Protopic is a form of tacrolimus used on the skin to treat a skin condition called atopic dermatitis in patients who have not responded well to (or should not use) other eczema medications. It is also used to prevent eczema flare-ups. The tacrolimus contained in a cream belongs to the class topical calcineurin inhibitors. Eczema is an allergic-type condition that causes red, irritated, and itchy skin. This medicine works by weakening the skin's defense system, thereby decreasing the allergic reaction and relieving the eczema.
Before you start treatment with tacrolimus topical ointment, you should be free of infections. Wash your hands with soap and water before using this medication. Apply a thin layer to the affected areas of skin, usually twice daily or as directed by your doctor. Rub the medication into the skin gently and completely. Wash your hands after using this product unless your hands are being treated. If your doctor recommends a moisturizer, apply it after this medication. To prevent eczema flare-ups apply a thin layer of this medication to the skin once daily, twice a week. There should be 2 to 3 days between applications (e.g., Monday and Thursday).
This product is for use on the skin only. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes or on the inside of your nose or mouth. If you do get the medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water. Do not apply this medication to open wounds or infected areas. Do not cover the treated area with plastic or waterproof bandages unless directed to do so by your doctor. Do not bathe, shower or swim right after applying this medication as this can wash it off the treated area. Limit alcoholic beverages as Protopic may make you more sensitive to the effects of alcohol. Your face or skin may flush red and feel hot. This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Before using tacrolimus, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or to other macrolide medications. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have swollen lymph nodes (e.g., lymphadenopathy, mononucleosis), use of light therapy (e.g., UVA or UVB), skin or other cancers. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of skin infections (e.g., herpes, shingles), other skin conditions, kidney disease.
Possible side effect
The most common side effects are acne, headache,"hair bumps" (folliculitis), stomach upset, flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches) or increased sensitivity of the skin to hot/cold/pain/touch may also occur. Soreness, stinging, burning or itching in the area of treated skin may occur during the first few days of treatment. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. You have to contact doctor immediately if such serious side effcts as unusual tiredness, back/joint/muscle pain, appearance of any skin infections or sores (e.g., chicken pox, shingles, lip sores, tumors, warts) occur.
There may be an interaction between tacrolimus and any of the following: calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem, verapamil), cyclosporine, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics (e.g., azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin), medications that weaken the immune system (such as cancer medications and steroids), protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, lopinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir), sirolimus and other medications applied to the skin.
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. Skip the missed dose if it is time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose. Apply the ointment at fixed times of the day.
Overdose is not expected. If you consider that you took too much of this medications inform your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
The information presented at the site has a general character. Note please this information cannot be used for self-treatment and self diagnosis. You should consult with your doctor or health care adviser regarding any specific instructions of your condition. The information is reliable, but we concede it could contain mistakes. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other damage caused by use of this information on the site and also for consequences of self-treatment.