Author: Anoma Ranaweera, Medical Writer, Auckland, New Zealand. Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, March 2017.


In December 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved crisaborole topical ointment, 2%, to treat mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in patients 2 years of age and older.

This boron-based phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor (PDE-4) to be marketed as EUCRISA™ was developed by Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Palo Alto, California USA), which Pfizer Inc (New York, USA) acquired in May of 2016.

Topical treatments are commonly prescribed to alleviate atopic dermatitis symptoms. Topical corticosteroids (TCs) and topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), or both currently recommended. Despite their efficacy, both TCS and TCI are associated with limitations in their use as a result of application reactions and safety concerns with long-term use. 

Crisaborole is a novel topical therapy that improves the risk-benefit profile of current therapies. It is the first and only non-steroidal topical monotherapy that inhibits the phosphodiesterase (PDE)-4 enzyme in the skin. Overactive PDE-4 has been shown to contribute to the signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

How does crisaborole work?

Dosage and administration

Use in specific populations



Paediatric use

Geriatric use

What are the possible adverse effects of crisaborole?

Crisaborole is promising for atopic dermatitis in phase 3 studies 

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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