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Author: A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, January 2016.
Calcineurin is a cellular enzyme that catalyses some processes in activated T-lymphocytes.
A calcineurin inhibitor stops calcineurin working, by binding to proteins in the cells called immunophilins. The results are:
Calcineurin inhibitors are used topically and systemically to treat various inflammatory skin diseases, especially:
Ciclosporin can be used topically, but must be compounded extemporaneously in New Zealand.
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:
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