Calcineurin inhibitor

Author: A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, January 2016.

What is calcineurin?

Calcineurin is a cellular enzyme that catalyses some processes in activated T-lymphocytes.

What is a calcineurin inhibitor?

A calcineurin inhibitor stops calcineurin working, by binding to proteins in the cells called immunophilins. The results are:

What are calcineurin inhibitors used for in dermatology?

Calcineurin inhibitors are used topically and systemically to treat various inflammatory skin diseases, especially:

What are the topical calcineurin inhibitors?

Ciclosporin can be used topically, but must be compounded extemporaneously in New Zealand.

What are the oral calcineurin inhibitors?

What are the risks of a calcineurin inhibitor?

Side effects and risks of the specific calcineurin inhibitor are described in the individual topics.

As a class of drug, the main concern is the effect of calcineurin on kidney function. Suspected reasons for nephrotoxicity include:

The risk of nephrotoxicity is reduced by:

New Zealand approved datasheets are the official source of information for these prescription medicines, including approved uses and risk information. Check the individual New Zealand datasheet on the Medsafe website.

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