Drugs that act by inhibiting the calcium-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin, an enzyme that initiates a sequence of events that bring about activation of T lymphocytes. The group includes ciclosporin and tacrolimus, which are major maintenance immunosuppressants used in transplantation. Topical calcineurin inhibitors (e.g. tacrolimus, pimecrolimus [Elidel]) are used in the treatment of eczema when topical steroids have failed or are contraindicated. Stinging is a common transient side-effect, and reactivation of infections may occur.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.