Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Advantage of administering tacrolimus for improving prognosis of patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis.

AIM: The purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic advantage of administering tacrolimus (TAC) in patients with polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM).

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical outcomes after initiating treatment in 66 patients with PM/DM (28 PM and 38 DM). After initiating treatment, the prognosis was compared between patients who received TAC in combination with prednisolone (PSL) (the concomitant TAC group), and patients who were treated with PSL alone. The therapeutic efficacy of TAC was also evaluated for patients in the concomitant TAC group as well as patients who started additional TAC treatment after relapse (the additional TAC group), by analyzing clinical results, including serum creatine kinase (CK) levels, muscle strength and the daily dose of PSL.

RESULTS: Patients in the concomitant TAC group had significantly lower frequency of relapse and longer periods of remission than patients who were treated with PSL alone (P = 0.0001, P = 0.001, respectively). Significant decreases in CK levels were observed 1 month after starting TAC treatment in both the concomitant TAC group and the additional TAC group. Moreover, the significant effects of withdrawing PSL were also demonstrated in both groups.

CONCLUSION: Concomitant use of TAC with PSL clearly provides a favorable outcome in patients with DM/PM. Furthermore, additional treatment with TAC is useful for improving prognosis even after recurrence.

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