Topical steroids are used for the treatment of primary atopic dermatitis (AD); however, their associated risk of serious complications is great due to the presence of vulnerable lesions in young children with AD. Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) are steroid-free, anti-inflammatory agents used for topical AD therapy. However, their use is prohibited in infants <2 years of age because of their carcinogenic potential. We conducted a randomized, double-blind trial to evaluate the efficacy of TCIs as a secondaryADtreatment for children <2 years of age by comparing 1% pimecrolimus cream with 0.05% desonide cream. We performed urinary metabolomics to predict long-term side effects. The 1% pimecrolimus cream displayed similar efficacy and exceptional safety compared with the 0.05% desonide cream. Metabolomics-based long-term toxicity tests effectively predicted long-term side effects using short-term clinical models. This applicable method for the functional interpretation of metabolomics data sets the foundation for future studies involving the prediction of the toxicity and systemic reactions caused by long-term medication administration.
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