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Calcineurin inhibitors

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 are calcineurin inhibitors?

Calcineurin inhibitors stop calcineurin working, by binding to proteins in the cells called immunophilins. The results are:

What are they used for in Dermatology?

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

What are the topical calcineurin inhibitors?

What are the oral calcineurin inhibitors?

What are the risks of calcineurin inhibitors?

Side effects and risks of the specific calcineurin inhibitors 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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