe eczema show they may feel the benefit of Elidel as quickly as 48 hours after the first application.

“We knew that Elidel was safe and effective at relieving eczema in children and adults of all ages, but this study has shown just how quickly our youngest patients can start to feel the benefit,” says Dr Amanda Oakley, a dermatologist based in Hamilton.

“It is also pleasing to see that by day three of the study nearly half of the infants using Elidel had a 50 per cent reduction in sleep loss compared to only a quarter of the control group,” says Dr Oakley. “Any parent will appreciate the impact this will have on both their child’s quality of life and their own.”

Within a short time of their infants starting Elidel, parents were reporting significant improvements in the social and emotional aspects of their everyday lives, suggesting they were having fewer disturbed nights and less distress arising from their children’s symptoms.

One in five New Zealand children have eczema and up to 20 per cent of the world’s population is affected by eczema at some time in their life. Research shows that the incidence of eczema has increased by about 30 per cent in the last 30 years. With eczema the skin is typically dry, rough and scaly. From time to time it becomes inflamed - red and swollen - and itchy. Itching is the most bothersome symptom of eczema and many sufferers have an uncontrollable urge to scratch, sometimes scratching so much that the skin bleeds.

About the study

Conducted in Germany with 196 infants aged three to 23 months (mean age 12 months), with mild to very severe atopic dermatitis, and their parents.

More than two thirds of the infants in the Elidel group achieved a 50 per cent improvement in itching and sleep loss compared to the control group after only four weeks of treatment. After just two days of treatment, nearly one third of the infants on Elidel had at least a 50 per cent reduction of their itching compared to the control group (12.1 per cent). At 72 hours, more than 45 per cent of the Elidel group had a significant reduction in itching.

Three days after starting treatment, Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) scores fell by 38.5 per cent from an average of 17.7 to 10.8 in infants treated with Elidel Cream compared to a small increase of 1.8 in those who used the control. At the end of the four-week study, the EASI score had fallen to 5.5 in the Elidel group (69 per cent reduction) compared to a rise of 0.9 in the control group.

In addition to the dramatic improvement of the infants’ skin condition, the new study also assessed the impact of treatment on the quality of life of the infants’ parents. At the end of the four-week study, there were significant improvements for parents of infants treated with Elidel including: improved sense of well being and social life, confidence in medical treatment, emotional coping and acceptance of disease.

About Elidel®
PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE: ELIDEL is a registered trademark of Novartis AG Switzerland. Elidel (pimecrolimus) cream 1% 15g and 30g tubes. For the treatment of atopic eczema. Cautions: Do not use in viral skin infections or on broken skin, or where bacterial or fungal infections are not controlled. Side effects: burning, irritation, redness at application site and skin infections. Use strictly as directed. To see if Elidel is right for you, ask your doctor. If symptoms continue or you have side effects consult your doctor. Elidel is an unfunded medicine – a pharmacy charge will apply. A doctor’s consultation fee applies. Novartis New Zealand Limited, Auckland. 0800 ELIDEL.

About Novartis
Novartis AG is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and consumer health. In 2002, the Group's businesses achieved sales of USD 20.9 billion and a net income of USD 4.7 billion. The Group invested approximately USD 2.8 billion in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ about 77 200 people and operate in more than140 countries around the world. For further information please consult www.novartis.com

ends

For further media information please contact:
Morag Ingram
Porter Novelli New Zealand

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