Tacrolimus is a "macrolide isolated from the culture broth of a strain of Streptomyces tsukubaensis that has strong immunosuppressive activity in vivo and prevents the activation of T-lymphocytes in response to antigenic or mitogenic stimulation in vitro." It is a calcineurin inhibitor. Originally used as an antirejection drug in organ transplantation, it has been found useful in other medicial applications.
Approved indications include therapy for Crohn's disease, and, in drug-eluting stents, as a means of preventing reocclusion after blood vessel revascularization. In topical form, it has been approved for atopic dermatitis.
Tacrolimus, and the related pimecrolimus, have also been employed for a number of off-label uses:
- Cutaneous lupus erythematosus
- Netherton syndrome
- Lichen sclerosus
- perioral dermatitis
- the skin lesions of dermatomyositis, vitiligo, steroid-induced rosacea, alopecia areata; and seborrheic dermatitis.
- Anonymous (2015), Tacrolimus (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, "Tacrolimus - Monograph", Medscape Drug Reference
- Bruce Jancin (February 2005), "Tacrolimus, Pimecrolimus Eyed for Off-Label Uses", Skin & Allergy News 36 (2): 22, DOI:10.1016/S0037-6337(05)70555-6