Background: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a relatively common, chronic inflammatory, condition, which frequently presents with symptoms of pain and irritation. OLP is often difficult to manage. Therefore there is a need for more effective and safer therapies for symptomatic OLP. Objective: Our purpose was to determine the effectiveness of topical tacrolimus as therapy for symptomatic OLP. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 13 patients with symptomatic OLP treated with topical tacrolimus between September 1999 and September 2000. Results: Eleven of the 13 patients reported definite symptomatic response to treatment and 2 had no response. Eight patients had a partial response, whereas 3 patients had a complete response with respect to lesion clearance. Seven of the responding patients had no flares with continued treatment. The other 4 patients noted flares soon after stopping the treatment. Side effects were rare and minor. Conclusions: In this retrospective case series of 13 patients, topical tacrolimus was well tolerated and appeared to be an effective therapy to control symptoms and clear lesions of OLP.
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