Good Adherence and Early Efficacy Using Desonide Hydrogel for Atopic Dermatitis:Results From a Program Addressing Patient Compliance

April 2010 | Volume 9 | Issue 4 | Original Article | 324 | Copyright © April 2010

Brad A. Yentzer MD, Fabian T. Camacho MS, Trudye Young MD, Julie M. Fountain CCRC,Adele R. Clark PA-C, Steven R. Feldman MD PhD

Background: Patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) may have poor adherence for several reasons, including fear of side effects or dislike of messy topical therapies.

Purpose: To assess adherence to and efficacy of a multifaceted program for atopic dermatitis using a lightweight, easy-to-apply medication and more frequent return visits.

Methods: Forty-one subjects with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis were instructed to use desonide hydrogel 0.05% twice daily. Disease severity was measured at baseline and weeks 1, 2 and 4. Subjects also received a follow-up phone call on day 3. Adherence was assessed using electronic monitors. At the end of the study, subjects sampled and rated the vehicle attributes of six different topical corticosteroid formulations.

Results: Mean adherence to twice-daily application slowly declined over time, from 81% on day 1 to 50% by day 27. An improvement in pruritus was observed as early as day 3, and by week 4, mean pruritus and EASI scores improved from baseline by 60% and 61%, respectively. Mean SGA scores also improved to marked improvement/almost clear by week 4. In vehicle attribute surveys, the hydrogel was consistently rated higher than the other vehicles in all categories.

Conclusion: Subjects responded very well to treatment, and adherence to desonide hydrogel 0.05% was much better than previously reported with ointments. The early efficacy, favorable attributes of the hydrogel vehicle and judicious follow up likely increased adherence to topical therapy. The use of ointments or more potent topical steroids as a first choice may be counterproductive in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.